Names Panel Survey Results

The collected survey responses have now been published at http://www.auda.org.au/policies/panels-and-committees/2015-names-policy-panel/. Be warned, it is a huge file which runs to over 1,000 pages!

4,495 responses were received.

I think it would be fair to surmise that the “Vote Yes” emails sent out in the last week (by NetRegistry, ZipHosting, TPPWholesale, MelbourneIT etc) probably helped contribute to this massive response.

There were also a total of 27 written responses. These make for good reading imho.

Next week’s Names Panel Meeting should be interesting! 😉

AUSREGISTRY PTY LTD
AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS CONSUMER ACTION NETWORK (ACCAN)

BLAKE, Alex
BROWN, Shawn
BUY DIRECT PTY LTD
CAMPBELL, Enrique
CARSALES.COM
COWPER, Joshua Todd
edu.au DOMAIN ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE (eDAC)
DIVINE SIGNS
GILBERT + TOBIN
GILMARTIN, Oliver
GOV.AU DOMAIN ADMINISTRATION (DTO)
HOWIE, John
INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK ASSOCIATION (INTA)
KALUCY, Michael
LYE, David
MARKS, Sharron
MARKWELL
McDONALD, Doug
MELBOURNE IT GROUP
NG, Jenny
O’NEILL, Chris
REA GROUP
SELBY, John
THE LUCKY COUNTRY
XAMAX CONSULTANCY PTY LTD

32 thoughts on “Names Panel Survey Results

  • tim
    October 3, 2015 at 10:40 am
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    just shows you how you can rig a vote when you only tell anyone the people one side of the story.

    tim

    • October 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm
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      Not at all Tim. What it shows is when you ask micro, small and medium business about 90% of them want it.

      The domainer community simply don’t want to accept that answer. They rave on about how it’ll impact small business, but what they are really saying is my portfolio of domains will be de-valued. Which 99.9999% of .au domain users don’t care about.

      We didn’t hold a gun to anyones head to have them either complete the survey or to vote yes.

      • October 3, 2015 at 1:28 pm
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        “What it shows is when you ask micro, small and medium business about 90% of them want it.” <- you have no basis for this argument.

        You’re logically challenged if you think your biased email shows that conclusion.

        You know it, we know it.

      • tim
        October 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm
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        micro, small and medium business” is exactly where i work in so what a load of SH*T your post is, I EMAILED them personally, I ASKED them, I SPOKE to them on the phone, i didn’t send out a BULK email with a one sided view, i followed up with a phone call to get their decision and i actually gave them BOTH the for and against reasons at all times.

        So unless you have done the same, i do not know how you can come up with a 90% YES  decision, I have the stats in my client base and its 100% NO in its present form.

        PLEASE post that you told every person of your “90%” both sides of the story , and i don’t think i have to list them all here.

         

        tim

         

         

         

         

  • October 3, 2015 at 1:52 pm
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    99.9999% of those recommending direct .au domain registrations are the companies and people that stand to make money from them; from charging consumers registration fees and auctioning off the best ones.

    Source: Above linked responses from a variety of companies and people.

  • October 3, 2015 at 2:04 pm
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    It’s interesting to see the majority of written responses are not in favour of direct registrations or have called for rights for current com.au owners. They must’ve not gotten Brett’s email 😉

  • October 3, 2015 at 4:38 pm
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    This calls into question on how due process can be seen to be done where stakeholders haven’t equally received both sides of the argument.

     

    • Ned O'Meara
      October 3, 2015 at 4:47 pm
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      Brett’s a good guy – and on this particular issue we’ve agreed to disagree. As I’ve told him in person, I wish I had his “mailing list”! 😉

      The fact is, he is prepared to argue his corner in a passionate but civil manner – and I respect that.

      It’s probably fair to say that not everyone is going to get want they want. But I have great hopes for a satisfactory compromise that everyone can live with.

      But ultimately it is going to be up to the auDA Board.

      • October 3, 2015 at 5:03 pm
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        Thanks @ned. I appreciate that post.

