Getting More Respect
Limited voice at the W3C
While the W3C has profited immensely from the skills of many of the small contractors it brought in as 'Independent Experts', the W3C continues to remain a club for its larger members, who can afford to dedicate people and time to the W3C more readily. Minimum entry fee: $5000. (If you have friends, invited expert status may work for you, for free.)
Some voice at OASIS, but not much clarity
OASIS-Open offers a $250 individual membership, but it's never really been clear why individuals would want to join. The focus of OASIS work these days appears to be large-scale vertical industry XML development. If that's your interest, OASIS is probably the right place for you.
The right to speak at the IETF
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has always had an open process, allowing anyone to participate on its mailing lists and projects. Similarly, anyone can submit Internet-Drafts. That doesn't mean that all projects are encouraged, however, nor does it mean that new voices are welcome. XML-oriented projects seem to be treated with a fair share of suspicion at the IETF.
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