Disclaimer: As well as being an auDA Member, I am now an auDA Demand Class Director. The article below is my personal opinion, and does not purport to be the views of auDA.
Over the last week, I’ve had a chance to talk in person with many Demand Class Members about auDA. And it is something that I intend to keep up on a regular basis. It really is good to get feedback from the coalface.
Here are some of the issues that were raised with me:
- Despite promises made at the Special General Meeting (SGM) back on July 31st that “tomorrow starts today”, not much has changed in terms of communication and transparency.
- auDA is being run like a private company intead of a true membership organisation.
- WTF happened with the Constitutional Review Committee? Why has there still been no announcement from auDA?
- Why weren’t members consulted about the official auDA submission to Government?
- Where is the new auDA website that has been promised time after time?
- Marketplace uncertainty. This was the real biggie, and it is affecting a lot of people in the greater internet community. People just want to know what is going on sooner rather than later. And it’s not just on direct registration (why is auDA really doing this; how will it work; when will it happen?), but it’s about other things like:
- Reduction of policy red tape (particularly the antiquated bits).
- Increased registration terms that have been approved by auDA time after time but never implemented.
- When is an announcement on new wholesale pricing going to happen?
These were all fair and reasonable issues/questions, and I have undertaken to try and get some official feedback.
Absolute Agreement About Membership
- Membership needs to be increased – and that has got to start now.
- It’s also got to be made a much easier process than currently exists.
- If you are a registrant of an Australian domain name, you should automatically qualify to free membership on an “opt-in basis”.
- Ditto if you are an official registrar or a reseller.
- There should simply be “members” – not “classes or tribes”. auDA is there to represent the wider internet community.
Again, I believe these are sensible suggestions in the best interests of the organisation.
auDA Has To Sell The Sizzle
Long before I stood for the auDA Board (and after the SGM), I remember telling the CEO that if you want to take members with you, you have to “sell the sizzle”. Tell people where you want to go to; why you want to go there; how you plan to get there – and how good it is going to “taste” when you arrive at the destination!
That is the ABC of selling/marketing – ADVANTAGE; BENEFIT; CLOSE.
Why do they need to do that? Because we are a membership organisation; and if they want to introduce change, then members have to approve that change. i.e. special resolutions need to be passed by 75% members in each Class.
“Demand Class” approval can be the biggest hurdle for auDA (as has shown in recent times). But here’s the thing. Currently, there are 3 popularly elected Demand Directors – Tim Connell; Nicole Murdoch, and myself. If we believe in the “sizzle”, then we can virtually guarantee that we can bring the numbers to the table.
After all, this is in the “interests of the entity”, and the “collective interests of the members”. We’re all supposed to be on the same side.
It’s not rocket science.
Ned O’Meara – 17th January 2018