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Participants discuss on public-w3c-anniversaries@w3.org (archive).

2014: W3C Turns 20 and The Web Turns 25 Planning Task Force


Marilyn Siderwicz, W3C Staff


   Troy Allison, Intel 
   Manyoung Cho, W3Labs (Korea)
   Jesse Friedman, Google Marketing
   Ian Jacobs, W3C Staff
   Dillon Mann, The Web Foundation
   Karen Myers, W3C Staff
   Derek Slater, Google (PENDING)
   Amy van der Hiel, W3C Staff 

Goals of the Anniversary Task Force

Create a proposal to submit to W3M about ways to celebrate W3C and Web anniversaries. Proposal should include strategies and tactics, identification of partners, opportunities for funding, etc.

Deadline: May 31, 2013 (to be presented at the June AC Meeting Agenda in Tokyo, 10-June). Check-in meeting scheduled with CEO Jeff Jaffe on April 2013.

Here is the AC Meeting anniversaries presentation: https://www.w3.org/2013/Talks/ms-anniv-ac2013.pptx

Next proposal (to include specific recommendations, actions, budget) scheduled for W3M Woods Meeting at W3C in Cambridge, MA, July 18, 2013.

Goals of the Anniversaries Celebrations:

  • Raise visibility of One Web for All and of W3C's brand. (other orgs have their own org-specific goals too).
  • Invite the world to celebrate the Web (past/present, but mostly the Web's future impacts)


  • Celebrate the Web's 25th anniversary and W3C's 20th anniversary which both occur in 2014
    • Success measurements: increases in earned media/PR, improvements to social media tracking levels, wider funnel for W3C member pipeline.
  • Leverage the anniversaries to help strengthen W3C’s global brand and positioning (other members/ parters/ orgs will seek to do the same). Seek opportunities to educate (what the Web is, what role standards play in its development, importance of using the Web to create global connections, define 'stewardship', etc.)
    • Success measurements: use Salloway research as baseline benchmark and repeat research in 2015 to determine if progress has been made.
  • Help illustrate the Web's future potential and impacts (e.g. global connections, business operational efficiencies, transformation powers, etc.)
    • Success measurements: new partner opportunities like Coca-Cola that compound impact we could only accomplish alone.
  • Identify and secure new revenue sources (e.g. new W3C members, potential philanthropy, brand partners, etc.)
    • Success measurements: Quantitative upticks in members, revenues, etc.
  • Create calls to action (must define a campaign and what calls to action would be)

Target Markets:

  • Members and prospects
    • Technology (and Business) organization representatives
  • Developers
  • Staff
  • Youth? (special emphasis on ‘learn to code’ per TimBL’s recent messaging?)
  • Everyman (creating a general buzz; what is cost/benefit of reaching this market?)


  • Anniversary activities should be global, online, unified (across W3C and with The Web Foundation where possible).
  • Leverage social media for greater viral opportunities

(images, videos, tumblr, facebook, twitter)

  • Position as the world’s celebration…all the people who are participating take a bow and congratulate yourself on doing good/important work!
  • Arm our supporters to help spread the word for us.
    • E.g. Ask members to display anniversary logo on their websites
    • Stickers, t-shirts, site logos, site banners
  • Both "top down" and "bottom up" strategies were considered as marketing approaches. A bottom-up approach (e.g. leverage existing opportunities planned for 2014 and iterating to gain momentum and efficiencies) seems to be most realistic approach as of mid-2013 given no funding sources have been identified.

Open question mid-2013: Is it still possible/is there still time to develop a high profile "top down" campaign and ID sponsors?

2014 Calendar of existing activities


The task force discussed creating a web page/site to serve as a "guest book" where people can post their thoughts and best wishes (e.g. http://mitpress.mit.edu/50Years).


24May2013: Dillon suggests one web site (undecided who will host/manage), but that W3C and TWF should also have their own web pages that link to it.

