SD Times has an interesting article by J.D. Hildebrand  that lists what he views as the key “organized consortia, work groups and standard bodies” that “loosely govern” the open-source world. As of December 1, 2000, when the article was originally published, the Free Standards Group was at the top of his list (well, nearly).
Here’s how he describes the Free Standards Group:
Free Standards Group. Interoperability is essential to the success of any movement. In the Linux and BSD-based open-source world, the multiplicity of vendors and coders means that crippling incompatibilities are a constant threat. The Free Standards Group (www.freestandards.org ) is a nonprofit corporation that funds and manages the development of standards for the open-source community. Chief among the FSG’s projects is the Linux Standard Base initiative (www.linuxbase.org ), which sets standards for interoperability among Linux distributions. The Linux Internationalization Initiative (li18nux.net ) has developed standards that allow Linux and other open-source software to be internationalized easily. The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (www.pathname.com/fhs ) is a standard for how file systems should be structured on Unix and Linux systems. And the X Desktop Group (www.freedesktop.org ) hopes to establish standards among open-source desktops for Linux, Unix and other X-based operating systems.