The Web of Community Trust
: Amateur Fiction Online: A Case Study in Community Focused Design for the Semantic Web

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis describes a case study online community: online amateur authors. Taking this case study community as a base, this thesis considers how the concept of community is applied within the Semantic Web domain. Considering the community structures that can be demonstrated through the case study, this thesis makes the case for the recognition of a specific type of social network structure, one that fulfils the traditional definitions of ‘community’. We argue that this sub-type occupies an important position within social networks and our understanding of them due to the structures required for them to be so defined and that there are assumptions and inferences which can be made about nodes within this type of community group but not others. Having detailed our case study community and the type of network it represents, this thesis goes on to consider how the community could be supported beyond the mailing lists and journalling sites upon which it currently relies. Through our investigation of the community’s issues and requirements, we focus on identity and explore this concept within the context of community membership. Further we analyse the community practice of metadata annotation, in comparison to other metadata systems such as tagging, and as it related to the development of the community. We propose a number of ontological models which we argue could assist the community and, finally, consider ways in which these models could be made available to the community in keeping with current practice and level of technical knowledge as evidenced by the community.
Date of Award2007
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Southampton
Supervisormc schraefel (Supervisor)


  • semantic web
  • social networks
  • community design
  • hci
  • multimedia annotation

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