Invited Expert

I put in an application to be considered as an invited expert by the W3C in response to Jeff Schiller’s work to encourage participation in the SVG Interest Group. I do like SVG and am interested in promoting SVG, but the whole process of having to submit an application to be considered to be an invited expert just to participate in an interest group was uncomfortable. I’ve never been one to call myself an “expert”, and I don’t classify myself with other “invited experts” I’ve seen in other interest groups.

The W3C has to change how it does business. Consider the process just to join this group to promote SVG—something you would think the W3C would welcome with open arms:

  1. First you have to identify whether you work for an organization already in the W3C. I assume if you’re an individual who wants to participate without joining as part of your company’s effort, you’re out of luck.
  2. If you’re not part of a W3C organization, you’re asked to consider whether the company you work for might be interested in joining the W3C, before joining as an individual.
  3. If you stubbornly persist in being an individual to this point, you’re then greeted with the Policy for Approval of Invited Experts, where we’re told that normally the committee Chair and Contact would meet with us, first, before submitting the application. Then the application is reviewed, and if the “invited expert” would need to have access to W3C members-only area, another internal approval process must be conducted.
  4. At some point in time, within ten business days, my application may, or may not, be approved. If it is approved, though, anything I do associated with this effort immediately becomes property of the W3C.

In addition, I can only remain a member of good standing if I don’t miss any more than one face-to-face meeting in three, even if I have to pay my own way to Boston, where one assumes such meetings take place. Of course, if the Chair is feeling generous, I may be excused this requirement. However, I must refrain from “offending” any other member of the W3C; criteria I’m sure to have already failed, just by writing this post.

No, I’m not invited expert material. I’m just a tech who likes SVG and wants to see its popularity grow.

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