ECIS 2020 Research Papers


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The social connectedness of a community, characterized by aspects such as social support, social trust and civic engagement, plays an important role in determining the well-being of its inhabitants. Neighborhood activism and volunteering through community initiatives can improve this social connectedness. Online neighborhood social networks (ONSNs) afford users functionality for social interaction, information sharing as well as peer-support and aim to improve community connectedness with platforms such as Nextdoor exhibiting rapid growth in recent years. However, as of yet, ONSNs do not provide specific tool support for implementing community initiatives beyond generic communication capabilities. We propose crowdsourcing as a suitable approach for mobilizing neighbors to ideate, participate in and collaboratively implement community initiatives on ONSNs. Using a design science research approach, we develop design goals and design principles for crowd-sourced community initiatives based on literature and empirical data from two case neighborhoods. We instantiate these design principles into a proof-of-concept artifact in the context of an existing ONSN. Based on our evaluation, we derive implications for establishing crowd-sourced community initiatives on ONSNs. We contribute to research on crowdsourcing and ONSNs with nascent design knowledge which guides researchers and practitioners in designing crowd-based artifacts in the context of local communities.



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