The objective of the Diffuse project is to provide a single, value-added, entry point to up-to-date reference and guidance information on available and emerging standards and specifications that facilitate the electronic exchange of information. The Diffuse project has been set up to provide neutral reporting on developments relating to standards and specifications in support of Key Action II (New Methods of Work and Electronic Commerce) and Key Action III (Multimedia Content and Tools) of the European Commissions Information Society Technologies (IST) programme. The project outputs are primarily targeted at potential and actual IST participants. Whilst the emphasis of the project is focused on the needs of the Research and Technologies Development (RTD) communities, it also has a broader perspective of serving the information requirements of industry and public sector in general. The Diffuse service is being used to demonstrate many of the latest techniques in web site management. For example, it conforms to the guidelines issued by the Web Accessibility Initiative, it records Dublin Core metadata in all its files, it included P3P-compliant privacy statements and it demonstrates the role of ISO/IEC 13250 Topic Maps in data navigation. The Diffuse services are organized into the following categories of publications and activities: -Business Guides: an overview of the underlying concepts and current development status for individual key technology areas (including current "hot topics") with respect to the application of standards and specifications. - Standards and Specifications Reference Data. - Standards and Specifications List. -Standards Fora List: - Provides references to organizations responsible for producing standards and specifications, including formal standardization bodies, industry consortia, and other bodies which collate user requirements for inputting to the standardization process. - RTD Project List: information on the implementation of standards and specifications by RTD projects. Standards and Specifications News: The latest information on standards and specifications developments within the scope of Diffuse is provided in the monthly Report on Electronic Commerce Interoperability and Report on Information Management Standardization Activity. News on the implementation of standards and specifications by RTD projects is given in the quarterly Report on RTD Projects. Diffuse also provides occasional Standardization Activity Conference Reports. In addition, the Diffuse project organizes an annual Conference on specific themes within its scope.