Up in the frozen wastes of the Northern British Columbia, we organized a hackathon. We based it on the ideas of open data and civic applications.
Our hardy hackathoners pulled together a number of excellent ideas but met with a constant and obtrusive barrier: that open data maybe open but with out some level of standardization its not actually very useful.
Now, no one said that data had to be 'useful', and perhaps if we want the technology utopia of real open data interoperability we will need to "build it" ourselves, but it is worth noting that talking the same language as our neighbours is generally awesome. Indeed, perhaps rather than swearing fealty to our technology overlords and just pressing the "publish document to open data platform" button, we could think about the commonwealth of data. The value of any data increases wildly with density and open data should be more valuable!
The cats? well you'll have to tune in for that bit.