Daily Snippets – 22 April

Here are some snippets about the domain name industry (and other stuff!) that I hope you find interesting.

Direct Registrations

Let’s play the glad game. auDA obviously no longer has any reticence about emailing their registrants. Yippee! Best news I’ve heard in ages.

At the Names Panel and the AGM last year, I strongly urged auDA to contact all affected registrants about the proposed direct registration changes (or a good representative sample at least).  They were not at all keen back then, citing “potential spam issues”.

They have now obviously overcome this fear given that they just did a market survey! 😉

This is from their latest announcement:

auDA sent the survey to 97,000 randomly selected registrants in com.au, net.au, org.au, asn.au and id.au.

Whilst Board members were receptive to the Panel’s recommendations, it was felt prudent to commission some independent market research to test the Panel’s assertions. Importantly, the purpose of the market research was not to find out whether people think introducing direct registrations in .au is a good idea – this was the focus of the Panel’s work, and the Board was clear that it did not wish to repeat what the Panel had already done. Rather, the purpose of the market research was to assess the likely level of market demand. To this end, it was agreed to conduct a simple, one question survey aimed at finding out whether or not people would register “yourname.au” if it was available.

Even “Blind Freddie” knows that the actual survey question asked was designed to get a specific answer.

However, looking at the positives, I’m sure we can now look forward to some proper and meaningful engagement with their stakeholders when it comes to discussing / deciding implementation ideas.

I live in hope …

Who Said This?

It’s always interesting to look back at promotional efforts regarding our .au namespace. These snippets are from an article entitled “Premium .com.au domain names a valuable asset for Australian businesses” . (Which I totally concur with by the way!). Bolding is mine.

A premium generic domain name is a short, memorable, descriptive and commercially-oriented domain related to the market vertical or industry sector of your business.

For instance, a florist would see great value in flowers.com.au, as would a camera shop with cameras.com.au.

Given their intuitive nature, domain names such as these are seen as the most authoritative and trusted online providers in their sectors. Consumers are drawn to these websites over others and the domain name actually helps to drive in traffic. It’s a bit like getting the prime eye-level product position on a supermarket shelf, rather than being located out of sight at the bottom.

Then followed a couple of examples of .com.au sales. The writer went on to say:

I encourage business owners to consider registering a premium generic .com.au domain name.

In most cases, premium generic domain names will have already been registered. This does not mean they are unavailable for purchase though.

Full article and author identity is here.

Have you got any that you’d like to share?

auDA Minutes Are Illuminating

The reason I harped on about getting the auDA Board Minutes recently is because it gives me a good insight as to what sort of things are being discussed.

Obviously we get the “Public Version” – I imagine there is a more comprehensive in-house version available (though I might be wrong).

These were some points that caught my attention from the February 15 Minutes (bolding is mine):

2.    Confirmation of December 2015 Minutes

Motion (proposed E Karabardak, seconded G McDonald).  That the Board approve and publish the minutes of the 14 December 2015 Board meeting.  Carried

Hmmm – that didn’t happen until 18 April!

In the CEO report, there was this snippet below. I only mention it here given that I know a lot of my readers talk about making complaints to government (about the current process for direct registrations). This would seem to me to be the go-to person.

  • The Board noted the recent appointment of Dr Heather Smith as Secretary of the Department of Communications.

5.    2015 Names Policy Panel

RECOMMENDATION 1B:

Motion (proposed J Hammer, seconded T Staley):  The Board is receptive to Recommendations 1A and 1B, and requests auDA staff to provide the following further information for consideration at the April 2016 Board meeting:

  • market research to gauge the level of demand for direct registrations
  • a high level implementation timeframe and indicative costings.

Carried.

Hmmm! Wonder who devised “the survey question”? Will they ever tell us?

Hmmm! We’re already into timeframe and costings without even discussing the “how it could possibly work”.

6.  Board Committee Updates

Strategic Risk Committee:

  • The Chair advised the Committee had met to consider the strategic risks associated with the 2015 Names Policy Panel’s Final report which have now been provided to the Board.

Hmmm! Love to be a “fly on the wall” in these Committee meetings. I imagine that there is huge strategic risk in not implementing direct registrations fairly and properly – particularly given that approximately 86% of .au registrations are com.au.

Several businesses that I have spoken to (who paid substantial sums for com.au domains), have indicated to me that they would not hesitate to take legal action against auDA if direct registrations were implemented without giving priority rights to existing .com.au registrants.

Rumour Mill

Wonder who else apart from AusRegistry will be putting up their hand to tender for the registry contract next year? A couple of “players” seem to be positioning themselves for a run. Will be interesting to see whether .au (if and when it proceeds) will be dealt with separately – or lumped in together? If offered as joint parcel, it obviously becomes far more commercially appealing to a tenderer. It also makes sense logistically given “prior rights” will no doubt be offered in some form.

Congrats And Best Wishes!

My good friend Luke Summers (and his partner Dayna) moved to Tassie a few months ago. They bought themselves a beautiful home on acreage in the Huon Valley (about 30 minutes south of Hobart) – and moved in last weekend! There is a very well-known vineyard and restaurant within 5 minutes walk! Now that’s my kind of place!

As a lot of you will know, Luke was a former collaborator in Domainer.com.au, and he wrote many fine articles. Given I have next to zilch technical abilities, he still helps me out occasionally with any WordPress hiccups I may have. 🙂

I wish them both the best of fortune in their new life.


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One thought on “Daily Snippets – 22 April

  • Luke Summers
    April 22, 2016 at 5:39 pm
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    Many thanks Ned! 😀

    It’s a beautiful spot and you’re most welcome to visit for a gourmet holiday! We’re off to a local cidery for dinner, drinks and live music tonight – it’s a tough life 😛

    Funnily enough, I recently bought AppleIsle.com (I’ve owned the .com.au domain for some time now).

    As I mentioned to you the other day, terrific work on your coverage of recent developments for .au domains.

    I’ve spent quite a bit of money protecting my key domains/brands in the lead up to a decision on direct registrations. I was aware that it was on the horizon, so I could make moves to protect myself (i.e. register or purchase the .net.au versions); but I can’t help wonder how small business operators that didn’t know about this will feel if there’s no priority allocation to existing .com.au registrants.

    Getting the implementation right will be crucial. Let’s hope they look to the UK approach as the most sensible solution.

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