Our January 2012 issue highlighted some of the ways that Preston Hollow groups are using digital media to stay connected, particularly where Facebook is becoming “the new front porch” for neighborhoods. These days, it seems like everyone is on it – Dallas Police, local businesses, school groups, etc. But one neighborhood has found success in a different kind of social media tool: Nextdoor.

Nextdoor is a private social network especially for individual neighborhoods. And you have to be a resident to join or even view others’ profiles. You can post crime alerts and other news to the profile where members can see and comment.

For residents in Devonshire, a collection of homes bound by Northwest Highway, Lovers Lane, Inwood and the Dallas North Tollway, Nextdoor has proved much more successful than Facebook, says HOA president Mike Kissner.

Kissner launched Devonshire’s Facebook page a few months ago, and there are still only 27 fans out of the 733 residents. He decided to try out Nextdoor and within two days, 30 people had signed up. Now, it has reached 143 members.

“I’ve just been shocked at the response,” he says. “[Facebook] pales in comparison to Nextdoor Devonshire.”

A neighbor lost a set of keys, and within two hours, they were found. A pet got loose and, again, within two hours, it was found. All through residents communicating on Nextdoor.

“The dog was found before I could even get it posted to our website,” Kissner says.

To get started with Nextdoor, you must have at least nine people sign up initially. Each must have a verifiable address in the designated neighborhood (Hillcrest Forest, Glen Meadows, Midway Hollow, etc.). Users can sign up for email updates to receive information posted to the Nextdoor profile.

Kissner isn’t sure exactly why Devonshire residents are choosing Nextdoor over Facebook, but it’s probably because of the privacy and the fact that it’s neighborhood-centric.

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