Roles of W3C Offices

A W3C Office is a regional arm that helps recruit Members and promote W3C
technology. The primary roles of a W3C Office are to:

  1. Recruit stake-holders in the region by introducing them
    to W3C, developing relationships with local technology or policy leaders,
    and guiding organizations through the steps for joining W3C. The W3C
    Offices play an important role in maintaining W3C’s Membership base,
    which is fundamental to W3C’s operations.
  2. Provide support for existing W3C Members in the region.
  3. Provide feedback to W3C on regional issues (for example,
    in support of W3C’s Internationalization Activity).
  4. Promote the adoption of W3C Recommendations with a particular attention to the local languages and cultures.
  5. Initiate translations and help others translate W3C materials and promote
    their dissemination.

Background

W3C plays an increasingly important role in developing core Web standards.
To ensure that W3C continues to produce standards that meet the needs of the
global community, W3C must:

  • Broaden participation to include more stake-holders from around the
    World;
  • Increase the diversity of organizations that participate actively,
    including industry, research, implementers, and user communities;
  • Develop international education and outreach programs and raise awareness
    of W3C’s role;
  • Understand and satisfy the linguistic and cultural requirements of many
    different communities and gain a better understanding of the technological
    problems deriving from linguistic and structural differences

The Offices play a key role in helping W3C reach these goals.

Hosting Institutions

A W3C Office represents one or more countries or regions and is “hosted”
by an organization that is vendor-neutral. Each hosting institution of a W3C
Office has a contractual relationship with W3C. W3C uses the following criteria
when considering a host institution for an Office:

Vendor Neutrality
Like W3C itself, a W3C Office must be vendor neutral.
Typically, a W3C Office is hosted by a research center, a university
department, or a technology transfer institution.
Contributing W3C Members
The synergy between contributing to W3C work and promoting this work is
at the heart of the W3C Office concept. The institution has to have a
proven record with W3C technologies (as users and, we hope, as
contributors as well).
Established Network of Contacts
Effective promotion in a region relies on an established regional
network of contacts. These contacts should include research
institutions
, local industry, governmental bodies, and press.

Benefits to Host Institutions

Institutions that host a W3C Office benefit from the relationship in a
number of ways:

  • A W3C Office develop networks of contacts in the region that may also
    benefit the host institution;
  • The Office can increase the technical credibility of the hosting
    institution in, for example, applying for various research and development
    funds, grants, and industrial contacts;
  • The Office staff can help the host institution remain aware of W3C
    initiatives and opportunities for participation.
  • Being seen as the organization that is bringing the regions requirements to W3C and the Web.

It is the responsibility of the Office Manager and staff to maintain close
contacts within the host institution, to ensure the integration of the Office
into the host institution, and to communicate W3C news to the host institution.
In return, Office staff generally call on host institutions for local expertise
and for help in organizing tutorials and other events.

Starting a W3C Office

Launching and running a W3C Office involves a significant investment from
W3C and the host organization, in terms of time, money, and human resources.
W3C decides to set up an Office only after careful consideration. Two important
factors when considering to set up an Office are:

  • Contributions and Membership from the region do not live up to the
    region’s industrial and technological potential (current or anticipated);
  • Organizations in the region can offer unique input to W3C for example,
    for understanding issues of internationalization, or because companies in
    the region have a important presence in a sector of the industry

W3C creates an Office when the W3C Management approves a proposal from a qualifying host institution to the
Global Business Development Leader.  Before submitting this proposal the candidate organization should work with the appropriate Regional Business Development Lead to insure the proposal is consistent with the needs of the Region.

The Offices receive between 15% and 40% of the membership fees paid by W3C
members in their respective region/country during the first 3 years of the
membership (the exact amount depends on the date when the member joins W3C and the effort expended by the Office in the recruitment process.  The maximums are 40% for the first year, 20% for the second, and 15% for the third year).

Staffing a W3C Office

Each W3C Office has an “Office Manager” responsible for running the
Office. This manager is nominated by the host organization, and is approved by
the Global Business Development Leader of W3C. An Office operates with typically one full
time equivalent; often that time is divided up among several people. At least
one person in the staff should have a thorough understanding of the technical
work of W3C.

Starting in 2014 each Office has been placed into one of three categories.  Each category represents a different level of resource commitment and focus by the Office.  One of the parameters of a category is the commission rates that are achievable by the Office.  For a detailed description and / or discussion of these categories please contact the appropriate Regional Business Development Lead or the Global Business Development Leader.

Principal Activities of a W3C Office

A W3C Office develops and maintains local relationships in a number of
ways:

  • They nurture contacts with existing members in the region (e.g., by
    holding member only meetings, workshops), providing a forum for these W3C
    members to work together.
  • They recruit new Members in their region, ensuring representation at W3C
    by the local community.
  • They create and support local networks interested in W3C technologies,
    and organizing tutorials, courses, and general presentations (e.g., as
    stand-alone events or bound to a major national conference as, for example,
    an extra conference track or separate “W3C day”).
  • They sponsor and support local events where there is a focus on W3C
    topics; this can happen by contributing W3C related information (e.g., by
    providing a speaker, a conference track, participating in panels, running a
    booth, disseminating brochures) as well as by offering extra publicity to
    the event through the Office’s own channels. W3C Staff members and
    Working Group participants are encouraged to attend and speak at Offices
    events when they are in the region.
  • They provide information on W3C’s activity to the local community and
    are the first point of contact locally when it comes to addressing
    W3C-related technical questions and concerns.
  • They build privileged relationships with local authorities, government
    agencies, user groups, various local communities (e.g., disability groups)
    and local press (general and specialized), representing W3C’s position,
    and collecting and understanding local issues of interest to W3C.
  • There is some funding available from W3C to help offset the cost of these events.  This is the Office Fund and is managed by the Global Business Development Leader.  These funds are allocated twice a year via a process which involves the Offices submitting requests and a panel of W3C Staff and the Advisory Board reviewing the submissions.

Communications Channels

A W3C Office employs a number of communications mechanisms to carry out
their activities:

  • Each Office manages a Web site (following a common style), that lists the
    activities in the region, translations of W3C materials and press
    releases, local presentations, and includes staff contact information.
  • Each Office publishes a monthly newsletter, sent out to a local mailing
    list, including local new and the most important news of W3C in the past
    period, possibly translated to the local language.
  • The Offices produce promotional brochures and documents (printed and electronic) for use by the Office, and possibly by other Offices or the W3C Staff.
  • The Offices use W3C logos and other branding tools, including the logo for the
    local the Office.
  • The Offices support the W3C Communications Team, notably through the translation of W3C news and press releases, and by providing information about
    conferences and other regional events where W3C should be present.

While Offices maintain close contacts to their host institutions, they also
must ensure that they can represent W3C positions both in public presentations
and when speaking with the press.

A set of overview slides, presentation and promotional materials, etc, are at the disposal of the Offices. Offices use and translate these materials to use it in their own
presentations and work. Offices also actively improve and share these resources
with one another and with the core W3C Staff.

W3C Offices Meetings

All W3C Office managers participate in a monthly teleconference to discuss
current problems, tasks, etc. These phone conferences often include a short
overview on one of the W3C activities by a member of the W3C team. These
meetings are chaired by the Global Business Development Leader, who acts as a bridge
between the offices and the rest of the W3C Team.

Office managers are also expected to attend an annual face-to-face meeting
(traditionally held with the W3C Advisory Committee Meeting in the spring).
One of the usages of the W3C Office Fund is to help pay the costs of attending
this annual meeting.

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