James Gosling wrote about the Phase Relationships in the Standardization Process in 1990, and his observations remain true today. Unfortunately the note is gone from his site, but it can still be found in the Internet Archive:
For a standard to be usefully formed, the technology needs to be understood: technological interest needs to be waning. But if political interest in a standard becomes too large, the various parties have too much at stake in their own vested interest to be flexible enough to accommodate the unified view that a standard requires.It is safe to assert that today the amount of political activity on the Web outstrips the amount of technical activity. Case in point: blog feed formats.