20June2013: Ian mentions Karen implemented something similar for W3C's 10th anniversary. He asks the task force whether we shouldn't instead use tools where participants already are like Twitter or LinkedIn? (e.g. offer anniversaries #hashtags for posting sentiments)

Other potential tactics (financing TBD) include ads, PR (op/eds, announcements, etc.), events, online campaigns (marketing or philanthropic), crowdsourced 'something', global partnerships, contests, awards, messaging using public digital signage (NY Times Square and other global hubs), attention grabbers (e.g. MIT umbrella LED human exhibit), social media (blogs, tweets, YouTube videos, etc.), TV like CNN, BBCWorldNews, Big Bang Theory TBL guest appearance, 60 Minutes (US), hackathons, conference, editorial cartoons (e.g. France's Boulet Corp.), lightpost banners outside our host institutions, etc.

  • CERN is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2014. In April 2013, it began promoting 'the 20th anniversary of the Web' as it defines it. See the following info/links. NOTE: Tim Berners-Lee (TimBL) (through Dillon Mann at TWF) replied to Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, that Tim's definition of the Web's anniversary is different than CERN's (and his view is the anniversary year is 2014, not 2013). Tim also had an opportunity to update the US public in this NPR interview from 23May2013 that our view of Web anniversary is 1989 (celebrating Tim's memo which described the web) http://www.npr.org/2013/05/22/185788651/the-first-web-page-amazingly-is-lost

For our PR planning purposes, we should take note of news agencies that CERN spoke to: other news articles quoting CERN's 2013 Web anniversary date:




Unfortunately, this might make it more difficult for us to gain publicity about our celebrating the anniversary in 2014.

Calendar 2014:

All year: Year of the Horse in China; also first year of World War I anniversary


IntlCES, Las Vegas (Jan.)

Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain (Feb).

Winter Olympics, Sochi, Russia (AT&T, Coca-Cola among lead advertisers)

TED Conference (technology, entertainment, design conference for ideas worth spreading) NOTE: The Web Foundation in June2013 nominated TimBL/Web We Want Coalition for 2014 TED Prize.


WWW2014, So. Korea (May)

FIFA World Cup 2014 (soccer/football), Brazil (12-Jun). W3C has prospects at FOX in Latin America who has the media contract that could become Web ad partners. Can we imagine a campaign using the word 'Goal!' related to the Web...? UPDATE: Marilyn and Ian have July 10 phone call with Coca-Cola digital marketing director responsible for Coke FIFA sponsorship. What questions should we ask him?

W3C AC Meeting (TBD)


2014 Asian Games, So. Korea (19-Sept)



International Day of Persons with Disabilities, (9-Dec.?)

Also, Amy noted that each year,  September 22, One Web Day does a celebration with videos, tshirts, badges, etc. 
     (see their I <3 the Web image  UPDATE: Marilyn sees that this event was folded into Mozilla, but then discontinued.)

Alignment with The Web Foundation’s anniversary activities:

The Web Foundation (TWF) has multiple initiative underway to celebrate the Web at 25 Years.

A. TWF is working with other activists and organizations around the world to define a movement called "The Web We Want." (It is an offshoot of the United Nation’s campaign: The World We Want.) It includes:

“MY World is a United Nations global survey for citizens. Working with partners, we aim to capture people’s voices, priorities and views, so world leaders can be informed as they begin the process of defining the next set of global goals to end poverty.”

B. TWF also is partnering with a U.K.-based arts organization. They are looking to create an initiative in 2014 that celebrates the Web's role in the arts. Integrating W3C somehow in this initiative is desirable.

C. Other: including awards, contests, etc. are yet to be defined/determined. however, these may also represent W3C partner opportunities.

