A Study of the Practical Use of Local Social Networking Services and the Construction of Contemporary Local Communities
This research aims, through empirical research about the actual operation of local social network services (SNS) and the networks that have been constructed as a result, to carry out interdisciplinary joint research to investigate the construction of new local communities in the Internet age. Social network services are currently spreading throughout the world, and through exchanges of information and communications among users, various communities are forming on the Web. Among them, local SNS which operate from a base in a given area have untapped potential for building new local communities and local businesses by linking networks in both virtual and real social spaces. This research will substantiate the results of the empirical experiment begun by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in 2005 on links between local SNS throughout Japan and their use for community-building, compare local SNS in Japan and abroad, and research, empirically and theoretically, building new local communities through using the Internet.