        I think we’re probably getting ahead of ourselves. I’d imagine there is a compelling argument now for the panel to recommend to the board – though it’s fair to say the next meeting will be contentious.

        Past that for .au to be a reality, the board needs to accept and support the recommendation. After that there would be another panel formed to agree on a model of implementation. Then an implementation process to go live.

        My personal feeling is the panel will recommend it, but the board won’t endorse it as has happened previously on the two times the names panel recommended varying the length of licenses. So that’d kill it right there.

        Past that there is the mechanical side of implementation which I think would have to involve the 2018 registry tender – One benefit though is the space would probably have enough potential support for .au to run competing registries. For example one vendor could run the third level, a different one could run the second level. Like all markets, I think competition is a good thing.

  • October 3, 2015 at 6:34 pm
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    “For example one vendor could run the third level, a different one could run the second level. Like all markets, I think competition is a good thing.”

    So do I – but apparently auDA and Ausregistry seem to have adifferent opinion. Call me cynical, but I would be very surprised if Ausregistry didn’t get the second level as well as maintaining the third level.

    https://www.dntrade.com.au/threads/draft-recommendations-from-the-2015-names-policy-panel.10143/page-14#post-75811

    • October 3, 2015 at 9:20 pm
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      Quoting Garth Miller in any sense just lowers the bar of an argument. COCCA’s submissions were a joke.

      Both auDA and previous competition panels have acknowledged that they support the concept of a multi-registry space.

      The problem is this. To credibly run a registry in the space will run a minimum of $2M per year in a very bare bones offering that probably struggles to meet minimum compliance.

      The current registry makes about $6-7 per domain per year, which today is less than Verisign in the com and net spaces. So to break even you have to maintain a space north of 300K domains. Give or take this is why in .au a multi-registry body space can’t work in todays environment. The combination of all other spaces except .com.au will basically let you break even at best, excluding your start up costs.

      In previous tenders which have all allowed registries to bid on all or some of the 2LD’s under .au, AFAIK there has been no credible submissions for any spaces other than .com.au.

      The last competition panel simply re-enforced the principle of multiple registries in the tender process, but at the same time maintained the status quo by negotiation (rather than re-tender) until 2018. There are a number of reasons why this made sense.

      There was no compelling reason at the time of the panel to tender, in fact deferring to 2018 after the launch of the new TLD’s probably allows for a more competitive space.

      My point is if the potential size of a space in the second level is bigger than 500K domains it’s probably a space that would financially support a separate registry. Of course I’d expect in the tender registries will bid for multiple spaces, that makes financial sense.

      • October 4, 2015 at 8:46 am
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        This is where the domainer experience is invaluable. .au would NEVER surpass 20% of the total namespace (ie. 300,000) quite simply because it is very difficult to sell business something that it doesn’t need, especially small business.

        Where a domainer decides to dispose of a name no longer required for development or monetisation, selling to someone else (‘outbound’) is not always easy. Common idiotic responses are “That’s my domain name!” and “We’ve already got a domain name.” before the value of the name being offered is even espoused. This occurs 70% of the time. The other 30% of the time it’s “How much do you want for it?” and then upon hearing the price, two-thirds of the time the response is “No thanks.”

        Yes, .au will scare some people into registering their existing names defensively, but the majority just won’t care and the thought of being slugged again by the likes of Melbourne IT for a duplicate product (and committing to its renewal indefinitely) will deter them from registering the .au equivalent.

        The strongest evidence to support my argument is the experience with .uk. Nominet stats show names registered under the new .uk comprise only 3.91% of the namespace SOME 14 MONTHS AFTER THE INTRODUCTION OF .UK http://www.nominet.uk/news/reports-statistics/2015-uk-register-statistics

        • October 4, 2015 at 10:04 am
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          I think the domainer view adds perspective but it’s a narrow band on the full spectrum.

          40% of all domains in the com.au space today are in their first registration cycle – that is they’re younger than 2 years old.

          2.6M com.au domains exist today so that’s about 1M total domains.

          How many of these new registrations given the choice would take .au over .com.au? That becomes an interesting question.

