Social Interest Group Charter

The mission of the Social Interest Group, part of the Social Activity, is to co-ordinate messaging around social at the W3C and to formulate a broad strategy to enable social business and federation.

Join the Social Interest Group.

End date 31 December 2016
Confidentiality Proceedings are Public
Co-chairs Mark Crawford (SAP)
Team Contacts
Harry Halpin (FTE %: 10)
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Bi-weekly, with additional topic-specific calls may be held on as needed basis.
Face-to-face: Once a year at minimum, three times a year maximum. The Interest Group may meet during the W3C's annual Technical Plenary week; other additional F2F meetings may be scheduled as needed.


The Social Interest Group is a forum that can formulate and steer standardization in social across the W3C (both in Working Groups and Community Groups) and work in co-ordination with other standards bodies, as well as community-led efforts. For definitions of terms such as "social" and "activity", please see the W3C Social XG report A Standards-based, Open and Privacy-aware Social Web.


The interest group should harvest use-cases that produce concrete actions for social standards and review standards in light of those use-cases. In particular, there will be a focus on the discussion of requirements of social technologies that enable both a federated social web and social business. Federation includes the creation of distributed and decentralized social software. Social business is the use of such federated social software to help the development and delivery of competitive products and services. It is intended that the forum not only focus on the use of social technologies within the enterprise and other organizations, but also identify interoperability with user-facing social software.

The forum is intended to include businesses, users, designers, developers, equipment manufacturers, social platform vendors, browser vendors, network operators, advertising, and other relevant participants in the value chains that require social software.


Mandatory Deliverables

The group will deliver the following to fulfill its goals as an Interest Group Note, subject to discussion in the Interest Group:

Possible Deliverables

The group may propose additional standards work to the W3C, and may publish Interest Group Notes as needed. Examples of possible Interest Group Notes are:

The production of any Interest Group deliverables depends upon the resources available, and will change as new information, adoption, and implementation experience is reported to the group. As the deliverables are in general non-normative, they can be changed and maintained throughout the lifetime of the Interest Group to reflect the current landscape of social technologies. The group should work with other groups of experts to make sure issues of security, privacy, accessibility, and data protection are taken into consideration.

Dependencies and Liaisons


Social Web Working Group
To co-ordinate use-cases and vocabularies for the technical standardization work on social data, formats, and APIs, as well as on overall architecture.
HTML Working Group
To co-ordinate with any use-cases that may need to be addressed by HTML.
WebAppSec Working Group and Web Security Interest Group
To co-ordinate with any security requirements for use-cases or the social architecture.
Privacy Interest Group
To co-ordinate with any privacy and data protection requirements on the social web.
Protocols and Formats Working Group
To co-ordinate with any accessibility requirements for use-cases or the social architecture.
Web and Mobile Interest Group
Having the social web be easily usable by mobile is a priority for the Social Interest Group.
Federated Social Web Community Group
This work of this Community Group on the Federated Social Web provides a community-driven implementation experience and use-cases.
Social Business Community Group
This work of this Community Group provides social business experience and use-cases.

External Groups

The following is a tentative list of external bodies the Working Group should coordinate with:

ActivityStreams Community
The work of this grass-roots community effort created Activity Streams, an important social data format of the open social web.
Cloud Standards Customer Council
The Cloud Standards Customer Council is an end user advocacy group dedicated to accelerating cloud's successful adoption, and drilling down into the standards, security and interoperability issues surrounding the transition to the cloud.
IndieWebCamp Community
The IndieWebCamp grass-roots community has deployed and helped to develop a number of protocols and formats for federated social web related use-cases such as IndieAuth, Webmention, h-entry, h-card, h-cite, as well as design conventions for replies, web actions and other cross-site social user interfaces.
Internet Engineering Task Force
The IETF is responsible for defining robust and secure protocols for Internet functionality, and their work on the protocol layer is exceedingly important for social, as is their input on security aspects of the overall social architecture.
Open Mobile Alliance
OMA was formed by mobile operators, device and network suppliers, information technology companies and content and service providers to deliver open specifications for creating interoperable services like social networking on any bearer network.
OpenSocial Foundation
The OpenSocial API is an open API for the social web, and is particularly important for social business.
XMPP Foundation
The XMPP Foundation has done relevant work in the area of federation using XMPP for social.


Participation is open to W3C Members and invited experts. The Chairs are expected to contribute one to two days per week towards the group.

In order to make rapid progress, the group MAY form several task forces, each working on a separate topic. The group members may participate in one or more task forces.

The Chair may call meetings consistent with the W3C Process requirements for meetings.


This group conducts its substantive work exclusively on the public mailing list public-social-interest@w3.org (archive) for Interest Group discussion and encourages non-member contributions on that list. Administrative tasks may be conducted Member-only communications. Task forces may use separate public mailing lists to conduct their work.

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the Social Interest Group home page.

Patent Policy

The Social Interest Group provides an opportunity to share perspectives on the topic addressed by this charter. W3C reminds Interest Group participants of their obligation to comply with patent disclosure obligations as set out in Section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy. While the Interest Group does not produce Recommendation-track documents, when Interest Group participants review Recommendation-track specifications from Working Groups, the patent disclosure obligations do apply.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Social Interest Group has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Harry Halpin, <hhalpin@w3.org>, Team Contact
Mark Crawford (SAP), Chair