Following the successes of Facebook and MySpace, the latest trend in social networking is closed community websites for housing developments and blocks of flats.
Especially useful if you prefer to socialise with your neighbours from a distance, LifeAt.com creates password-protected websites where residents can post photos and profiles of themselves.
Gossip and timewasting
Users can also share information about favourite local pubs and restaurants, post free classified ads, as well as vent their spleens about untidy common areas, peeling paint, slow lifts etc.
Facilities managers will give residents login and password information, and also use the websites to post news about maintenance work and vacancies.
"I like the idea a lot," Charlene Li, an analyst with research firm Forrester Research, told the New York Times.
"Living in the same building means you tend to share the same socioeconomic background and interests, and giving people information on things like where to eat and where to shop makes it very, very relevant."
For the moment, the LifeAt.com services are only available in the US. Each building website costs about $6,000 to set up. By the end of the year more than 1,000 buildings will have set up their own localised social networking websites.
Websites set up for local communities in the UK include Upmystreet.co.uk and Myvillage.com.