Note: The Web We Want is not TWF's theme for the anniversary. There was some confusion about this at W3C in early 2013; W3C was beginning to complement this theme with our own, "We Build...The Web Web Want." However, Dillon cleared up the misunderstanding. Instead, TWF is in the process of identifying an integrated marketing communications agency (will be identified when selected) with whom it intends to engage to produce a unifying strategy and a global theme for Web anniversary activities. Of course, W3C has an interest in these discussions as well. Marilyn updated the W3C MIT team at weekly all staff meeting on 7May. TimBL suggested the marketing agency interview W3C as part of its research. Dillon at WF confirms that we would be glad to have the agency do this. The Web We Want is the working title for the campaigning coalition TWF is convening, but it is not the overall theme for the 25th anniversary celebrations.

Approaches to consider:

  • After a mid-term update discussion Marilyn, Amy and Jeff Jaffe had in April, Jeff suggested we consider Tim's April team email (see Tim's full email text in last section of this site, "Background Information" and subsequent team thread talking about Open Licensing/One Open Web as a possible theme for the anniversary. Here's another link from Robin Berjon for more information. I think we, as a task force, need to decide if/how we might leverage this concept for the anniversary.


  • THIS APPROACH IS INCLUDED FOR REFERENCE BUT NOW HAS BEEN SUPER-CEDED BY DISCUSSION WITH JEFF (SEE ABOVE) Marilyn and Ian in March brainstormed what W3C would do with $ x USD as a budget for anniversary celebrations. We filled in $100k-$200k as an example. We proposed to focus activities on youth and partner with code.org, girlswhocode.com, or some other partner with whom we could leverage what's already underway. We estimated we would need the budget to create a special W3C/partner anniversary web page with a specific call to action. The budget would help cover design, executive, maintenance, including assets and human resources required. Here's another example of something along the same idea from Toyota:

  • Amy suggests other theme ideas including: "I love the Web" because people really do love the web. Is there a phrase to help personalize it? "Our Web", ("My Web" already TM)

Tim's quote: "The Web is humanity connected by technology" is a nice place to start considering for theme for this maybe)

  • For comparison, here's Mozilla's 15 Year Anniversary announcement.


Main Challenges:

  • Creating a concept and message that carries the same meaning and communicates clearly in multiple languages and different cultural contexts.

Funding Partner Opportunities:

  • Members companies...Marilyn and Ian emailed all W3C AC Reps to invite their marketing or philanthropic staff to get involved with anniversaries planning. Sample text to forward was included in the email invitation. UPDATE: 16-April, the email was sent but there was no follow up from the AC Reps. Lesson learned: the AC Reps don't appear to have relationships inside their companies/organizations beyond their technical departments.
  • W3C counsel Wendy Seltzer volunteered to reach out to acquaintance, Wikimedia Foundation Exec Dir Sue Gardner. Gardner is stepping down in 2013 to find other opportunities to support the Open Web. She brought strong philanthropic success to Wikipedia through the foundation. Unfortunately, Gardner did not respond to Wendy's email outreach.


Other potential task force members to recruit:

  • Sean Milliken, director of nonprofit strategy for eBay.

Interesting public/private partnership story from them here:


  • Google Director of Charitable Giving Jacqueline Fuller (Google Global Impact Awards); UPDATE June2013: big thank you to Jesse and Derek for representing Google on the task force!!!
  • SVP Chris Davey from Sapient Nitro (Recommended from friend who works there. Marilyn sent email on March 25 inviting Chris to MIT lunch someday to help start relationship. No response. Anyone have contacts at other digital marketing firms?)

Measuring Results from Anniversary Activities:

• Social media mentions

• New memberships

• New participation in BGs, CGs,

• Greater interest by vertical markets (TV, Auto, HC, Banking….)

• Greater internal cohesion among global staff

• More requests for W3C staff to speak at conferences

• Etc…..

