Before getting started, check the list of current groups to see if people are already discussing your topic. You can join their group, or propose your own if you think your work will not overlap.
The W3C Forum is available to anyone to start a discussion within the W3C community about ideas for new work or a new Community Group or Business Group. Through this venue you can share your ideas and find others to work with you.
Propose a group with a title and short summary. The description should provide enough information that will help people decide whether to join, such as a brief statement of the group's mission, goals, and deliverables. Please state clearly whether the group will create specifications.
Get four more people (or, for Business Groups, organizations) to support the group by pushing a button to show their support. The button is available on the list of proposed groups but you must be logged in to see it. If you have already shown support for the group, the button is no longer available.
W3C then launches the group and people can join, which involves agreeing to process
and licensing terms. W3C Membership is not required to join a Community or Business Group.
There is no fee to join a Community Group but there
are fees for non-Members to join a Business Group.
Some Community and Business Groups publish reports. Each group must have a Chair, and the Chair is empowered to publish the group's reports. Publishing a report announces it to the community, lists it on the group's home page, and adds to the list of all reports.
Reports must satisfy a small number of requirements. Participants make Royalty-Free patent licensing commitments to specifications published by Community and Business Groups, and the material is available under a permissive copyright license.
Once a group has completed its work, it can publish a final report and call for stronger patent licensing commitments under the Final Specification Agreement.
Community and Business Group Reports are not yet W3C Standards. Some groups may wish for their work to continue on the W3C Recommendation Track, the Process by which W3C charters Working Groups to develop Web standards. There are several advantages to advancing work to the Recommendation Track, including building stronger global consensus; systematic reviews for security, privacy, accessibility, and internationalization; a strong commitment from W3C to pursue broad interoperability, and additional W3C resources dedicated to advancing the work.
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.
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 like-minded stakeholders, including W3C Members and non-Members.