We had a very interesting event yesterday evening in Brussels. It was organized by INIT, a IT company in Germany, that works for the EC-DIGIT-SEMIC.EU project. Title of the event was "Open Government in practice - tapping the potential of Linked Open Data". It was a small event, but among the 30 participants were at least 7 unit heads from DG INFSO. The speakers were the unit head of "access to information", the project officer for SEMIC.EI Vassilios Peristeras, Richard Cyganiak from Deri and I.
SEMIC.EU was focussing on shared metadata vocabularies, I was focussing on shared vocabularies in general, but used the event for a public Launch of AGROVOC LOD. There is not only excitement about AGROVOC LOD, there is also excitement about the VocBench as a vocabulary maintenance tool.
Richard Cyganiac agreed with us in focussing on vocabularies. This is important as the basic LOD - Philosophy is vocabulary blind: just publish and then link it. (see the 5 stars of TBL, which i published today at the "interoperability forum" - http://www.e-agriculture.org/en/forumtopics/question-4-will-open-13-april-what-actions-should-now-be-facilitated-ciard-task-forces)
Surprisingly for me, but very luckily, also Makx Deckers, DCMI CEO, was present. During the social event after the presentations I had a longer discussion with Vassilios and Makx how to strengthen initiatives on shared vocabularies. We came out with the idea to organize a workshop during DC 2011 in September, which is in Den Haag. The workshop would be organized commonly by EC (DIGIT-SEMIC.EU), FAO (OEK-AIMS) and DCMI. Vocabularies would be defined in a very broad sense including metadata vocabularies, entity vocabularies, subject vocabularies and what might be there more. This would be good to discuss some open questions and to make a strong statement in favor of linked open Vocabularies.