Next Steps for Task Force members:

• Identify others who should/might join the task force

• Amy reached out to Paul Downey: [1] Paul Downey for visual images (see: The Web is Agreement, One World One Web

      also: would it be possible to ask: ITO World for video?  (They helped with Tim's second TED talk 

It would be cool to see the spread of the Web, time lapse and globally from CERN on one of their spinning globe visualizations)

• Determine process for collaboration

• Review/revise outline for proposal, esp. objectives, target markets, campaign theme, etc.

• Come to agreement on campaign theme

• Consider/ suggest appropriate scope of activities. Suggest ‘modular’ approach so can add or delete depending on resources secured.

Amy suggests: video participation (something like "Where the Hell is Matt?" - global, fun, collaborative but with our theme ("I love the web" or whatever phrase) and a site to which people from all over the world can submit and participate in the celebration of the Web)

• Identify resource funding opportunities

• Draft roles and responsibilities

Background information or other resources:

Below is Tim's email which mentions One Web as possible anniversary theme:

  • -----Original Message-----

From: Tim Berners-Lee [2] Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 4:23 PM To: W3C Team Cc: Judy Brewer; Jeff Jaffe; Philippe Le Hegaret Subject: One web, and what it takes and does not take


A lot of the recent discussion has been about forking, and I wanted to generalize that discussion a bit, and have a stab at the values which are driving it.

What is bad about forking? Well, when someone makes a spec like our but different that fragments the web.

Well, what do we mean? Here we assume

1. Someone make a copy of the spec 2. They change it in some way (modify, delete, insert) 3. They implement that spec instead

Then we have a lack of interoperability between them and others, and possibly a lack of features.

But the one web is damaged. The amount of interoperability on the net has gone down, there is damage. Working backwards:

- We want one web. (You quote a URI, I should be able to get the benefit of it whoever and wherever I am.)

- We know that to keep one web, we need interoperable programs/devices.

- We have found that the best way to get interoperable devices is to have just one spec and for everyone to implement it.

Now this failure mode 1 2 3 above is just one...lets call it A.

A) Someone makes a copy of the spec, changes it, implements that spec instead

A is in fact one of a bunch of failure modes for the larger system. The web can attacked broken in other ways:

B) Someone is designing a subsystem which could use HTML5 and they don't they use something different altogether like TeX or design something new

C) Someone builds an ebook reader which in fact has many bugs, doesn't implement it properly.

D) Someone starts circulating all kinds of documents which are in something a little like HTML5 but not, without writing any software.

E) Someone implements a extended features to the spec, but does not play nice with the WG

F) Someone claims to have a patent on the technology in the spec.

and so on. So basically there are all kinds of ways in which people and companies and organizations can play badly and potentially damage the web.

W3C's role is to stand up for the one web, and constantly promote an ethos in which these attacks are not acceptable. And we do. And we have things like the Open Stand about the sort of organization which we feel makes a good place to find consensus.

We do in fact like people thinking of new features. We do like them extending specs to long as they bring the new features to a consensus organization and get them into e relevant spec. And we think when it comes to consensus organizations we have one which is the best of breed, including good thinks like not being discriminatory in who we work with, in thinking about Internationalization and Accessibility, and appreciating people's creativity and peoples different way of working and communicating and solving problems, and so on.

So what I suggest we could do is take the energy around the forking license and direct it at this higher level set of values.

One observation is that for all the above, copyright just is not a good tool. It does stop you doing step (1) of (A) maybe, it is really discussing the wrong thing. Copyright is about making copies of documents. We do that all the time. To try to encode "don't break the one web" into the terms and conditions for copying is, I suggest, a bad fit.

And it alienates a whole bunch of potential collaborators who just won't work if their output is constrained by copyright.

We need to decouple the values that keep one web from the issue of the license. I'd like to see the companies who felt strongly against a forking license to re-target their energy onto One web values messaging (maybe using the 25th anniversary?), and let the license go open.

What do you all think? Do you think we can make the shift?


Notes from IanJ

Some messaging ideas:

  • Access to information as a right (accessibility)