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Welcome to the Social Web Working Group (SocialWG) home page (!

The Social Web Working Group was active 2014-07-21 to 2018-02-13.

Please see the Social Web Incubator Community Group for current and future activity.

Social Web Working Group

Photo of the W3C Social Web Working Group taken at Face to Face Meeting, 2016-03-16 at MIT.
Chairs for the duration
Tantek Çelik (Mozilla)
Evan Prodromou (e14N)
Staff Contacts during and at close
Amy Guy (W3C/University of Edinburgh)
Sandro Hawke (W3C/MIT)


Specifications that the Social Web WG has produced.

Some use cases have been addressed by multiple specifications that provide alternative approaches, so trying to figure out what's what can be a bit confusing. Social Web Protocols, an overview of these protocols, should help with this.



Specification Related

  • List of github aliases of Social Web WG contributors: Socialwg/Github
  • Resolutions - e.g. to accept & publish drafts, for controversial issues, etc.


The Working Group welcomes participation from everyone. We currently use IRC, email, telcons, and face-to-face meetings for discussion. You have to be a WG member to attend telcons and F2F meetings, but anyone is free to observe these on IRC!

Extensions to Working Group specs are done in the Social Web Incubator Community Group (SocialCG), which is open for anyone to join as a member.


The working group used IRC.

If you prefer XMPP, AJ runs an unofficial bridge at You can join that room and anything you say will be sent to IRC (and vice-versa).

The IRC channel is logged on the publicly-visible URL above. You can bookmark the URL and it will redirect to the current day.


We had mailing lists for informal discussions for those that like email.

Dedicated to Social Web Working Group discussions. Deactivated.

Past Meetings


To document proposals, ideas, even specifications that are social web related, please create pages for them on this wiki and add a link to them from here.


You may preface your page names with "socialwg/" if you pick a particularly generic name and/or wish to indicate the scope in the name.


Many "socialwg/" pages were stubs or partial work often only by 1-2 people that did not make it into any specs. See Socialwg/Abandoned for such pages (and move any there that you find), e.g. Glossary.

review remaining links after this point for whether to move to Socialwg/Abandoned

Use Cases

So far WG adopted only one use case from previous work in this field: SWAT0


Social Data Syntax

Social Vocabulary

Main effort moved to Task Force in Interest Group - Socialig/Vocabulary_TF

Social API

API research

API candidates


Federation candidates

Inputs Into SocialWG

Inputs into SocialWG, including specs from External Groups explicitly listed in the Charter.

Activity Streams

Main article: Activity Streams

See #Specifications at the top of this page for Activity Streams editor's drafts, issues, and github repo links.


Adopted into the group (see [#Specifications]] at the top of this page)

Normatively referenced:

Informatively referenced:


Dependent Work

Work we don't expect to accomplish as part of this charter but which we need to keep in mind while making decisions about the architecture. This includes both work that is already partly defined, and work that isn't but falls outside of our charter.


Documentation which is abstract (i.e. lacking documented real world use-cases).

There are likely additional documents above that need to be moved here.




The Social Web Working Group workmode is roughly as follows, and may be iterated based on group experience:

  • GitHub - for all specifications and technical issues
  • #Discussion - use IRC, telcons, email for discussion only
  • #Documentation - capture proposals and conclusions here on the wiki


resolutions will be highlighted in minutes, and people not at meeting can bring up their concerns within the following week


A rough schedule for the work of the WG, originally based on Social Web WG Charter Milestones.

Social data syntax

  • Review: Jul-Sep 2014
  • Commit: Oct 2014
  • First public working drafts: AS2 Oct 2014 (and PTD Jul 2016)
  • LC: likely late 2015/early 2016 (charter v1 said Q3 2015)
  • CR: Q3 2016 (charter v1 said Q4 2015)
  • Test Suite Feature Complete:
  • 2016-12-31 Original charter period ended, charter extended til 2017-06-30
  • PR: likely Feb 2017 (charter v1 said Q2 2016)
  • REC: May 2017 (charter v1 said Q3 2016)

Social API

  • Review: Nov 2014 - ongoing (original review end date was Mar 2015)
  • Commit: Dec 2015 decided to develop both Micropub and ActivityPub as Working Drafts
  • First public working drafts: Jan 2016 (charter v1 said Q3 2014)
  • LC: Q2/Q3 2016 (charter v1 said Q3 2015)
  • CR: Q3/Q4 2016 (charter v1 said Q4 2015)
  • Test Suite (Micropub) : 2016-10-18 test suite feature complete
  • 2016-12-31 Original charter period ended, charter extended til 2017-06-30
  • PR: Micropub April 2017 (charter v1 said Q2 2016)
  • REC: Micropub May 2017 (charter v1 said Q3 2016)
  • Test Suite (ActivityPub)
  • 2017-06-30 charter extension ends, awaiting second charter extension AC vote
  • PR: ActivityPub ??
  • REC: ActivityPub ??

