auDA Survey On Direct Registrations

Most people involved with domain names on a day to day basis would know that auDA is currently conducting a survey to see what you think about “direct registrations” in the Australian namespace.

Whilst many people do not agree with the need for direct registrations in Australia (and I am definitely one of those), the fact is that a majority of the 2015 Names Policy Panel (NPP) recommended that direct registrations should proceed; and the auDA Board accepted this recommendation. Whether some of us like it or not, that is proper process. (I’m not here to argue this today – that can be saved for another time).

Unfortunately, the method of how direct registrations were to be implemented was not part of the NPP’s scope. However, the NPP did stress that safeguards should be offered to existing registrants.

Two of the NPP recommendations were these:

♦  auDA should undertake further stakeholder communication and consultation to determine the most suitable method of implementation; and

♦  there must also be a widespread education and awareness campaign leading up to the release of direct registrations.

The Survey

That first recommendation above is now underway by means of a quantitative survey. This is how auDA describes the process:

“The phase two quantitative survey is being sent to .au domain name owners, a proportional number across the different 2LDs from 27 April 2017 and a general public survey option for those interested in complete the survey is available here: This survey will be open for just over two weeks, unless the maximum numbers are reached prior.”

So if you didn’t get an email asking you to complete the survey, hit the the link for the public survey option. Have your say!

Brickbats & Bouquets

First of all, a “bouquet” for auDA. After much criticism about not properly polling existing registrants in the past, their current effort is a HUGE improvement. This excerpt is from their latest newsletter:

“This survey is being sent to more than 200,000 domain name registrants/owners and additionally, a general public stakeholder link was also made available on our website. This link has also been distributed to a variety of member-based stakeholder groups and regulators, as well as promoted on social media and to our subscriber lists to ensure the highest level of engagement possible.”

However, there are definitely some “brickbats” that auDA needs to take note of. A lot of these have been published on DNTrade.

From my perspective, and other feedback I have received (thanks Luke and Andrew), this survey was:

♦  Far too long at around 30 pages. I imagine there is going to be a high “cart abandonment” factor.

♦  The survey offers a very poor user experience. For example:

There’s no ‘previous’ button to return to earlier questions and change responses. For a complicated and lengthy survey, this is a problem, because respondents may only come to understand the intent of a question after progressing further through the survey and gaining more information. Respondents may also change their mind (preferred response) on the basis of further details later in the survey.

♦  Some of the questions are essentially flawed. For example:

No mention of costs for direct registration. Would participants give a different answer if they had this info?

Closed Questions – certain questions have no option to disagree with the policy (e.g. “I do not agree with the introduction of direct registration”). Only options are variations of “Yes” (implying endorsement), or to abstain.

♦  Confusing at some points – yes, even I was confused! Imagine the poor average registrant. The meaning of some questions (and the response options available) are not very clear. See these two examples below:

As always, I look forward to readers comments.

Ned O’Meara – 5th May 2017


6 thoughts on “auDA Survey On Direct Registrations

  • May 5, 2017 at 11:54 am

    No mention of costs for direct registration.” <–That is the key issue Ned. People are often “ok” with something until you tell them they will have to pay more to get it. AUDA should be straight up and tell people the likely costs before they ask if they are in favour.

    Not many business owners will like this when they realise it is essentially a “double tax” on existing names.

    6 people like this.
    • May 5, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Spot on.

      2 people like this.
    • May 5, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Not many business owners will like this when they realise it is essentially a “double tax” on existing names.

      It will cetainly TAX the SMB community in more ways that one.


      3 people like this.
  • May 5, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    I think the main reason this website is taken so seriously, Ned, is because you report exactly what is happening in our beloved Australian domain name space and put it simply, honestly, factually and straight to the point.

    6 people like this.
    • May 5, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      Aw shucks Robert! Thank you for your kind words.

  • May 7, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    You forgot to mention the fact that people can do this survey multiple times, which obviously opens up an opportunity to manipulate the results.

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