Sleepless in Belgrade: A Virtual Community during War
In this paper the results of research on the role of a virtual community during wartime are presented. A virtual community within the Belgrade-based online system, SezamPro, was explored in the periods before, during and after the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. This research found that the community had gone through significant changes during the War, including a) number of participants increased; b) users spent much more time online; and, c) reason for communicating changed dramatically. During war, online efforts focused on information gathering, social interaction and the expression of political opinions. In a period of crisis strong interpersonal relationships were established within the studied online group. Furthermore, in such state of affairs the Internet became an important source of information.
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