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Notes about Semantic Web tools for online communities

K. Faith Lawrence & Dr. Monica Schrafel (2007) Amateur Fiction Online - The Web of Community Trust: **A Case Study in Community Focused Design for the Semantic Web. Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia (IAM) Group, School of Electronics and Computer Science, **University of Southampton.

NB. Need to read her full thesis, of the same name. Will probably clear up some of the questions I scribbled whilst reading the paper.

Finding out if Semantic Web tools can be brought to hobbyist groups on the Web.

  • Uses the online fiction community; suggests they could benefit from:
    • improved searching
    • improved meta data
    • automatic recommendations
    • trust webs
    • personalisation.
  • A HCI project, so usability tests and comparisons with current systems are key.

Related work

  • Community centered design
    • to determine user needs - through continual interactions and user studies.
    • to consider how reader-facing apps present themselves and particular community
      • responsibility of being a portal - need clear affordences and points of failure.
  • Trust and Semantic Communities
    • The semantic web “provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries.⁂ - Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler, and Ora Lassila. The semantic web. Scienti﭂c American, May 2001.
    • Do we trust:
      • metadata
      • data
      • mechanism by which data is returned
      • person requesting data?
    • Many definitions of trust.
    • Jennifer Golbeck's trust onotology to go with FOAF (Jennifer Golbeck, Bijan Parsia, and James Hendler. Trust networks on the semantic web. In Proceedings of Cooperative Intelligent Agents 2003, 2003.): ratings of 1 - 9 for trust of associates. Extended for FicNet (this paper)
    • Here, trust: "the expectations that arise that an individual will not act in a way that is detrimental to another individual or community."
      • I might need to expand that for my stuff... maybe... maybe this will do.

Case study

  • Community predates the Internet. (duh)
  • Necessary to get opinions from people outside of the amateur writing community, because it is broad. Such as parents/guardians of members.
  • Questionnaire
    • General information
    • Reading habits
    • Community involvement
    • Access and distribution of materials
  • Questionnaire distributed by:
    • requests to archives to pass on to members
    • LiveJournal
    • emails to specific interested parties
    • mailing lists / bulletin boards of relevant special interest groups.
  • In two weeks, 1116 responses, from 30 countries.
  • Used to inform ontology design for FicNet, and OntoMedia.

Fan Online Persona (FOP)

  • Extension of FOAF, tailored for needs of online readers and writers.
  • foaf:person -> fop:persona
  • Separates environments for on and offline
  • fop:NomDe - context for name
  • Illusion of anonymity is fundamental to fanfic community (who are a large part of online amateur writers)
  • Most authors have one or more pseudonyms.
  • 80% said email address is the most personal information they should be asked for. ('of the 80%, 15% said no personal information should be requested from anyone - does this make sense? Do they mean other than email address? but that's the 80... If they're in the 80, they can't be part of that 15...)
  • Privacy is the main thing holding back FOAF (Joseph Smarr. Technical and privacy challenges for integrating foaf into existing applications. Presented at 1st Workshop on Friend of a Friend, Social Networking and the Semantic Web, September 2004.)
  • Personas aren't meaningless, because people become very attached to them, and only create new ones for specific reasons (says who? No citation..)
  • Expands foaf:document and foaf:groups
  • Creation, exchange and review of works is the point of these communities.
  • FOP dismisses FOAF info like work and school as irrelevant or potentially dangerous.
    • [Me] I think the on/offline divide won't be so extreme for many amateur film makers (another story for consumers) because often their faces are in their movies... Also anecdotal evidence from my own experiences that I'm open to having proven to be a minority. Actors vs characters is an interesting distinction too. One amateur film maker can have many personas, even across one channel of output.
  • Options for FOP determined through long term study of metadata commonly attached to works. (Something I can do, too).


  • FilmTrust by Golbeck (just joined, it was closed last time I looked).
    • Could be prettier... but 2169 members!
    • Visualisations of the network - I need to get good at this.
  • Reader has to trust info from author falls within a certain level of accuracy. In amateur writing, it is more acceptable to be over cautious than lenient. Differing standards of acceptable content.
    • Less trust is lost if a story is underrated than overrated (resulting in disappointment)
    • A minority mislabeling work has a big effect on reputation of an archive/community (_HelpingHands community members. A place to pitch in and help - a website _creation resource and project. LiveJournal Community, 2005.)
  • Writer has to trust reader to make the right decision.
  • FicNet has a more specialised trust system than Golbeck's.

    • Largest contention in this field is adult material and younger readers (debated because this contrasts with IRL - no restricted areas in book stores, or suitability rating scheme for books).
    • Initially focussed on age.
    • Personas could vouch for each other. Creating fake personae to validate another wasn't worth payoff? Non malicious statements of distrust?
    • How to integrate trust and distrust webs? Future
  • Ontologies developed, ready to be used by applications!
    • Ontologies will be continually refined.
    • Now designing applications.
      • Using info already gathered via quesitonnaire, re: UI, functionality.
  • Integrate with OntoMedia to describe works, and link works with people.

=> How did they get to talk to the parents of younger users? Did they ask the members to put them in touch? That doesn't seem like a realistic expectation to have, to me..

🏷 ficnet foaf fop linked data online communties ontologies ontomedia paper phd provenance semantic web trust

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