          12 months into .nz about in the second level, we see .nz getting close to 50% of the creates of .co.nz. That number has grown month on month.

          Maybe there is a ceiling to that ratio, I don’t know but maybe there will be a tipping point where the brand equity in .nz is greater than co.nz and it becomes the default choice and you see the growth/decline accelerate.

          So you say it’ll never happen, and based solely off experience in after market sales, maybe thats a reasonable conclusion to draw.

          I think on balance though all other things being equal – eg same policy etc, that within 3 registration cycles (6 years) .au would be at least 50% of the size of the com.au space. That is large enough to support a competitive registry model. If .au is to go ahead in the second level, it would certainly make the next registry tender very interesting.

          • October 4, 2015 at 10:45 am
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            Brand equity in .nz and .co.nz? Nah that’s not confusing at all.

          • October 4, 2015 at 12:38 pm
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            Thank you for your intelligent, reasoned response @ Brett. Some further observations:

            Though 40% of .au names are in their first registration cycle, 40% will NOT be the figure in 2018 -the year in which proposed “.au” would likely roll-out. That figure may well be closer to 25%.

            Also, the axiom ‘30% of businesses fail within the first two years, 50% within the first five’ needs to be applied. Factor-in that online ventures have an even greater risk of failure due to their low startup costs (low barriers to entry) and you can bet that less than one quarter of your ‘40%’ are in fact relevant to this debate, as three-quarters would represent the number of businesses that fail every two years regardless of TLD choice.

            In other words, even if “.au” is adopted, and even if every business in the country has a domain within the namespace, the purge rate will ALWAYS sit between 25% and 30%. Thus the argument that our namespace is somewhat nascent is completely flawed. AusRegistry’s own case for change tells us that the namespace or ‘market’ has matured.

            The reason “.nz” (“close to 50%” of the namespace) has been more successful than “.uk” (3.91% of the namespace) is that the NZ model creates artificial demand because it fosters rivalry between the 2LDs within that namespace. Go to Google.nz and it does not resolve (neither does Google.uk). Now go to Google.co.nz and perform half a dozen searches for industry keywords of varying competitiveness. You will be hard-pressed to find even ONE “.nz” name on page one for ANY of the half-dozen keywords.

            If Google only rewards unique content, would any reasonable person for a second think that more than 10% OF your ‘50%’ represents commercial interests wishing to establish an online presence divorced from their holding of a .co.nz name? Or did the NZ business community somehow increase by 33% this past year?

            One further observation is that the weaker the TLD, the more receptive business will be to a substitute. Hence .com’s perennial dominance and the outright failure of “.uk”. Why has the uptake in “.nz” been much greater than “.uk”? -Because “.co.nz” is one of the WEAKEST ccTLDs in the world due to:

            (1) Low population (1 million fewer residents than Victoria) and hence little scope for commercial use.

            (2) No presence requirements, and a plethora of worthless 2LDs within the namespace (eg. .geek.nz, .gen.nz etc).

            (3) Failure to include “.com” instead of “.co” as a 2LD, ie. “.com.nz”.

            (Inclusion of “.com” within “.com.au” instead of having “.co.au” was a stroke of brilliance, and this is one reason why Australians are more loyal to their ccTLD than ANY OTHER COUNTRY (and one should not disregard the anchoring effect that “.com” will continue to have towards “.com.au” in perpetuity). The other two reasons are (i) geography and (ii) timing of ccTLD ascendancy, with “.ca” the prime example of what can go wrong when these two factors are offside (ie. Canada is geographically and commercially bound to the US and the local push towards .ca occurred much too late)).

            • October 4, 2015 at 3:19 pm
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              I think there are some good points in there @damien.

              We’ve probably represented views at different ends of the spectrum (in a reasoned and objective way), it’s likely the reality will lie somewhere between those two points. Just where becomes the question.

              I like the idea of free markets and choice. People given a choice will make the market. It’s worked out differently so far in both nz and uk as you point out. But I continue to believe (rightly or wrongly) that in a relatively short period of time (under a decade) that .au in the second level would be the dominant space. It won’t happen on day 1, or in year 1, but I think past that the growth would start to kick in.

