Editor’s Introduction 9(2)

Vladimir Zwass
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 9, Number 2, Winter 2004-05, pp. 5.

The combination of Web services technology with the ontology-based Semantic Web promises to move us much further along the road leading to tighter electronic integration among enterprises. The two technologies are at disparate levels of maturity, and integration is an ever-elusive goal, yet very meaningful and significant progress has been made. The papers that the guest editors, Christoph Bussler, Dieter Fensel, and Norman M. Sadeh, have included in this Special Section on the Role of Semantic Web Services in Enterprise Application Integration and E-Commerce present several directions of this progress.

The Internet is a crucial vehicle of economic development. Taken for granted in the developed world, Internet diffusion is problematic in many countries aspiring to join this world. Amitava Dutta and Rahul Roy show how to model this diffusion, deploying the system dynamics (SD) methodology. Having ridden the rollercoaster of popularity, with the peaks and valleys largely determined by the uses to which it was being put, SD deserves a close look as a valuable simulation tool. Their paper shows this.

Aside from its more obvious contributions to human welfare, eBay has proven to be a laboratory for the exploration of auction regimes and bidder behavior. In their paper, Stephen S. Standifird, Matthew R. Roelofs, and Yvonne Durham analyze how buyer behavior is affected by the availability of fixed prices (“buy-it-now”) as an alternative to bidding. Once again, we can see how the auction experience is not just about buying at a good price. The study leads the authors to recommend that the Web sellers further enhance the hedonic aspects of e-tailing.

We welcome to the Editorial Board Christoph Bussler of the National University of Ireland and Michael Wellman of the University of Michigan, who have contributed in the past and will contribute in the future to the expansion of the Journal’s activities.