W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webizen@w3.org > October 2014

Consolidated results of the public Webizen survey

From: Coralie Mercier <coralie@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 02 Oct 2014 18:44:10 +0200
To: public-webizen@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.xm33fwycsvvqwp@sith.local>
Hi Webizen task force,

Further to the quick overview I sent to the public list of the task force

... here are the consolidated results.

We received a total of 205 answers (a team member did sneak in their  

WBS: 181 answers have been received.
This questionnaire was open from 2014-09-10 to 2014-09-30 (21 days)

Typeform: 24 answers.
Open between Sat. 2014-09-27 and Tue. 2014-09-30 (4 days)

Q1: Should W3C reach out to the broader Web community to create such a  
program for increased affiliation?

Yes: 195
  No:  10

Q2: Would you be interested in joining this program?
Show me where to sign up :)........ 87
Probably........................... 62
Depends on benefits................ 26
I'd need time to think about it.... 21
No.................................  9

Q3: Should the program be designed as a minimalist program (point A)?
Point A: The minimalist extreme asserts that there does not need to be any  
initial set of benefits, just provide a virtual identity and people who  
want a greater affiliation with W3C will sign up.

Yes, any tangible benefits diminishes the program....  17
It should start minimalist........................... 119
No.................................................... 47
I don't know.......................................... 22

Q4: Should there be benefits that increase W3C posture as a community  
(point B)?
Point B: Some have argued that there should at least be benefits which  
help make W3C more into a "community".

Yes..................... 133
No......................   7
Not important to me.....  65

Q5: If you answered yes to the previous question, which of the following  
would be interesting?

Ranked from most to least popular:

Name listed on our Supporters page (with # years)...... 99
Listing your profile on the W3C website................ 93
Teleconference organized once annually by the CEO...... 93
"participation points" for every spec reviewed......... 82
Voice in a Community blog linked from W3C blog......... 78
A unique ID number (associated with this program)...... 69
A two-hour welcoming session to explain how W3C works.. 68
A "flourish" next to name in list of participants...... 45

Q6: Should there be tangible benefits to this program (point C)?
Point C: Others have argued that people should get tangible benefits with  
monetary value.

Yes..................... 55
No.....................  51
Not important to me..... 99

Q7: If you answered yes to the previous question, which of the following  
would be interesting?

Ranked from most to least popular:

Discounts of W3C services........ 90
Annual T-shirt................... 63
Stickers, mug, other 'goodies'... 60
Participation T-shirt design..... 30

Q8: Should there be a mechanism where Webizens are represented at the  
decision making of W3C (point D)?
Point D: Still others have argued that this should be more than  
"affiliation", that people that sign up for this program should get some  
benefits reserved for Members of W3C.

Yes..................... 121
No.....................   40
Not important to me...... 44

Q9: If you answered yes to the previous question, would the creation of  
different Developer Groups under the Webizen banner - to provide AC  
Charter review be an adequate form of representation?

yes.. 102
no...  39
(64 responses didn't contain an answer to this question)

Q10: Should we name this program the Webizen program?

That's the perfect name...........  37
Not great, but good enough........ 102
No, please choose a better name...  64

Suggested names:
* netizen
* W3C individual member
* Defender of the Web
* Protector of the Web
* W3C Developer
* W3C Individual Participant
* W3C Reviewer (if reviewing specs is the focus)
* webfolk
* W3C associate member
* W3 Professional
* Community forum
* Domain Expert Advisors
* Friends of the W3C
* Digital Citizen <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_citizen>
* Vox Populi <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vox_populi>
* W3C Affiliate Program
* W3C Community Program
* W3C Affiliation
* W3CSupport
* W3C Members
* W3Citizens
* W3C Individual Participants
* Webbies
* Plebians
* webgarden
* Developer voice
* Developer Voices|Members|Participants
* Developer Advocates
* W3C Community Supporter
* W3C Champion
* Native of the Web
* Web Resident
* Webineer (Play on web pioneer)
* Open Web Supporter
* Net Community
* W3C Stewards
* WebStweard
* Webfluence
* The W3C Contributors' program
* Web Masters (Guild?)
* WebMatters
* WebPlatform
* WebPlayform Specs

Longer comment on Webizen naming:

* Just make it a level of "membership". If people are paying money,  
they're members. They may not have the same level of membership as a  
company but if you take money that's what it is.
eg. "Developer member"

* Something with terms like advise, think tank or soundboard. What i  
gather is the meaning of the group. 'Webizen' is the name of the target  
audience, ie not descriptive. Better to give it a name relating to the  
function, in which the added value of the group sounds.