              • October 4, 2015 at 5:19 pm
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                Thanks @ Brett, yes we will have to see. If you can indulge one final observation:

                The number of names registered under any TLD matters much less than (i) the calibre of those registrants in question, (ii) the actual USE of those names (compare the new gTLD program and the 65.41% ‘parked’ rate at present https://ntldstats.com/) and, critically and as a corollary, (iii) the percentage of web traffic flowing TO those names.

                Would the ASX, ASIC, ATO, Centrelink, Channel 9, Yahoo, Google, Bing, Facebook, REA, CarSales, Seek, Myer, Target and every other ‘top 200’ site in Australia currently using “.com.au” migrate their online presence to “.au”? No. Not a single site in the top 200 would be so silly as to act as ‘first mover’ in this regard. To do so would cost tens of thousands of dollars and introduce a number of risks, with no actual benefit and not even a user mandate raison d’etre.

                How often, then, would the USERS of the top 200 sites in Australia, whom no doubt account for MORE THAN 90% OF AUSTRALIAN WEB TRAFFIC, therefore be typing in “.au” or viewing and clicking on a “.au” address? VERY RARELY, compared to “.com.au”, and probably even less rarely than “.net.au”.

                An unrecognisable TLD is a failed TLD, from a USER perspective. “.au” would have plenty of registrations, but I would not expect these to exceed 20% of the namespace and, for its total lack of organic growth, “.au” would actually sit in THIRD place behind “.com.au” and “.net.au”.

                I appreciate discussing this with you, and understand that you get paid to tow the company line. Just understand that there are dozens of highly intelligent, heavily invested ‘domainers’ with a better understanding of the web vis-Ă -vis small business than you. Since small business is your bread a butter, our knowledge and views should be given more weight than might think.

                Those in our ranks include Greg Roebuck of CarSales, Damian Waller of iSelect, Hezi Leibovich of CatchOfTheDay, Jack Singleton of FastFlowers, all of whom have built significant domain name portfolios comprised of dozens of high-quality generic domain names.

                • October 4, 2015 at 7:12 pm
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                  Again @Damien a well thought out post.

                  One point I’d note up front and Ned would I’m sure support this as we’ve had the conversation. I’m not towing anyones line other than my own opinion here. My employer doesn’t actually a strong view, other than we’d prefer people to buy domains in .au (at second or third level), rather than in GTLD space. There are a few reasons for this and I’m happy to discuss them separately.

                  Will big 200 be first movers? Of course not. But if you were a small business entering the market today would you consider a .au over a com.au? I’d think probably. At some point the large players either decide to re-brand, as part of a normal brand cycle, or they don’t. Re-brands happen all the time for all types of reasons, including mergers or acquisitions or maybe they just want a change (UWS). But the big companies in a decade probably won’t be the same ones you mention today. What did REA and CAR look like a decade ago?

                  Is it a fair comparison to compare a ccTLD to a new gTLD? I don’t know – probably not.

                  I know there are a lot of smart people who’ve invested in domains, I know a lot of them having been living and breathing domains for over 15 years now. It doesn’t however change the fact that in Australia from analysis work auDA did a few years back there are less than 250 active domainers who collectively hold 5% of the total space. Nor that domaining is an arbitrage business, and markets shift (especially in .au due to policy change) making them high risk.

                  • October 4, 2015 at 11:43 pm
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                    Thanks @ Brett. We’re all on the same page in that we all want what’s best for the local namespace. One key difference it seems then is the varying levels of credibility given to the perceived threat of the new gTLDs, with many supply-side commentators like yourself giving the new gTLDs more credibility as a ‘threat’ than perhaps most domainers.

