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|Jeffrey Jaffe, CEO|
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community where web standards are developed by a hired staff that works together with member organizations and the public. 
The W3C was founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee. Its mission is to develop protocol and guidelines for the long-term growth of the WWW, in order to bring out its fullest potential. The W3C facilitates participation, involvement, sharing knowledge, and building trust at a global level. It enjoys the support of many important industries and organizations.
W3C laid the foundations for the WWW with the development of HTML in 1997 and XML in 1998.
Since the creation of W3C it has developed more than 90 standards, which they refer to as "Recommendations." Each of these recommendations must pass through a set of stages which is known as the '"Recommendation Track" which involves: review, reformulation, and finally implementation.
Each recommendation was developed by working groups which consist of up to 15 W3C members who have experience in the applicable field.
A recommendation is steered by a Working Group, and must pass through the following steps (also called maturity levels):
- Working Drafts, which are fluid works-in-progress published by Working Groups to gain input from the wider community.
- Last Call for Working Draft, which notifies interested parties of the WG's intent to move the draft onto the next stage. It is a last call for external input.
- Call for Implementation. At this point, the Working Draft becomes a Candidate for Recommendation, and is reviewed for implementation as a standard.
- Call for review of proposed recommendation. At this stage, the Candidate Recommendation becomes a Proposed Recommendation, and the WG must seek a final endorsement from the Committee. Without this endorsement, the project reverts back to the Working Draft stage for further development.
- W3C Recommendation. At this stage, the W3C feels confident enough to recommend that individuals and organizations implement standard technology in their work.
As of 2011, the W3C had 326 members. Its members are non-profit organizations, governmental entities, other types of businesses and individuals. In order to become a W3C member an application must be submitted, which will be reviewed and approved by W3C. 
In order to be accessible to a wide range of international organizations, W3C offers membership fees on a sliding scale dependent on annual revenue, type of business, and the location of the organization's headquarters.