Semantically Linking Virtual Communities (Book Chapter)


A Virtual Community can be defined as a group of people sharing interests and making use of electronic forms of communication for exchanges. The shared interests might be with respect to a topic or a domain of knowledge, but it might also be related to a task. With the advent of virtual communities, there is a growing need for providing methods to link these communities together in a meaningful way. In this chapter, we shall describe the usage of semantic technologies for enhancing community portals and connecting heterogeneous virtual community sites. We propose a framework for semantically interlinked virtual communities that can be used for information structuring, export and information dissemination. We present the ontology which combines terms from vocabularies that already exist with new terms needed to describe the relationships between concepts in the domain of virtual community.