                    Both registrars and domainers are capable of producing compelling statistical and anecdotal evidence to support their somewhat disparate arguments about the potency or impotency of the new gTLD program. An independent source, https://ntldstats.com/, however tells us everything we need to know:

                    (1) That we are approaching THE END of the introduction of these things https://ntldstats.com/launch?orderby=start&orderdir=asc&filterby=start&start=2015-10-04&end=2018-10-04&tld=

                    (2) That today there are 7,979,511 total domain names registered under some 762 new TLDs, which is 2 million fewer names than exist under the .uk namespace and WELL BELOW original and even revised ICANN expectations http://www.domainmondo.com/2015/07/new-gtld-domains-walking-dead-and-dying.html

                    (3) That only 107,262 or 1.34% of these names are identified as being registered in Australia or to Australians, which means that, among Australians, “.net.au” is almost THREE TIMES MORE POPULAR than every name within the new gTLD program combined (there are more than 318,000 “.net.au” names at present) https://ntldstats.com/country

                    (4) That registrars Crazy Domains and GoDaddy.com, favored by speculators due to mass marketing and low pricing, are responsible for MORE THAN 50% OF ALL NEW TLD REGISTRATIONS IN AUSTRALIA. (That’s a lot of speculation!).

                    (5) That many of the new TLDs have peaked, plateaued or taken a dive. Consider “.xyz”, “.berlin”, “.guru” and “.photography” key examples.

                    https://ntldstats.com/tld/xyz
                    https://ntldstats.com/tld/berlin
                    https://ntldstats.com/tld/guru
                    https://ntldstats.com/tld/photography

                    The big question for you then is this:

                    Given the clear evidence above that the new TLD program is failing, and given the clear evidence than Australians have little interest in the new TLDs, in what way could the new gTLDs possibly pose a threat to the .au namespace? Any argument that .com.au would suffer at the hands of ANY other TLD is completely spurious. Or have you forgotten that “.com.au” knocked “.com” of its perch [in Australia] in 2008-2009?

                    In response to your question, were I to start a small business today I would look at what competitors and market leaders are doing. Since my competitors and the market leaders are using “.com.au”, I too would use “.com.au” over “.au”. This is pure rationalism. There will always be mavericks and poor decision-makers whom might choose “.au” over “.com.au”, but the vast majority of these ones may well find themselves in the 30% of businesses that fail within the first two years.

                    Your comment ‘But the big companies in a decade probably won’t be the same ones you mention today.’ betrays a lack of understanding about where we are in the scheme of time. The web is now SETTLED, unlike twenty years ago, even ten. Most businesses who want and/or need an online presence now have one. REA and CAR are so far ahead of the game that no competitor can touch them, let alone one that would choose anything but “.com.au” -and their multiples reflect this. Just ask James Packer how much fun he’s had with HomeHound.com.au.

                    As for domainers, don’t worry about us, we’re always one step ahead of the game -how else do you think we came to do what we do? In my view, “.au” poses no threat to “.com.au”, or even “.net.au”. It has well and truly missed the boat and would need to have been introduced prior to the 2008 liberalization to have had any potency.

                    • October 5, 2015 at 11:07 am
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                      Great to see an educated, balanced, factual debate! A breath of fresh air in the au domain space!

  • tim
    October 4, 2015 at 12:21 pm
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    so if you talk 3 registration cycles thats pretty good income isn’t it ? charge everyone to have 2 domain registrations for 3 + years and reap the rewards.

    tim

     

     

    • October 4, 2015 at 3:27 pm
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      @tim you must have worked quite hard to misrepresent my comments like this.

      I said in 6 years it’s completely possible that .au would be the dominant space. That has nothing to do with renewals, and would come at the expense of total volume in the com.au space.

      As .au grows, .com.au will most likely decline both in it’s brand equity in the space and registration volumes. It would become a second choice just like .net.au is today (and represents what 10% of the .com.au space?). Time will tell if this is how it ends up working out.

      The only group who this is a massive issue for is domainers who’ve invested in an arbitrage business model. Like all arbitrage models a free market creates those opportunities, it also kills them when the market shifts.

      • October 5, 2015 at 7:53 am
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        I’m so glad you’ve referenced the free market @ Brett.

        The free market is one that is demand-driven. Yes demand can be contrived by the supply side, but unless something has utility and its benefits well exceed its costs to DEMAND participants, the market will judge harshly.

