Alex Piner, an evangelist and activist for a practical Semantic Web and organizer of the Santa Monica SemWeb Meetup group (lots of links there), will be visiting Palo Alto to meet with Marty Tenenbaum and Rohit Khare to present a new initiative co-sponsored by DERI: Semantically Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC):

SIOC provides methods for interconnecting discussion methods such as blogs, forums and mailing lists to each other. It consists of the SIOC ontology, an open-standard machine readable format for expressing the information contained both explicitly and implicitly in internet discussion methods, of SIOC metadata producers for a number of popular blogging platforms and content management systems, and of storage and browsing / searching systems for leveraging this SIOC data.

They’ve also got some nice 1-page summary pdfs, particularly for users and developers. It’s an innovative, community-focused effort by all accounts, and shares some of the ideals of microformats, as discussed in a blog post by John Breslin:

So, with this in mind and in terms of SIOC, I hope that we can use Microformats to help create closer interlinks between the objects that make up online communities – I’m talking mainly about posts, forums / blogs, communities and user profiles. I’m going to start with three or four things I want SIOC to do for Microformats and vice versa, and then we can go from there. These correspond to some of the links shown in my “connecting discussion clouds” picture.

Alex will be visiting Thursday afternoon, with a talk scheduled for the usual time of 4PM.