* If you are going to collect money from people, please frame it as a  
personal Membership with some kind of light version of Member benefits.

* For Japanese people, Webizen sounds and looks like Wabizen. Wabi and zen  
are both Japanese traditional concepts: Wabi is the central concept of  
Haiku poem and zen is, of course, an important Buddhist philosophy in  
Wabi alone is good. Zen alone is also good. But if you put wabi and zen  
together, it sounds really weird to at least educated people in Japan.

* why do you folks insist on drawing a distinction between "the web" and  
the Internet?! there's already a perfectly good term: netizen.

Q11: What are your own perspective on this program and ideas you may have?

I found 3 negative comments.

[I have not copied comments which were only  general encouragement.
  In some cases, I've shortened the comments or paraphrased.
  In most cases I've copied the entire comment.
  When I thought it was relevant, I pre-pended between brackets
   the capacity of the commenter.]

* It is unclear to me if $100 is too little to ask. Every extra dollar (or  
appropriate local currency) helps W3C, so setting this value correctly is  
important. I strongly suggest asking MIT experimental economists how to  
price this correctly.

* If the W3C "doors are opened" to a wider community, having educational  
materials about how the W3C works (as a *community*, wrt. etiquette, etc.)  
would be *very* important. I would almost make it "mandatory reading".

* Any benefit (other than cheap swag) should be awarded on merit such as  
level of participation, leadership, awareness, activity driving etc.

* Watch out for companies who could sponsor, say, 100 individual  
participants and thereby influence decisions unfairly.

* The oligarchy of developers is a bad thing, not a good thing. So we  
should not reach out to developers but to all people concerned by or about  
the Web.

* Larger choice of goodies might appeal to a larger audience.

* The process for commenting on public documents (for non-Members and  
non-IE) is not clearly documented, overly complicated, and doesn't always  
work. There is no current strong mechanism for getting those insights to  
the appropriate Working Groups. It's not about privileging people who pay  
money to the W3C, it's about the expertise of people outside of that  
structure which is currently DENIED to the W3C.

* The more participation that the W3 can encourage the better. I think the  
benefits far outweigh any concerns.

* Tangible benefits, such as t-shirts and such, should be made available  
as options for people to buy separately. Similarly, donations/fees might  
be a separate concern. Solidarity and identity with W3C, and feedback into  
the technical and priority agendas, should be separate from any financial  
transactions or goods.

* It would be nice if we didn't have to have commercial/corporate  
sponsorship in order to have a useful voice in the proceedings. Something  
more along the lines of the IETF.

* Webizens can be treated as another advisory group, but one that does not  
gain the right to join working groups or vote to move standards along the  
recommenation track. They would be consulted for questions such as  
determining which topics to include in the yearly headlights initiatives,  
discovering new issues that the W3C should address, and guiding policy for  
invited experts. I see no particular value in breaking them into smaller  
groups (front-end developers, accessibility enthusiasts, etc.--I think I  
would fit in all the groups suggested). We should use the power of the web  
to enable a directly democratic advisory body that is "for everyone".

* Being able to actively participate as an independent individual to W3C  

* Having a voice in changing specs as well as asking for help to implement  

* Developers that have demonstrably implemented a draft specification  
should have a platform to voice their opinions in a way that affects W3C  

* You could introduce the concept of levels of membership, where one is  
free or nearly so, and others cost increasingly more but give more  
benefits. I have always been interested in "joining" the W3C but not as a  
corporation. If there were a way to do that, I think that I and some other  
people who are habitual invited experts would be interested.

