Lessons Have To Be Learnt

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.

Panels, working groups and advisory committees have been the lifeblood of auDA for as long as I have known. The purpose of these is to look at potential changes to the .au space. Public and member consultations are an integral part of the process. Recommendations are then made to the auDA Board for their ultimate decision.

One such committee was the recently formed Constitutional Review Committee. Members were advised of this in a newsletter dated 15th November. This was the brainchild of Erhan Karabardak (current auDA Supply Class Director). On the face of it, this was a fantastic initiative – and something that was long overdue.

What Happened Next

Yesterday, David Goldstein published an article on DomainPulse  advising that the CRC has virtually been decimated – yet until yesterday, auDA members were none the wiser. In fact, there is still no official announcement.

Scott Long is / was Chair of the CRC, and he is a friend of mine (as are several other members). According to the DomainPulse article, Scott resigned his position (in December) in protest over a number of matters.

In particular, Scott was upset that auDA did not have the courtesy to even consult with the CRC (or him as Chair) prior to making their submission to the Government review into the management of the .au domain space. As a long standing member – and as a newly minted Director – I have to agree with him on this.

Lessons For auDA

As I wrote a few days ago, everything begins with “communication and transparency”. auDA is a membership organisation, and all members deserve better communication and transparency than they have received over the past 18 months.

This CRC situation is another classic case where this has not been observed.

I will do my best as an auDA Director to try to encourage auDA to improve this deficiency. 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.

Ned O’Meara – 5th January 2018


Disclaimer

20 thoughts on “Lessons Have To Be Learnt

  • Avatar
    January 5, 2018 at 10:54 am
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    What a joke, can anyone work with auda management. Only one panel member left after 8 appointed.

    Says it all.

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    • Avatar
      January 5, 2018 at 12:19 pm
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      I don’t read DNTrade anymore, nor do dozens of domain name investors I talk to each week. I’m also strongly recommending people not to. However, today it has been pointed out to me there are lies and fake news being spread there (again) and on David Goldstein’s blog. So I’m taking a look for myself.

      Sure, things aren’t perfect with auDA at the moment, but most of the very few guys left commenting on DNTrade are merely puppets and sheep, following one or two people with loud voices, and just shooting nuclear missiles in every direction to destroy everything in our industry, mostly in the interest of saving their own list of domain names against a number of possible rules that may come into being shortly regarding Direct Registration.

      Let’s face it, Direct Registration was the catalyst that caused this gigantic rift in our community, not a select few individuals at auDA.

      I’m not commenting on this particular article written above by Ned, but more to do with David’s article, which is false and misleading.

      ”Only one panel member left” is a blatant lie, as written in David’s article.

      As a current standing committee member of the CRC (and I’m not the only one!!!!) I will be writing an article of my own about this. In the meantime, as usual, I decided not to just sit around and do nothing, as these rumours continue to spread in the industry that I (we!!) love so much.

      Although you don’t call me anymore, Ned, I assume you will allow my comment to be displayed and I hope all is going well with you.

      Robert

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      • Avatar
        January 5, 2018 at 12:26 pm
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        Which panel members are left Robert?

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        • Avatar
          January 5, 2018 at 12:51 pm
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          I know you think you’ve just replied a fantastic succinct speedy passive-aggressive question to shoot me down, Paul Shaw, but if you bothered to read what I wrote properly before spilling your fingers over your keyboard, you wouldn’t have glossed over the part where I said; “I will be writing an article of my own about this”, which will prove the lie.

          Keep collecting that easy domain leasing/parking money and trolling forums all day long, all year-through, to create drama that you can star in, Paul – https://www.namepros.com/threads/shout-out-to-namepros-and-all-who-sail-in-here.1011791/

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      • Avatar
        January 5, 2018 at 2:43 pm
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        The debate over this just proves Ned’s point. Members are not informed and don’t know either way.

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      • Ned O'Meara
        January 5, 2018 at 6:28 pm
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        @Robert – good to hear from you again. It’s been a while.

        You’re entitled to your opinion as is everyone else. People can and do disagree on what’s happening at auDA, but as long as it is done constructively, then I think that’s healthy for a membership organisation.

        I’m not sure how David’s article is “false and misleading” though? All he is doing is highlighting issues raised in writing by Scott Long. Having said that, it’s not appropriate for me to comment on the content. If he has some facts wrong, then I’m sure he would be willing to set the record straight if and where required.

        My article simply points out two things arising from Scott’s resignation as Chair of the CRC;
        (1) that auDA did not consult with anyone from the CRC (or any members for that matter) before lodging their submission to Government; and;
        (2) members had to find out via the DomainPulse article that the CRC Chair had resigned.

