DIWG (Domain Investor Working Group) Formed

As mentioned on the auDA website last Friday, I am convening a new Domain Investor Working Group whose purpose is to receive the draft Direct .AU Registration implementation policy, currently being created by the PRP (Policy Review Panel), and provide feedback in relation to it, before it’s released to the general public.

auDA has released the following press release:

The Chair of auDA’s Policy Review Panel, Mr John Swinson, today welcomed the formation of focus groups that will assist auDA’s Policy Review Panel to finalise its recommendations regarding the policy for the implementation of direct registration in Australia.

Direct registration is registration of domain names directly before the dot au, for example, yourexample.au. At present in Australia, there is only one domain name registered at the second level, being csiro.au. The auDA board has tasked the Policy Review Panel to make recommendations on an implementation model to open up direct registration of domain names at the second level to all Australians.

“The Panel desires input and feedback from as many Australians as possible, particularly those who believe they will be affected by the implementation of direct registration,” said Mr Swinson. “The purpose of the focus groups is to gain specific feedback in relation to the draft direct registration implementation policy, before the proposed model is released for broader public feedback.”

The Panel wants this to be a real and meaningful consultation process. A professional facilitator will run the focus groups and will report back to the Panel.

It is intended that 3 to 4 focus groups will be established.

The first focus group will commence in September 2018 and will be convened by Robert Kaay and will seek consultation from domain name investors.

“Direct .AU Registration has been the most polarising issue facing the domainer and domain investor communities since it was publicly approved to go ahead by auDA on the 18th April, 2016,” said Mr Kaay. “In forming the new Domain Investor Working Group, I believe we have a very strong group of 8 members who have been specifically chosen for their extensive experience as well-known and respected professional domain investors. We look forward to providing our collective feedback to the Policy Review Panel on their Direct Registration implementation policy, before it’s released to the broader public for feedback.”

The other focus groups will be established shortly, with reports due by the end of October. These focus groups will include registrars, business owners and digital business groups.

The release date of the DIWG’s first in-person meeting, and its member list of 8 well-known and respected professional domain investors will be released soon.

6 thoughts on “DIWG (Domain Investor Working Group) Formed

  • August 27, 2018 at 7:43 am

    It is great to see auDA opening up and consulting again.

    I think it is fair to say that we have both taken a few swings at auDA in the past about their lack of consultation so it is good to hear that you are participating in a working group and can give meaningful feedback in an constuctive manner to the PRP.

    I might have to retract my comments about them ignoring a thousand years of collective experience in the membership if they keep on consulting like this.

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  • August 27, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Hi Robert
    The Chair of the Policy Review Panel refers to focus groups.
    You refer to the formation of a working group, the Domain Investor Working Group (DIWG).
    My understanding of a focus group is this <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focus_group>.
    From my reading the auDA statement, it seems as though the DIWG (8 people) may be more than a focus group.
    It’s not clear to me that others – who may have an interest in the DIWG (e.g. me) – will have an opportunity to influence the views and/or recommendations of the DIWG before they are submitted to the Policy Review Panel (PRP).
    Could you clarify please?

  • August 27, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Hi Simon,

    We are publicly calling our group, the DIWG (Domain Investor Working Group).

    From my understanding, you’re correct; the PRP is wishing to work with our group as a “focus group”, as auDA mentioned in the newsletter. I guess I could have called our group the Domain Investor Focus Group, but I didn’t want to.

    The DIWG may exist in various formats with various members after this. But for now, we are the DIWG and acting as a Focus Group for this particular important subject under the PRP.

    I started this group myself and I have chosen the 8 members. The PRP have approved us as a Focus Group. The member list will be released soon and I’m sure professional domainers and domain investors will be pleased.

    I’m sure I can speak for the group when I say we would love to meet with anyone and everyone interested to gather more opinions on the implementation of Direct .AU Registrations, whilst we are filtering our collective voice to deliver to the PRP, from both domainers and domain investors alike, in Melbourne very soon (date and venue to be released)…

    In the meantime, if you, or anyone else, feels like creating your own/their own Domainer or Domain Investor Group and putting that forward as another focus group, you should go for it.

    Don’t forget auDA have publicly stated:

    It is intended that 3 to 4 focus groups will be established.




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    • August 27, 2018 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you for the clarification Robert.

  • August 27, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    You’re welcome, Simon.

    I hope you’ll come to the casual meet-up the DIWG have planned for Melbourne in a few weeks so we can talk some more.

    Everyone and anyone who wants to talk about Direct .AU Registration implementation and how the DIWG is going to put together its collective voice to present to The PRP, is welcome to attend.



  • August 28, 2018 at 9:18 am

    So are direct registrations definitely going to proceed, no ifs and/or buts? It’s a 100% done deal and now just full steam ahead to nutting out an implementation policy?

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