        Acutely aware of what Australian business WANTS, and with two decades of TLD experience behind us (“.info” #FAIL, “.biz” #FAIL, “.us” #FAIL, “.co” #FAIL, “.ca” #FAIL, “.uk” #FAIL and the new gTLDs #FAIL) most domainers are better placed than many to gauge how well-received “.au” would be.

        One should never underestimate the power of the status quo. The further you wish to deviate from the status quo, the more radically beneficial your alternative needs to be. With this in mind, what *marginal* benefit would “.au” offer over “.com.au” to Australian business? “It’s shorter” is all you can say.

        Is this a *marginal* benefit? No, as the costs well exceed the benefits. Nobody wants to lose 10% of their traffic to another site, which is why “.com.au” comprises 86% of the namespace (“.net.au” leaks 10% of its traffic to “.com.au”).

        The costs of (i) migration (ii) rebranding and (iii) losing traffic to the “.com.au” equivalent, notwithstanding absense of any SEO benefits and the memory that “.net.au” took 15 years to gain any kind of credibility on Google (how long would “.au” take?), completely overwhelm the one and only benefit of having a “shorter” name.

  • tim
    October 4, 2015 at 5:31 pm
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    And businesses of australia here it is ………..”It would become a second choice just like .net.au is today ” meaning .net.au has no rights or that hasn’t been decided?

    PLEASE keep slashing your own throat.

    how about the point that the PRICE hasn’t been decided ? ohhhh, that would be and interesting thing to include in an email don’t you think, what about the .com.au has no rights to the domain if .au comes in, how about time frames which haven’t been decided and everything else is just a boreeeee as it been mentioned to many times.

    i know i am on “domainer.com.au” right now but everybody knows i don’t speak from a domain perspective, i speak from a SMB perspective , ooohhhh, by the way, if you don’t know what an SMB is ……… they are the ones auda didn’t tell they were having a survey except for the registrars sending out ONE sided emails.

    “As .au grows, .com.au will most likely decline both in it’s brand equity in the space and registration volumes. ”

    hmmmm, yummy, who’s going to profit from that ? an SMB ? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    and in your theory guess where we end up ? , back to the same number of domains being registered, being dropped and NO IMPROVEMENT except profiteering , you are NOT going to grow the market which is your major case for the change.

    the 2nd BELL curve will happen because its been forced onto CURRENT uses, then it will dive, but along the way you will get the money and be happy, so will i , i’m VERY sorry to say.

    and at the end of the day i PREDICT that in your estimation of 6 years  (which i believe is 8-10 years ) [should this be decided this year or next ] you will end up straight back where you started at @ 3 mil domains, THUS once again………. a money grab.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • October 4, 2015 at 6:57 pm
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      @tim this will be my last response to what you post as it’s pretty much uniformly drivel.

      Again you take something I say twist it, flip it reverse it and get some conclusion that is only logical to you.

      I’ll keep it really simple. Yes I said the com.au space will shrink, yes I said the .au would grow and probably exceed the size of the space in 6 years – which incidentally you seem to agree. This doesn’t result in a space that tomorrow is the same size as today.

      Maybe in 6 years com.au is 2.5M, and .au is 2.5M and the entire space is over 5M names. Past that inflection point .au will continue to grow, com.au will decline, probably both sides accelerating. So following this simple concept you can in fact see there is growth right?

      Finally I haven’t mentioned price at all, because no-one knows what the price may or may not be. We’re years from that. So it’s pointless speculation.

      • October 5, 2015 at 8:13 am
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        @ Tim, I must agree with @ Brett -If you could find a way to channel that passion into cogent arguments with an economy of words this would be much more beneficial.

  • October 4, 2015 at 6:20 pm
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    So brand equity erosion isn’t a major issue?

    Wonder what Carsales.com.au and the REA group think about that.

    Oh wait you can read their submissions above.

  • October 5, 2015 at 9:15 am
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    @damien, I’m enjoying our conversation. But continuing inline makes it hard to read on my iphone so just continuing onto a new post.