        That’s what concerns me as a long standing member (and now Director) – communication and transparency.

        Ned

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        • Avatar
          January 5, 2018 at 7:53 pm
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          @Ned,

          I know for a fact that David didn’t fact-check his article before typing away… There are many inaccuracies. You know me, I can’t stand by and do or say nothing when someone or some situation is wrong or misleading, or has a hidden agenda (not saying this is the case here, just saying…). I hate fake news and I would expect better from David than to just take one person’s view on how a certain situation went down without fact checking and then just going to print?!

          The CRC is important to me and important to the Australian domain name industry as a whole, and still VERY important to the committee members still a part of it! Maybe nothing will change because of it, but I still trust a good bunch of people will get together to iron out some serious changes to consider…

          To use one person’s opinion of what went down and to write the whole thing off as a conspiracy to isolate members, and attempt to water the CRC down in general, and insinuate that “I” am the last man standing… (at least that’s my take on it?) .. that I’m the last guy on the Titanic… is not okay. Because it’s not true! (hence: false and misleading)

          If he was inferring that someone else was the last person standing, who did he mean?! (I will be asking him this in my article).

          And to simply write, “I don’t bother checking with auDA anymore for their opinion” at the end of the article doesn’t cut it either. Especially since his last attempt was years ago. What sort of journalism (blog-writing?) is that?! Try and try again. People and procedures change.

          As I said, I will be going into greater detail in my own article early next week, so I’ll leave it all here for now.

          Until then, I remain as passionate as you, and all the other respectful domainers and speculators (especially those who’ve ridden this rollercoaster for over 10 years! – hat’s off!)

          We shouldn’t forget what a monumental moment in Australian domain name history this is going to be documented as.

          Passion!

           

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          • Avatar
            January 5, 2018 at 8:09 pm
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            For the record, my last attempt to contact auDA, to which I received no reply, was on 11 October 2017. Prior to this I was told by auDA they “don’t usually reply to requests for blog stories.” The subsequent email trail makes clear auDA wouldn’t answer my questions. Which is odd. Because many other registries either contact me with news or suggestions for stories, or respond when I contact them. As does ICANN. Indeed, a list compiled by ICANN staff of the best sources for new gTLD news included Domain Pulse among the list of the half dozen or so sources.

            As for the “fake news” claim, that’s a very Trumpian comment to make.

            So if auDA wants to engage, I’m more than willing to discuss issues with them and publish their responses in articles I publish.

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          • Avatar
            January 6, 2018 at 2:39 pm
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            In your comments Robert you state how “the CRC is important to me.” So in your article, perhaps you can outline what you have contributed to the CRC to justify your, presumably, flights and accommodation paid for by auDA (I assume you don’t live in Melbourne). I’m assuming you don’t mind outlining what your contributions have been and you’ve got nothing to hide.

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          • Scott.L
            January 6, 2018 at 2:50 pm
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            Wow Robert, I’m surprised by your comments. I sent all the CRC members including the Chairman Mr. Leptos my reasons for resigning via email on the 20th December. It was no conspiracy; I outlined the same points in my email as I did the article; and just to reinforce my point, I emailed the Chairman and I said the following:

            I should be honest with our members about my reason for resigning from this committee, unless you can think of any reason why I shouldn’t.”

            He responded:
            I think we need a fresh start for the CRC.”

            And that is it. Nothing more.

            Obviously, he didn’t care one iota about the problem. All my time and effort meant nothing, just simply replace me with a fresh start, instead of, addressing the real problem raised.

            So, if you privately didn’t agree with my reason for resigning, why are you suddenly publicly vocal about it now? Besides, who cares how many committee members remain, it’s not like any of you contributed to it. In fact, if only you contributed to the CRC as much as you did in your previous post then you would have justified your fully paid flight and accommodation to Melbourne for the AGM and the CRC. But, you couldn’t keep your mouth shut, so now everyone will know, you were part of the real problem, privately undermining it by not contributing to it, whilst at the same time hiding like a coward from coming forward about your concerns (if you had any at all) albeit, I’m sure you have a thousand excuses. So, go ahead and write your schoolboy article, nobody is fooled by you, none.

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            • Avatar
              January 6, 2018 at 4:46 pm
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              Here’s my article, because I have decided I don’t want to “mud-up” NameBid with this negative drama next week.

