It’s Not Rocket Science

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


5 thoughts on “It’s Not Rocket Science

  • January 17, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    Does auDA hope to remove the membership base?

    Does auDA hope to keep for itself a big chunk of any registry price reduction?

    If auDA thinks $20 million isn’t enough then how much is enough? $40 million? $100 million? Where does the cash grab end?

    5 people like this.
  • January 17, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    Wind it up.

    I will engage others who will do it at all at a target 50% of the current wholesale price plus meet all security concerns and meet Government increased oversight more willingly.

    It has not been working and nothing has improved at all despite a lot of promises and $millions being spent on Investigations, Reviews, Consultants etc.

    Too much has been hidden about auDA and the auDA Foundation.  This has been done on purpose over many years.

    Not even auDA members or Government are being told the truth or given answers.

    Not even FOI’s are being answered.

    Enough is Enough
    On dissolution of the Company, the right to administer the .au ccTLD must either be transferred on to another entity nominated or approved by the Commonwealth of Australia or, in the absence of such approval, be transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia.

    If upon the winding up or dissolution of auDA there remains, after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any property or money whatsoever, the remaining assets shall not be paid or distributed to the Members but shall be transferred to the subsequent entity approved by the Commonwealth of Australia to manage the .au ccTLD.”


    3 people like this.
    • January 18, 2018 at 9:18 am

      @Sean – winding auDA up is not in the best interests of the organisation or the members or the greater internet community. All that will do is potentially create its own set of problems and levels of uncertainty – thus leading to more market instability and lack of confidence.

      “Fixing” and “improving” auDA is much the better option.

      That is my opinion as a long-standing auDA member.

      Anonymous likes this.
      • January 18, 2018 at 1:40 pm

        auDA will have a job on its hands convincing people of that.

        I think many would prefer the “risk” of a new entity or government control to the current situation where the majority membership viewpoint is ignored. If auDA feels it can’t back track on bad policy (specifically the direct registration proposal) then how can it ever expect to have members on side?

  • January 17, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Why did auDA not reduce their own fees as planned 11 years ago?

    Now they have $20 million in the bank and a lot of still unanswered questions about their expenses alarm bells should be ringing for people.

    The board agreed the proposed new auDA domain name fee model, with the fee to be set according to the number of domain name registrations. It was noted that the model would provide greater certainty and transparency to the industry, and better guidance to the board for future budget deliberations. Pursuant to the model, the board agreed to reduce the fee to $3.00 ex GST (subsequently amended to $3.00 ex GST) on 1 May 2007 .​

    4 people like this.

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