* Given that I *can* participate w/o any Member affiliation today (even  
though I am affiliated at the moment, I'm thinking ahead to "life after X"  
when I'll have more time to give back), what is w3c expecting from me to  
justify the title "webizen"? If you expect nothing but give out benefits,  
we know where that dynamic goes. You need to have some non-zero  
expectation on webizens articulated to separate the populations; that may  
in turn feed back into how you process the responses.

* I think some way of allowing more people who care about the web to  
become involved can only be a good thing.

* A common perspective seems to be that W3C is essential, but is out of  
touch with needs of modern development due mostly to its small tight nit  
community with a high barrier to entry.

* Excellent idea. There don't need to be many benefits, just the ability  
for very keen supporters of W3C to get official recognition and feel a  
sense of inclusion.

* Most of the academic people are used to register annually to "scientific  
societies" such as IEEE, ACM, etc. Those individual annual membership fees  
are generally paid by the employer. I would suggest that W3C should be  
considered and recognized as a scientific society and I would bet that  
this would trigger a very large number of new individual members from  

* [from an AC rep] Some thoughts:

W3C absolutely needs a place for developers to be heard directly by W3C  
and to give them insight into the W3C process, but I really don't think  
"Webizen" is a good name. Is there anyone in the AC who has connections to  
corporate advertising/marketing droids? What about someone like David  
Ezell? Daniel Jaffe? Rachel Thomas?

Question 5/Point "A": I'm ambivalent about this. Giving access to W3C with  
a chance to observe and possibly influence what we do seems like a good  
place to start. Throw in a coffee mug and a "flourish" and you have a  
deal. But when you start talking about "Member-like" benefits you're  
inviting a fight about diluted Member status (and like every AC rep I have  
an annual brawl with Management when justifying our dues and then getting  
them paid).

Questions 6-9/Points "B" and "C": Nominal Webizen membership dues should  
be mandatory (maybe in the $50-$100 range), primarily because we're  
fishing for dedicated professionals with good opinions, not people who  
collect stickers, mugs, or T-shirts (but I think having tangibles is an  
absolute requirement here). W3C will have to charge something for the swag  
in any case. People don't value things they don't pay for and a $50 or  
$100 coffee mug counts as a status symbol of sorts. One problem with swag  
is that W3C needs to avoid getting tangled up in the details of operating  
a storefront, which means hiring a vendor to handle it (another reason for  
annual dues).

Questions 10-12/Point "D": I don't see any reason to dilute Member  
benefits in the name of supporting "affiliations" -- I believe that all we  
need to set up at this time is a forum where independent and small-company  
developers can make themselves collectively heard and thereby influence  
the course of W3C standards development.

* Increasing engagement and making the participation process more  
democratic to those who haven't yet progressed to Invited Expert or full  
Member stage would hopefully help transition folks to get more involved to  
shape the future.

* I would like to participate in this program in order to see progress in  
accessibility technologies and, if possible, to give my ideas and testing  
efforts to make web accessibility better for the users.

* Grassroots input for all users.

* I don't think that AC charter review is what developers are looking for.  
The developers I know want to publicly support W3C (and be recognized for  
that), and be taken seriously when they comment on a list or spec.

* My interest would depend on participating in areas that directly affect  
my work, and also for support from my employer. E.g. it would be tough to  
do a lot of W3C work strictly on my own time. Hence, some form of publicly  
visible recognition of participation that shows my employer in a positive  
light would be desirable.

* Great idea but make sure folks get to use a frontend for participation  
which stems from this era.  The [public-vocabs] means to communicate make  
communication and adding referrals a tedious business. [also] When can  
multiple people finally work together on a document in real-time?

* Maybe you should think of an incremental fee, and the more someone is  
willing to pay for, the more of these perks he or she might get. Because  
ultimately, I'd hope that this would be another way to crowdfund in part  
W3C activities... so I wouldn't want the vast majority of the money to go  
up in smoke in goodies and such. I'd want the W3C to be able to benefit  
 from it.

* Cut drastically the membership fees.

