It takes money to keep the web open and accessible. This week the Internet Society, a nonprofit group dedicated to the open Internet ecosystem, announced that it was donating US$ 1 million to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the global organization responsible for Web standards and accessibility.
Internet + Web = Delicious Combination
This donation is the second installment of the Internet Society's 2009 pledge of 2.5M USD over three years and its goal to support the evolution of W3C as an organization that creates open Web standards. The first part of ISOC's donation enabled the W3C community to develop a strategic vision for the organization.
For two organizations whose mission and goals are so closely aligned, you might wonder why they need each other. As it turns out, like a chocolate peanut butter cup, without one, the other doesn’t seem as exciting.
Two Organization, Similar Goals
The Internet Society was founded in 1992 with the goal of providing leadership in Internet related standards, education and policy. In 1994, Tim Berners-Lee founded the W3C with the mission to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure the long-term growth of the Web.
Internet v. Web
Essentially, the Internet and the Web are two separate things, despite its synonymous misuse. The Internet is a massive network of networks, a networking infrastructure that connects millions of computers together globally, in which any computer can communicate with any other computer as long as they are both connected to the Internet. The World Wide Web, on the other hand is a way of accessing information over the medium of the Internet. It is an information-sharing model that is built on top of the Internet.
Return on Investment
Because both organizations promote open standards that drive how people use the Internet and the Web, it’s only logical that that the Internet would invest in the Web. ISOC's support will enable W3C's evolution, which, in turn, will strengthen W3C as a community forum for building consensus around future Web standards for HTML, CSS, SVG and other standards.
It’s a win-win. The stronger and more accessible the Web becomes, the more stable and secure the Internet will be.