[Draft] W3C Community and Business Groups Summary

Status: Obsolete. See the Live system and in particular the About pages.

In 2011, W3C plans to launch two exciting new ways to participate in W3C — Community Groups and Business Groups — for Web developers, W3C Members, end users, and other stakeholders to develop specifications, hold discussions, and meet around Web technology.

Community Groups

A W3C Community Group is an open forum, without fees, where Web developers and other stakeholders develop specifications, hold discussions, develop test suites, and connect with W3C's international community of Web experts. Community Groups are designed to promote innovation and to lower barriers to individual participation. These groups are:

How do you start a Community Group?

It's an easy two step process. First propose a topic you are passionate about. Next get support from (four) other parties. Once people have expressed their support, the group starts automatically with infrastructure and tooling, and enabling people to join. Community Group participants then benefit from collaborative tools provided by W3C, including wikis, spam-protected archived mailing lists, microblogs, issue tracking tools, version control systems, and more.

Unlike W3C Working Groups, Community Groups do not have W3C staff assigned as a "Team Contact" for each group. Team Contacts have technical expertise, experience building consensus, and neutrality that contribute to the standardization process.

Business Groups

A W3C Business Group gives innovators that want to have an impact on the development of the Web in the near-term a vendor-neutral forum for collaborating with industry leaders, including W3C Members and non-Members. These groups are a premium forum for businesses and other stakeholders to develop Web technology specific to an industry, to provide high-bandwidth input to the standards process, to organize around regional interests, and to otherwise meet to address business needs. W3C staff help ensure that Business Groups reach other groups of interest, promote group deliverables, and provide expertise needed to deploy high-quality Web technology.

Like Community Groups, Business Groups are open to all, quick to start, self-determined, without time limit, IPR balanced, and tuned for transition to standards-track. However, they differ from Community Groups in several ways:

Get Involved!

W3C welcomes you to get involved in W3C Community and Business Groups. If your community is already up and running but you are interested in connecting with the international W3C community, you can start up a Community or Business Group and still maintain your external tools, provided that communications are also archived by W3C for IPR reasons.

Community groups enable anyone to socialize their ideas for the Web at the W3C for possible future standardization. Business Groups provide companies anywhere in the world with access to the expertise and community needed to develop open Web technology. New W3C Working Groups can then build mature Web standards on top of best of the experimental work, and businesses and other organizations can make the most out of W3C's Open Web Platform in their domain of interest.

Questions? Contact Harry Halpin <hhalpin@w3.org> or Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>.
Learn more about ways to participate in W3C.
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