* The Unicode Consortium has Individual Membership. You might want to look  
at that.

* [from a W3C Invited Expert] There are a number of us independent  
researchers and developers that can and will provide expert opinions as  
well as practical development experience. However, 'paying' large  
membership fees and then adding in to that donating our time is just not  
economically viable. A smaller fee as mentioned above along with the  
ability to provide input and vote can move the W3C in a positive direction.

* You talk about groups of developers, but what about all the rest of us.  
Designers of all kinds, writers, authors, small business owners... and  
even users.

Too many of the W3C standards that affect the user experience are created  
without the input of either experts in UX or those on whom the results of  
the new standards will be inflicted.

Imagine if real forms designers had been part of the (awful) forms code.  
Or content specialists & art directors considered in writing the  
figure/img tags. So many problems could have been avoided!

* As question 11 suggests, some highly relevant perspectives are not  
necessarily well-represented. An approach that meaningfully involves these  
groups would be a big step in the right direction, provided that  
expectations were appropriately managed.

* "Non-members" can contribute to any work currently under development. If  
their suggestions have merit, I rather doubt their lack of membership is  
going to impact acceptance of their suggestions.

Rather than emphasizing the "member" versus "non-member" distinction, I  
would create a "voting member" and "working member" categories, with  
different membership requirements. "Voting members" would carry on as they  
are presently and vote on the administrative aspects of the W3C. "Working  
members" who consist of employees of "voting members," "invited experts,"  
and "working members" who meet some criteria for interest in and expertise  
at a particular specification activity. Like an "invited expert" but  
without heavy weight machinery.

Emphasis on the different concerns of different classes of membership  
would go a long way to not creating a feeling of second class citizenship.  
Or at least it would minimize it more than the "in your face" type  
approach that appears to be the present position.

Being able to participate in teleconferences for example, should be  
sufficient for most working members. After all, if you have to win votes  
for a technical position, you haven't been very persuasive in presenting  
your position.

* Openness is key. Individuals able to help is key. And definitely cut  
down on barriers to entry from disadvantaged people.

* It should be very minimalist and cost nothing to affiliates. But W3C  
could user their voice on community blogs and inputs to gather expertise  
of community members interested in helping nut with no money to  

Being minimalist and only providing a badge of support helps to spread  
awareness of W3C through the "W3C Affiliation Program" and maybe if some  
affiliate could bring new paid members to W3C they could be rewarded with  
a (limited?) membership as well.

* I would probably participate, however only for free.

* [from a former Team member] This sounds like a great idea, it could  
harness energy and increase participation from a great many people. This  
would increase the quantifiable support for W3C specifications as well as  
potentially spread the enormous workload that is undertaken by W3C Team,  
members and their representatives.

* [from a W3C Office staff member] You could consider having multiple  
fees, like you get also a t-shirt if you pay more, you get a vote and  
access to conferences if you pay even more. With that poor people could  
also participate and you get extra money from those who have.

* [from an AC Rep] Some have argued that a webizen with some kind of  
representation in decision making would diminish the value of full w3c  
membership (especially relevant for full members). I think this is not  
true or at any rate this could be mitigated in various ways. The key value  
of this program is to get more developer community involvement and  
participation in w3c and to increase the transparency of w3c decision  
making processes and governance. This is important because the w3c plays a  
stewardship role of the "commons" of the web - a role which is held in  
trust of the larger community of developers, implementers and web users,  
not only of w3c members. In my view the W3C needs to expand its definition  
of its stakeholder group to include this wider community if it wants to  
retain its position as a steward of the web for the long term.

* [from a W3C Invited Expert] Introducing a "second class citizens"  
membership grade and throwing a load of W3C-branded tat and a token  
farcical accountability-theatre phone call at the masses is completely  
missing the point, in my view.

The W3C needs open participation, not separate developer groups.

This effort would be better directed at enforcing a participation policy,  
and using it to kick out the toxic W3C time-servers who behave so  
appallingly they drive everyone else away. Obviously this would be  
difficult as many of them are in charge. Mainly because they've driven  
everyone else away. So recognising and addressing this problem would be  
one way of improving participation.

