W3C Information Page
On January 13, 1998, the HTML Writers Guild joined the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The Guild is the first organization of web designers to join the consortium and thus gain a voice in the web standards that our members work with on a daily basis.
What is the W3C?
From the W3C site:
Why did the Guild Join the W3C?
The Guild's primary objectives and purposes is the reason for W3C participation:
The final item above is emphasized, because that is the basis for the Guild's participation in the World Wide Web Consortium -- our charter requires us to contribute to the development of technical standards and guidelines. Participation in the W3C is one of the primary ways we can do this.
Additionally, many of the other members of the Consortium are large corporations or research organizations; until now, there has been no voice for the lone web designer in the W3C. The Guild now provides a way for HWG members to contribute directly to shaping the future of the web.
So that means all HWG members are W3C members?
No, not exactly. The rules of the W3C state the following:
Thus, simply being a member of the Guild does not entitle you to full W3C membership benefits -- all 50,000+ HWG members don't get complete access to the Consortium.
So How Does It Work, Then?
Each member of the Consortium designates one individual to function as that member's Advisory Committee Representative. The Guild has adopted a policy by which the AC Rep is appointed by the President of the HWG, and serves a one year term.
The Guild's AC Rep is currently
The AC Rep is the interface between the Guild and the W3C. Official and unofficial communication to the Consortium must go through the AC Rep.
As a member of the Consortium, we can send representatives to various working groups and other committees in the W3C. These positions are only open to "plus" (paid) members within the Guild; the reason for this is that the dues for W3C membership cost actual money ($5000 per year), and thus only HWG members who have paid their dues may participate.
Guild representatives to W3C groups must possess the appropriate technical skills and knowledge to be able to make a meaningful contribution; these groups are hard work and a major commitment, not just a nice perk or feather for your cap. To be sent as a Guild representative, you must demonstrate your skill to, and be approved by, the AC Rep and the President of the Guild. In short: We will only send our best to W3C.
Now, that's not meaning to intimidate anyone, but rather to make it clear that there are actual requirements to participate beyond merely a desire to do so. You will be representing the Guild, and possibly be shaping the nature of the web for years to come -- it's important that we are certain you know what you are doing.
Okay, so the average person isn't going to be enough of a geek to be able to write XML standards -- how can the typical Guild member get involved?
The HWG-Plus-W3C Mailing List
The Guild has established a mailing list for all "plus" level members of the Guild who wish to discuss the issues raised by the W3C, and make their opinions known to the AC Rep and other Guild representatives who are working on the W3C's standards. This list is named hwg-plus-w3c.
The charter of the list is:
To join the list, please follow the instructions posted on the hwg-plus-w3c page at http://www.hwg.org/lists/hwg-plus-w3c/.
Current HWG Participation
The Guild is currently involved in the following working groups, interest groups, and workshops:
The official Governing Board motion detailing the Guild's policy regarding the W3C can be found at http://www.hwg.org/opcenter/w3c/policy.html.