April 28, 2006
Solving the Standards Stakeholder Conundrum
Andy Updegrove writes "With more than a million standards in place in the world today, it is axiomatic that we are all profoundly affected by their existence. Yet only a very small number of people are involved in the creation of these standards, relative to the billions that are impacted by their implementation. As a result, the ranks of the affected vastly outnumber those of the affecting. Most ITC standards are created by consortia that don't permit individual participation at all (there are significant exceptions, such as IEEE), and the rest are set by "accredited" standards developers that honor the goal of including all stakeholders, but have a hard time getting many of those affected (such as consumers) involved. The result is that standards creation is primarily a vendor-controlled process. We would all be better off if the standards development world learned from collaborative efforts such as open source projects and the Wikipedia, and utilized the Internet to broaden participation in the standard setting process."