Regarding the ideas in this survey, it's hard to imagine a better way of  
highlighting the chasm the W3C still has to cross. An invitation to an  
annual teleconference organised by the CEO - was this suggested by the  
CEO? I can't imagine how anyone else would view this as something worth  
joining for.

Anyway I may well be completely wrong, and it may well be the case that a  
slight increase in carefully-circumscribed participation from people who  
derive satisfaction from having a flourish next to their name and taking  
part in t-shirt design competitions is exactly what the W3C needs, so feel  
free to ignore me.

* It sounds like a great idea to engage those of us that have an interest  
the work of the W3C but for whatever reason felt Membership was too big of  
a step.

* W3C Members largely seem to be corporate implementers instead of  
developers and independent Open Source implementers (like myself),  
developers/authors of which are supposed to be higher in the priority of  
constituencies. Of course, first you need implementations, and gathering  
implementer support around W3C Recommendations at all is the top priority.  
Letting implementers know that there exists a demand by developers for  
compliant implementations, clearly and loudly, seems to be the highest  
I'm fond of Web Platform Docs as another way of connecting with developers.

* Many of these questions lead down a predetermined path. If devs STILL  
feel like their input isn't being taken seriously, the program will do far  
more damage than good.

A problem the W3C has is the lack of actual  
authors/implementers/developers involved in the process. We are told there  
are community groups and email lists where you can discuss things... but  
there are two problems: signing up and posting is one of the most  
difficult and confusing processes I've ever encountered and most people  
probably give up; and secondly it's clear that we can have all the  
opinions we like but for many Working Groups we're shouting into the void.  
With others you're better off commenting on bug reports.

I'm not sure $100-level membership solves these issues.
This whole idea could probably be avoided by providing a mid-range  
membership option for companies. [...]

Anyway. One method that could work for the $100 level membership: let  
people vote on questions with their membership. That vote does not  
determine the decision but the data could be used by the WG.

Use the money to make email list signup process actually easy; or perhaps  
use a Stack Overflow style Q&A instead of email lists with obscure archive  
formats. Let people upvote and downvote answers or suggestions.

* I don't like the idea of gamification like used on SO etc, that promotes  
devs with a lot of time on their hands just to put quantity in to get  
virtual points or whatever.

I think it should be clearer and easier (at least for people that have  
shown talent and are members of a web dev community) to become an invited  
expert. I wouldn't like the floodgates to open, where every man and his  
dog is a member of a Working Group, like the HTML working group, as that  
devalues the people that are a real invited expert that is doing actual  
work, rather than just listing their name to make themselves look good.

Maybe getting some official representation from existing (or new?)  
communities in a working group would be a good idea, maybe where a "chair"  
or some such elected by that community gets to be in a working group (or x  
number of people from that community.) I'm not sure if we have many  
official communities like that though. It is usually more unofficial  
communities on things like Twitter. There are a few like Web Standards  
Group (if that still exists) and Frontiers in Holland.

* [from an AC rep] Benefits should be of a non-tangible form "strictu  
sensu" - i.e. not a *thing* that you can put in your hand. Simply because  
the cost of managing such things is relatively high, and the benefit to  
people who get them relatively low.

Discounts on services is a real benefit to some, irrelevant to others, but  
presumably not costly to manage, and therefore worth sharing. Discounts on  
W3C services especially so, since it makes them even more competitive with  
other services in the market (although it invites more of my "stop  
claiming to be vendor-neutral when you actually compete with some of your  
members" ranting).

Participation points for spec reviews is IMHO a bad idea. We want  
thoughtful careful review, and getting random comments to show that  
somebody did the minimum to get a badge provides a mismatch of motives,  
which may well be to the detriment of the Working Group making the spec.  
IMHO it is far more important to protect the Working Group than to  
motivate webizens.

* As a former representative to the W3C on behalf of a member (US-based  
company), I'm eager to find a way to continue participating in the W3C in  
the same or similar ways. I'm not an invited expert but I am a very  
interested party!