              You were impossible to reach days before you resigned or informed any of the CRC committee. I phoned and texted you on the day you resigned and didn’t find out until a day or two later.  It is you who was hiding. You never rang me back?!

              “Besides, who cares how many committee members remain”

              Nice one. So it looks like you told David Goldstein a porky-pie about “one” member remaining. Perhaps I owe David an apology for my last response, if he chose to believe you on that one… and go to print… Still, he should have checked it’s authenticity.

              I was disappointed in the way you chose to run the CRC, but was hoping the new year would allow us all to get some serious work done. Now, It’s shocking how you attack me for your own predicament.

              I couldn’t understand how you were always telling us you were waiting for auDA to hand over documents. We’re an advisory committee, why couldn’t we just go through the existing constitution, speak with members about their opinions on what needed changing and updating, and then put forward a submission?

              Where you are quoted in David’s article as saying, “I believe was a deliberate intent to stifle a member driven assignment, and make it look like members are useless and redundant.” comes across to me as though you had your own agenda going into this thing. Because I can’t relate to that quote at all.

              I would of course not have made mention of any of this, if you didn’t come out the way you did, and say what you’ve just said. I would have just moved positively forward, with the rest of the fine people on the CRC.

              The Australian domaining community, registrars and the governing infrastructure can now publicly see, more and more, especially thanks to your latest conduct, exactly how volatile and self-destructive, “domainers” in this industry are. Particularly those from the “DNTrade gang”. Which is around 5-6 people (basically, internet-trolls).

              I’ve been in this industry for nearly 5 years now. It’s public record that I was a “domainer” for the first three years. The reason I have disassociated myself and my business away from certain “negative-domainers” is exactly because of this. I realised I was “on the wrong side”. Negative drama and people are a waste of time. You select few domainer-guys (you know who you are) don’t know what you’re doing and you’re all negative whingers. Most of your domain names are worthless and Direct Registration would be the best thing to happen to you, as it would cause you to be more selective with your domain names and cut your existing weak-portfolios in half.

              40 of you put your name to the SGM, myself included, but only 3 people put their hand up to be on the CRC… What does that say?!

              There’s a time and place to stand up for your beliefs and rights. Instead of every single time there’s any form of announcement.

              “I don’t like the auDA CEO’s tie, it should be a different shade of blue!”

              It’s been out of control for a very long time now.

              I do this as a business. I make money out of it to support my family and increase the value and credibility of the industry. I care and love this industry. I care about the dozens of colleagues, professional domain speculators and clients I deal with every week.

              “Domainers” (to be clear- I’m still talking about a select few people who are a part of the DNTrade negative army, yourself included) are the problem with this industry. They are the reason the industry is slow to change and is “untrusted”, in terms of domain name value.

              You had a real chance to be part of something to implement real change, Scott.

              And let’s not forget here… you are the one, who asked us all to agree to a “code of conduct” … and you are the one who was first to break this. All I am doing is exposing some un-truths made by yourself. Some of which, you are already admitting.

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              • Avatar
                January 6, 2018 at 6:50 pm
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                For the record, my claim of one person remaining on the CRC is more a miscommunication/misunderstanding than anything else, and it’s probable I got this wrong. Besides, I’ve updated my article. Maybe Robert can advise us of the people involved in the CRC. auDA certainly doesn’t seem interested in doing so.

                Of course, as I have mentioned, had auDA been willing to engage with journalists writing on the domain name industry, this could easily have been clarified along with a number of other issues.

                So I have some additional points Robert may wish to cover such as:

                * how much in total has been spent on the CRC?

                * how many of the meetings has he attended (in addition to what have been his contributions)

                * was there a budget established or is auDA spending money without planning and accountability?

                * have you ever had any commercial or personal relationships, past, present and anything being discussed for the future, with any auDA directors or staff, past or present?

                * and as I asked above, perhaps you can outline what you have contributed to the CRC to justify your, presumably, flights and accommodation paid for by auDA (I assume you don’t live in Melbourne). I’m assuming you don’t mind outlining what your contributions have been and you’ve got nothing to hide.

                We will soon see that “passion”!

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                • Avatar
                  January 6, 2018 at 8:55 pm
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                  Thanks for clearing all that up, David.

                  It’s clear to see you have absolutely no credibility in any article you have ever written, or will write, going forward.

                  You wrote:

                  The Committee originally had 8 members including Long and all but one have resigned, been sacked, never turned up or rarely turned up. The remaining member, Domain Pulse understands, is still involved in what may be a committee of one.

                  And now, in your latest comment above, you just admitted that you “got it wrong”.

