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Semantic Web Services: Theory, Tools and Applications

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Semantic Web is here to stay! This is not really a marketing campaign logo, but it is a truth that every year is becoming more and more relevant to the daily life of business world, industry and society. I do not know how it happened, but the last years, through our activities in the Special Interest Group on Semantic Web and Information Systems in the Association for Information Systems (http://www.sigsemis.org), I had the opportunity to contact and collaborate with several key people for the evolution of the SW as well as many leaders in different domains trying to understand their attitude for Semantic Web1. I feel many times my background in Informatics and Management Science helps me to go beyond the traditional exhaustive technical discussions on Semantic Web and to see the Forest. This is full of fertile grounds, fruits for the people who will put the required tough efforts for the cultivation of the fields and many more, and of course much more value for the early adopters.

A couple years ago I had an interview with Robert Zmud, professor, and Michael F. Price, chair in MIS, University of Oklahoma. Given his legendary work in the adoption of technologies in business/organizational contexts, I asked him in a way how can we promote Semantic Web to business world. His answer influenced all of my Semantic Web activities until then. I am copying here: As with all adoption situations, this is an information and communication problem. One needs to segment the base of potential adopters (both in the IS community and in the business community) and then develop communication programs to inform each distinct segment of, first, the existence of the innovation (know-what), then the nature of the innovation (know-how), and finally why this innovation would be useful to them (know-why). These adopter segments are likely to be very different from each other.

Each will have a different likelihood of adoption and will likely require that a somewhat unique communication strategy be devised and directed toward the segment

So this is why Jorge’s current edition, as well as planned editions, give an answer to the problem of many people. Semantic Web is discussed in the triptych know-what, know-how, and know-why and the editing strategy of the book boosts the excellent quality of well known contributors. It is really amazing how Jorge made it and so many academics and practitioners collaboratively worked for this edition. Robert Zmud concluded his answer with one more statement which is worthy to mention. My advice thus, is to segment the adopter population, identify those communities with the highest potential for adoption, develop a targeted communication strategy, and then develop the relationships necessary to deliver the communication strategy. Hope this helps.

This answer really justifies why you are fortunate to read this book. Semantics are evident everywhere in every aspect of business, life, and society (Sheth, 2005)1. In this sense, “Semantic Web Services: Theory, Tools, and Applications” provides a critical step forward in the understanding of the state of the art of the Semantic Web.
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