* Greater participation in the creation, reviewing and advocating of these  
standards is of the utmost importance.

* I think it's a great idea, but just having a community on a forum is  
rather boring. Things need to be gamified to make users interested in  
participating. Making achievements, badges and such would be a good start  
much like stackoverflow or world of warcraft (maybe feats of strength,  
hard modes, etc.).
This would give users a sense of pride and achievement that they could  
display on a linked profile or some such thing and get more people  
involved in the specification process.

* There should be a feedback mechanism for all roles & should have scoring  
points for implementation effectiveness.

* This survey has made me laugh A LOT. It seems to perfectly reflect the  
bureaucratic tendencies of the W3C. Sooo much preamble and waffle, so much  
hand-wringing, so much complexity for what should have been a very  
lightweight, quick survey to gauge interest. By the end of the survey  
you've almost talk yourself out of the whole idea!
Best of luck!

* On the wiki, the benefits listed for the subscribers don't seem to  
provide enough value compared to just posting to mailing lists to bother  
with this program.

* I do see it as one of the major flaws of the W3C that it exchanges money  
for voice in the web standards process. Therefore I'm seeing this as a  
good first step in the right direction.

#I don't get that comment, it seems to contradict istself.

* Input should not be limited to developers. There are strategic issues,  
such as level structure - what is A? AA? AAA? Non-developers can  
contribute good insight into such strategic issues.

* Her [?] more involved to Recommendation process to see where I can help  
without finding a company that pays the hugh membership fees.

* Use many eyes to ptioritize.

* Use social media to spread the word out. Let people join the community.  
(More users.. more participants - More participants.. more resources -  
More resources.. more productivity).

Teach participants about the functioning of W3C, and about the expected  
roles. The more the community make the participants understand their role,  
benefits for W3C will also increase substantially. Make participants  
participate in some community (small/big, silly/worthy but interesting)  
activity periodically which will keep them in pace with the community  
actions. Hope, this will help Webizen community to go to the next level.

* If there's a fee, don't pretend you're listening to “webizens” — you're  
listening only to the ones that are both able and willing to pay, and  
that's a very small subset. The rest already likes to put you down, and it  
will surely backfire.

If you want to brighten up your image (and you should), open input from  
everyone and make it so that it cannot get out of control. Yes, this is  
far away from your current culture and you will need external help. But  
this you know how to do, the HTML/CSS logos really worked.

* The ideas presented in 11 are a start but greater influence from the  
broader community is required on all outcomes not just ones presented by  
the community. See EME extensions backlash as an example.

* Ultimately we are talking about things that are to be implemented.  
Doesn't matter if we agree on a specification or any part thereof which is  
not implemented. So this is not just about the value of membership but  
about what a specification is for in the first place.

I have looked at community groups - and on the whole been thoroughly  
unimpressed. Especially the coremob group. Sure some victory might be  
claimed but .. I think that the W3C needs to be honest to itself and to  
everyone out there. Sometimes I hear the cry for developers as though we  
are some homogeneous mass. Then we hear that we should vote for developers  
on TAG or elsewhere, these developers tend to be high profile individuals  
and/or big company representatives. They don't represent 'ordinary'  
developers like myself. Ordinary developers like myself prefer few but  
well thought out standards. We don't have time to engage with the W3C. But  
we do enjoy the fruits of well implemented specifications in browsers.

I implore the W3C staff to think hard about whether a few loud mouthed  
developers really represent those of us who daily earn our bread on the  
web and don't really have time to seriously engage in standards work. I  
recommend you minimise standards development!

#I don't understand what minimising standards development means and how it  

* Developers and designers who work with technologies don't really know  
how to offer feedback. The mailing lists put some people off as they see  
the very technical discussion and believe that they can't contribute on  
that level. Yet they may have valuable feedback in terms of use cases in  

It would be great to have a way for individuals who would have much to  
offer to be involved and feel a part of what is happening at the W3C.  
Therefore I think the most important benefits would be those that helped  
individuals to feel a part of what is happening and to understand how  
things work at the W3C and with specs in order that they can bring their  
feedback and use cases to the table.