Federation protocol

  • Review: completed with three approaches
  • Commit: Webmention, ActivityPub server to server (see above for links), LDN
    • Dec 2015 decided to start with Webmention
  • First public working draft: Jan, Jul, Oct 2016 (charter v1 was Q4 2014, then Aug 2015)
  • LC: Q2 2016 (charter v1 said Q4 2015)
  • CR: Q2&Q4 2016 (charter v1 said Q2 2016)
  • Test Suite Feature Complete:
  • PR: Q4 2016 (charter v1 said Q3 2016)
  • 2016-12-31 Original charter period ended, charter extended til 2017-06-30
  • REC: (charter v1 said Q4 2016)
    • Webmention January 2017
    • LDN May 2017


Related Organizations

The Social Web Working Group actively coordinates with several other groups, organizations, and communities.

per our charter:


External Groups

Additional Active Coordination

In addition to the above, the working group has been actively coordinating with:


and previously (2014?) Socialig/Liaison_TF did some early coordination.

All Social Web Related CGs

Current incubation CG:

The following CGs either incubated drafts which the working group took on, previously worked on or otherwise contributed in-charter-scope materials/ideas to the working group, and are planned for closure and incorporation into SWICG as of 2016-12-31 per the 2016-09 f2f at TPAC2016.

Other Misc Groups

Other groups that were previously listed here but either nothing that was incoporated into anything in the working group, or orthogonal building blocks (could likely trim this section or move to a separate page)

Invited Expert Approval

To be approved as an invited expert, one or more of the chairs and/or W3C staff contact and/or their management have to vouch for you. They likely have different criteria for vouching, and may or may not document (all of) their criteria publicly. E.g. chairs & staff contacts:


Tantek Çelik:

  • For me, an expert on the social web MUST be actively publishing social content on their own website. Merely sharecropping on silos or contributing to open source projects only makes you a hobbyist, not an "expert". -Tantek


Evan Prodromou

  • For me, an invited expert should be implementing social software, or represent a company implementing social software.


Please add questions which have been answered in IRC by the chairs here:

  • ...

Am I Relevant To This WG

Note: Social Web WG has been closed. See the Social Web Incubator CG.

Q: Am I important or relevant to this working group?

A: Do you:

  • implement social web technologies?
  • or publish social content on a website you control? (social content, from you to others, regarding yourself and/or others, blogrolls (e.g. using XFN for social relationships, e.g. examples of sites using XFN)

Or both? In either case, the working group can use your input relating to your personal experience with doing so.

What is the role of the WG IG CG

Note: Social IG has been closed. Federated Social Web CG is being transitioned to Social Web Incubator CG.

Q: We should clarifiy the role of Social Web WG & IG and Federated Social Web CG?

A: Community groups are free form, can produce documents but binding only to members of that community group. Working groups are in charge of producing actual specifications and have set time to deliver.[1] The Social Web Working Group (WG) has a charter with fairly specific deliverables (syntax, API, protocol) that it is focusing on. The Social Web Interest Group also had a charter which is focused on the research and documentation of social web use-cases.


Some background and past of the working group.

Previous W3C Groups





2015 unofficial social media

Unofficial social media created by former working group participants:

Facebook group (UNOFFICIAL, run by WG participant elf Pavlik)
Twitter account (UNOFFICIAL, was run by Erik Wilde, WG participant til 2015-07-07)
  • Anyone have contact info for Erik? Can you get the keys to @SocialWebWG and send them to to chairs? - Tantek Çelik (talk)


  • SocialIG - started in 2013, closed in 2016.

Past Work Items

Past work items that the working group has dropped:

Home Page To Do

To Do for our group home page in particular.

Problem: "It's kind of overwhelming" (aaronpk, IRC 2016-04-19)

Goal: smaller, simpler, shorter page that you could send to someone not in the group, to let them know what the group is doing

Some tasks:

  • "Documentation" section - most of that should be moved to a Socialwg/research page - it's background for work that we're doing
    • the red links in Documentation should just be deleted
    • some stuff like the Use Cases and Inputs Into SocialWG should be separated out
  • "Related Organizations" could be moved to a subpage
  • "Invited Expert Application" and "FAQ" could also be moved to subpages

See Also