                  I provide my time for free for important committee meetings. I must really love this industry to commit so much of my time to it, for free. But I don’t expect to have to pay travel costs. Just like Ned O’Meara doesn’t have to pay his travel costs from Townsville for meetings he is required to attend. I’m sure he will back me up on this.

                  For Scott, and now you to attack me over flying expenses from Perth to Melbourne to “give up” two days of my busy life for, for free, speaks volumes.

                  Who was the “last man standing” as you were falsely claiming in your article, with no proof at all?

                  You’re not worth talking to, so, I’ll leave you to keep writing your “fake news” stories.

                  No wonder auDA don’t waste their time talking to you either. It’s clear you have an agenda and you’re not worth it.

                  It’s also clear why you don’t allow comments to be made on your pages. You don’t want people pointing out how you make up most of your article content out of thin air.

                  I doubt the next group in charge of the registry will be paying you for writing your fluff.

                  Passion reigns!

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                  • Avatar
                    January 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm
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                    Oh dear Robert. Being abused by you is like being whipped with a wet lettuce leaf. Maybe in your world I have no credibility. But I’d be embarrassed and ashamed to be in your world. Obviously my articles have touched a raw nerve where it counts and you’ve come out like the defenders of Trump. Flailing and wailing. I see you’re not willing to tell us what you’ve achieved and whether you’ve any conflicts of interest to address. But that seems par for the course these days.

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            • Scott.L
              January 8, 2018 at 12:12 pm
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              I looked back on what I said in my earlier post; and I would like to correct this comment:

              “it’s not like any of you contributed to it.”

              I meant to say, “it’s not like you contributed to it” (referring to Robert). My sincere apologies to the others who did contribute.

              Scott

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  • Avatar
    January 5, 2018 at 1:01 pm
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    The Constitution needs fixing in many ways. It beggars belief that auDA would set up a committee to recommend changes to things like membership models and then ignore them when it comes to making submissions to government.

    Thanks for your efforts Scott.

    Jeff

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    • Avatar
      January 5, 2018 at 1:19 pm
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      Agree and the first 4 models seem to be about removing or restricting the rights of members.

      Surely AUDA would have known the majority of the panel would been strongly against a submission like this?

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  • Avatar
    January 7, 2018 at 7:51 am
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    Given track record of auda, it’s easy to understand why they didn’t tell members what was going on. Fu*k the members seems to be their motto.

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  • Ned O'Meara
    January 7, 2018 at 10:21 am
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    @Robert – I’m proud to be a “domainer” (amongst other things).

    I have mentored, encouraged and supported many people over the years without seeking anything in return. I’m a glass half-full kind of guy. 😉

    That said, please let’s not get diverted from the purpose of my article (which was not to debate the content or who is right or who is wrong). I simply raised two factually relevant points:

    1. Why was the CRC or membership not consulted by auDA management before putting in their submission to Government?

    2. Why did auDA not give members a status update on the CRC? And/or advise that the CRC Chair had resigned?

    I would have thought that the two issues above would be a fundamental part of good communication and transparency in a membership organisation.

    As my final paragraph said:

    “I will do my best as an auDA Director to try to encourage auDA to improve this deficiency. 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.”

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  • Scott.L
    January 7, 2018 at 12:28 pm
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    Robert, my main beef is that the CRC was not consulted before auDA made their Government submission. Surely you must agree that was poor form?

    As for some of your comments:

    “The CRC is important to me and important to the Australian domain name industry as a whole, and still VERY important to the committee members still a part of it!

    I provide my time for free for important committee meetings. I must really love this industry to commit so much of my time to it, for free.
    I was disappointed in the way you chose to run the CRC, but was hoping the new year would allow us all to get some serious work done. Now, It’s shocking how you attack me for your own predicament.
    I couldn’t understand how you were always telling us you were waiting for auDA to hand over documents. We’re an advisory committee, why couldn’t we just go through the existing constitution, speak with members about their opinions on what needed changing and updating, and then put forward a submission?”

    Perhaps I should publish the CRC newsletters, just to show the readers and members the level of detail, requests, and instruction you were given?

    Perhaps I should show the 300+ members how much you love this industry by publishing all your Contributions to the CRC. It wouldn’t be hard; a blank screen is all we will see. I’m sure 300+ members will be happy to see your fine effort.

    I’m sure you think the members are happy with your attitude;
     “I didn’t like how he chose to run the CRC so I didn’t say or do anything”

    But lets not make this about you or me Robert. Its about the management of auDA seeking to subvert member effort though silence and disengagement; and writing their own submissions behind our back.

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