* I don't see the need for a fee, t-shirts, mugs or anything that makes  
this feel like a 'club'.

I think there is a need for more developers to hear about what decisions  
are being made/need to be made by the W3C and that there should be a  
clearer opportunity/method for them to have an input.

Obviously there is some onus on the developer community to actively engage  
in this, but last week I heard about the 'parent selector survey' which  
had something like 130 responses. I was surprised that there were so few  
responses as every developer that I've spoken to since has said that they  
would have taken the time to give their opinion if they had only heard  
about the survey.

The input of Webizens should not prevent others from being able to have an  
input (or be treated as more important), but instead the Webizen program  
should be a way for interested developers to find out more, and to  
discover the important issues quickly.

* I think it would need to have a much clearer sell for potential members,  
although I appreciate it is early days. A couple of ideas that might be  
desirable are discussion forums and newsletters.

* Important to have a program that allow "ordinary" people to engage.  
Member representation and Invited Expert paths along with participation  
requirements make W3C very mysterious to those who don't / can't follow  
those channels.

Is the $100 fee annual or one-time?

Especially for annual fee that high, real tangible benefits are critical.  
Just getting an ID or email address or listing on a supporters page (where  
it would be buried by the hopefully thousands of other names) don't cut  
it. People willing to pay this fee want real engagement. Tchotchkes like  
branded coffee mugs, pens, etc. are actually quite valuable in allowing  
people to show off their support and evangelize the brand for W3C.  
(T-shirts seem not useful for that because in many cultures and  
environments people wouldn't feel they can wear them.) An email address  
@supporters.w3.org, even if it's just a forwarder, would also be a useful  
perk from this perspective. Ability to join a Facebook (or comparable  
platform) group also useful.

The other critical benefit is the opportunity for real engagement. People  
won't pay that fee just to get a mug or an email address - certainly not  
more than once. There must be opportunity for supporters to add a voice to  
the discussion. A channel to provide input (discussion list for  
supporters? IRC channel?) and adding to a spam list announcing spec review  
opportunities are starts. Periodic (at least once annual) active  
solicitation of input, e.g., from well-constructed WBS, from supporters is  
important. These people are likely to represent a different cross-section  
of interest groups than Members and need to have the opportunity to weigh  
in on priorities, key technical directions, etc.

The program needs to have a clear cross-cultural and cross-language reach.  
It is an important way to start reaching into cultures and geographies  
where W3C is not currently strong. This means tchotchkes need to be  
meaningful in different cultures (why I oppose t-shirts, and have  
questions about coffee mugs, though a variety of tchotchkes reaching  
different cultures helps). There also needs to be active support for  
multi-lingual participation. That might simply be active encouragement of  
discussions in different languages on the supporters discussion list, or  
might mean setting up language-specific lists (pluses and minuses to each  
of those). For an expansive program like this, falling back to "W3C's  
official language is U.S. English" won't fly. Supporters themselves could  
be engaged in helping translate key inputs into one of the W3C's use  
languages (i.e., the languages at the Hosts).

The concern to keep the supporters program completely free of stepping on  
Member benefits is misguided. For the supporters program to work, it has  
to offer real benefits, some of which are also Member benefits. In  
particular, the opportunity to weigh in *and have the input seriously  
considered* is critical. However, some Member benefits that should not  
come include WG participation and AC voting. I think reserving those to  
Members is enough that it's ok to leak a few other benefits to supporters.  
(There are likely to be a number of supporters who want to become Invited  
Experts - there should be a very clear story up front of how that happens  
and how often it is expected *not* to happen, or we'll be inundated by  
expectations and requests we can't meet.)

* One way to engage a community of interested parties is to use surveys to  
gain input, opinion, priorities, etc... Don't expect low cost members at  
large to invest a lot of time (if they had time, they'd be a subject  
matter expert, etc...), such as to do thorough draft specification  
reviews, POC implementations, etc....

* I think if we charge we have to provide benefits. But those benefits may  
be organization, e.g. more notification of public reviews, a place to  
discuss and provide feedback, i.e. nothing that we don't also offer the  
general public -- but with better infrastructure.

