Recently, the idea of semantic portals on the Web or on the intranet has gained popularity. Their key concern is to allow a community of users to present and share knowledge in a particular (set of) domain(s) via semantic methods. Thus, semantic portals aim at creating high-quality access - in contrast to methods like information retrieval or document clustering that do not exploit any semantic background knowledge at all. However, by way of this construction semantic portals may easily suffer from a typical knowledge management problem. Their initial value is low, because only little richly structured knowledge is available. Hence the motivation of its potential users to extend the knowledge pool is small, too. We here present SEAL-II, a methodology for semantic portals that extends its previous version, by providing a range of ontology-based means for hitting the soft spot between unstructured knowledge, which virtually comes for free, but which is of little use, and richly structured knowledge, which is expensive to gain, but of tremendous possible value. Thus, we give the portal builder tools and techniques in an overall framework to start the knowledge process at a semantic portal. SEAL-II takes advantage of the ontology in order to initiate the portal with knowledge, which is more usable than unstructured knowledge, but cheaper than richly structured knowledge.

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