How about a Semantic Community Portal?
By insidemyhead on Jul 23, 2007
Community can be defined as a group of users having common interests. As organizations become highly dynamic and the people that join them become more geographically dispersed, the need for improved ways to share and distribute data and information amongst the community or organization members has increased dramatically.
Speaking in terms of the Semantic Web, these community members share similar ontology items since in most probability their cultural backgrounds, work activities etc might be similar. "Semantic community portals" can make use of Semantic Web technology and shared community terms to create connections between people and people, and also between people and the information that they produce.
So how exactly would you define semantic community portal?
Orkut and LinkedIn are examples of community web portals where the people and their relationships were clearly defined using online social networking. However there is a strong connection between these social networking services and semantic community portals. For example consider Orkut or Linkedn using the FOAF ( Friend of a Friend ) ontology to describe its members profile and their relationships. This will bring these now separate social networking sites to inter operate with each other. This will help in bringing the people together in a 'universal social network'. For this to become a reality more and more of these social networking sites need to start using the FOAF and other related ontologies, in an attempt to make the data within them distributed and decentralized.
The onltologies that are typically most commonly used by the community web portals are the ones used to define people (vCard, FOAF) and documents ( RSS). However staying within these ontologies is far too limited for the currently evolving semantic web.
SIOC is an initiative that seems to be a step in the right direction from the semantic community portal perspective. Basically the SIOC tries to capture as much information as possible about the community web sites and the information that is contained within them. Have a look at the two figures below taken directly from the SIOC web site which clearly demonstrate the future of the semantic community portal.
SIOC has the ability to link all sorts of entries like Blogs, Forums, Mailing Lists from and amongst various community sites. Using SIOC we will have the ability to make the information contained within links in HTML documents, discussions in forums, trackbacks, replies, followups etc available explicitly for machine-processing. (That is the goal of the semantic web )
However, a full-fledged framework for community-driven ontology management should go beyond simple tagging and should enable merging of community portals with established practices for ontology management. The objective of community-driven ontology management is to provide means for a large number of users to build and adopt the Semantic Web, via practices for ontology management all in the community space. Such a portal will allow end users to define the structure of the content (i.e., develop ontologies), populate ontologies and define the ways in which this content is managed on Semantic Web community portals.
Reference: Berners-Lee, T., Hendler, J., & Lassila, O. (2001). The Semantic Web : Scientific American