* Great way to get involved at the grass roots level, much like the open  
source community.

* I believe in the principle of the W3C, and would like to support the  
cause. But I am not a developer, and the vast majority of W3C activities  
go over my head. It is highly unlikely that I would ever be an active  
member. This proposed program looks like it might provide a way for people  
in my position to contribute, even if in a small way.

* It is currently difficult to explain to people what the W3C actually is:  
a standardization organisation? an administration for the web?
It should be the main benefit of your actions to gain more visibility in  
current discussions (e.g. net neutrality) and to be recognized as one of  
the main actors in the web near ICANN, major companies, EU policy etc — a  
participation of the users would definitely help on this way.

* If you give more easily the possibility to decide/engage actively ,  
people will look closer, even if they don't decide/engage actively at all.

* Has there been any thought on how to attract serious developers? Could  
leveraging a platform like stack overflow, which has a built in system for  
reputation work?

* Having a caring dedicated cluster of groups can be a potential backbone  
to get the program going. ( instead of focusing on "one single team" of  
dedicated supporters.

* It will be great if the program could organize classes aiming at  
increasing children interest in Web Programming.

* I’d find it ridiculous if joining the webizen program would enable  
someone to do spec work (the t-shirt design competition). I think the  
program would be most effective if it enabled people to participate  
directly in working groups.

* 1. I'd reduce the charges (and/or or introduce concessionary rates for  
students, unemployed, etc.) in order to make sure participation is made as  
accessible as possible. You could vary fees in proportion to national GDP  
per capita, or median income, or some comparable metric that would make  
your fee structure more subtle than just a developed-developing country  

2. I'd make tangible "fun" rewards like T-shirts into optional purchases,  
maybe at a discount. This would reduce costs, and not everyone really  
wants a T-shirt or mug, though they're good to offer!

3. The design competition is great as a secondary means of promoting  

4. I like the idea of participation points! Don't lose sight of the fact  
that (I assume) the program's main purpose is to promote formal input and  
engagement in W3C's processes; in this light, fees could be seen as a  
disincentive and T-shirts a distraction.

5. Good luck :-)

* We are considering a Mozilla developer program too. Would be great to  
chat about collaboration.

* W3C should try and be more visible at general developer events.

* Don't over-complicate this... for most of us (web developers) there are  
niche parts that we are most interested in, and the key to success IMO is  
to provide the shortest path possible from "I would like to help but have  
no idea how" to "I am totally interested in [topic] and now I know how to  
help." Where [topic] for me might be ioc, modularization, ajax, cors, and  
web components. Often translating these concepts to the appropriate specs  
can be hard so I would like to see some sort of questionnaire that asks  
questions in the context of the current web and translated that to topics  
in discussion of the future web...

* Good to include more voices in the W3C. I don't think you need to do  
much more than encourage people to speak up.

* It's about time that something like the Webizen movement is showing up.   
I think that W3C has been primarily driven by the vendors for way too  
long.  Some sort of representation from the masses is needed with web  

* #9 needs a "maybe" answer -- because the value of the 'developer' groups  
all depends on how they get woven into the Process.     wrt "without  
taking away from the value of Membership" -- the W3C needs IMHO to think  
seriously about becoming an all-comers volunteer-run org like the IETF.     
any membership cost will be a large impediment (financially and/or  
ideology-wise) to 'the long tail of developers' out there.     I don't  
know whether I'd personally join.    just worming one's way into the  
WhatWG might be a better way to go....

* I believe that the W3C provides a great deal of direction and guidance  
to the critical specs; unfortunately, I don't feel that I have a say or a  
method to participate. This would be a great program

* I want to participate actively, also it's worth to look for Mozilla's  
experience with community, 'cause they do it quite well.


  Coralie Mercier  -  W3C Communications Team  -  http://www.w3.org
mailto:coralie@w3.org +336 4322 0001 http://www.w3.org/People/CMercier/
Received on Thursday, 2 October 2014 16:44:31 UTC

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