PACIS 2021 Proceedings

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Disasters create uncertainty. Many disaster incidents have been documented where virtual communities reduce victims’ disaster-related uncertainty by providing hyperlocal information. Hyperlocal information is different than mere information found on the internet because it originates from locals. However, getting locals to participate to share hyperlocal information in virtual communities remains a challenge. One way of encouraging locals to share hyperlocal information is fostering a Sense of Community (SoC), i.e., the feeling of belonging and being attached to a community. While substantial research has established the beneficial effects of SoC in physical communities, little is known of how SoC might encourage locals to share hyperlocal information in virtual communities in disaster situations. This research-in-progress paper proposes to answer this question by adopting SoC as an interpretive lens in a qualitative case analysis of a Reddit disaster community.



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