The FORA Framework - A Fuzzy Grassroots Ontology for Online Reputation Management

TitleThe FORA Framework - A Fuzzy Grassroots Ontology for Online Reputation Management
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsPortmann, E
Date PublishedFebruary
Thesis Typephd

Online reputation management deals with monitoring and influencing the online record of a person, an organization or a product. The Social Web offers increasingly simple ways to publish and disseminate personal or opinionated information, which can rapidly have a disastrous influence on the online reputation of some of the entities. This dissertation can be split into three parts: In the first part, possible fuzzy clustering applications for the Social Semantic Web are investigated. The second part explores promising Social Semantic Web elements for organizational applications,while in the third part the former two parts are brought together and a fuzzy online reputation analysis framework is introduced and evaluated. Theentire PhD thesis is based on literature reviews as well as on argumentative-deductive analyses.The possible applications of Social Semantic Web elements within organizations have been researched using a scenario and an additional case study together with two ancillary case studies—based on qualitative interviews. For the conception and implementation of the online reputation analysis application, a conceptual framework was developed. Employing test installations and prototyping, the essential parts of the framework have been implemented.By following a design sciences research approach, this PhD has created two artifacts: a frameworkand a prototype as proof of concept. Bothartifactshinge on twocoreelements: a (cluster analysis-based) translation of tags used in the Social Web to a computer-understandable fuzzy grassroots ontology for the Semantic Web, and a (Topic Maps-based) knowledge representation system, which facilitates a natural interaction with the fuzzy grassroots ontology. This is beneficial to the identification of unknown but essential Web data that could not be realized through conventional online reputation analysis. Theinherent structure of natural language supports humans not only in communication but also in the perception of the world. Fuzziness is a promising tool for transforming those human perceptions intocomputer artifacts. Through fuzzy grassroots ontologies, the Social Semantic Web becomes more naturally and thus can streamline online reputation management.