National Center for Digital Government Working Paper Series
Researchers have argued that social networks within a community have positive effects on people’s behavior in the four stages of disaster. The Japanese government is testing Social Networking Service (SNS) at the municipal level with the intention to improve community building, democratic processes and disaster management. This paper presents results from two case studies of local SNS in Yatsushiro city, Kumamoto prefecture and Nagaoka city, Niigata prefecture. While the Yatsushiro’s solution seems to be sustainable, Nagaoka’s SNS is in decline. Both have to compete with popular SNS like Mixi and lack critical mass. Based on the reviewed literature I discuss the role of local SNS in social capital development and disaster. I also present the concept of an individual disaster profile for future local SNS version by practitioners.