    Your argument is sound, except the foundation for it is that you rely on the assumption that .au will be an analogue to any of the new TLD spaces. If the assumption is wrong the logic past that suffers. I’m not sure whether it’s wrong or right. I think that’s an entirely different (and interesting conversation).

    Anyone who’s had a beer with me and cared to ask the question about the value of the new TLD’s I’ll gladly provide an opinion (I think Ned’s heard it), in fact both the ex CEO of NR and the new CEO of MIT have heard it 🙂

    While I might not think there are many (or any) great new and innovative business models outside the brand TLD’s it doesn’t mean I don’t believe in closing the opportunity to the market to see what they make of it. Ultimately I love free market economics, maybe I’ll be proved wrong and someone will come up with a killer model for a new TLD, that interests me, just as much as the market ignoring them and them all falling over and failing.

    .au for me is the same. Give people the choice (in an unconstrained way) and see what happens. The evolution of the internet has today been based on this, things like Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are great examples. Personally I think is .au is better. I might be completely wrong and the market ignores it and the world moves on and as you’ve argued it’ll fall behind both com.au and net.au. But I might also be right and it becomes the dominant player.

    Finally I think it’s really narrow to think the competitive landscape today is anything like it’ll be in 10 or 20 years. Its part of the reason I love technology, we’re still at the dawn of the information age and I think it’s less a similar business model coming in and blowing away an established player, it’s a disruptive business model that kills the incumbents. Think back to the 90’s how many of those technology leviathans continue to be market dominant? How many were killed by disruptive plays? Evolution in the last decade has accelerated much faster than the decade(s) prior. I’d be shocked if that stalls tomorrow and we reach some type of equilibrium and it’s status quo from this point forward.

    • October 5, 2015 at 12:15 pm
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      Me too @ Brett 🙂

      You can tell I’m doing this for the intellectual exercise (and for future vindication), rather than to vent chagrin or take a particular side on the issue. Not once have I said whether “.au” should or should not be introduced, only the way things will play out if it DOES get introduced. In fact I didn’t even vote or make submission on “.au”, and have no interest in doing so. What will be, will be. The purpose of the exercise for me is to consolidate my understanding and give confidence to other domainers, some of whom can’t seem to think for themselves.

      My reference to the new gTLDs is only ONE basis (“.uk” being another) for only ONE supporting argument that I have used among many.

      Yes, the free market would ultimately decide upon the success of “.au”. But unlike other disruptive technologies, novel domain name extensions offer no technological advancement whatsoever. In fact, they “break stuff” http://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerkay/2015/03/24/the-expansion-of-internet-domains-would-go-better-at-a-slower-pace/, and there is no certainty that “.au” would not experience some significant compatibility issues at least in the interim. Bitcoin and blockchain technology is a great example of ‘radical deviation from the status quo’ I spoke about earlier. The removal of “.com” from “.com.au” is not.

      What you’re missing is the importance of the URL to the web. “.com”, “.co.uk”, “.com.au” and the other ccTLDs have been met with several MAJOR potential disruptions in recent years. These have included (1) smart devices & apps (2) social media (3) Google’s EMD update and (4) the new gTLDs. There was even talk of ‘dotless domains’ and the relegation of domain name extensions altogether, which was quickly abandoned for its lack of technological merit (https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2013-08-30-en). Apps, Facebook, Google Algorithm updates and the new gTLDs have only AUGMENTED the importance and value of “.com”, “.co.uk”, “.com.au” and others.

      What you’re missing is that domain names are NOT real estate. Domain names are ROADS or, collectively, the ELECTRICITY GRID. Sure, you can introduce flying cars, but unless they are permitted to travel at greater speed than road vehicles, why should people bother with them? -Too much has been invested in the status quo (paved roads) and the public and private costs of flying cars (travelling at the same speed) would well exceed the benefits. Sure, you can create solar energy, wind energy, ocean current energy -whatever you like, but regardless of the energy source, it will ALWAYS be converted into ELECTRICITY and dispersed using the ELECTRICITY GRID because too much has been invested in this ‘status quo’ for any substitute to challenge it. The URL, and domain names, are precisely the same. 30 years of disruption and technological change and the URL and domain names have only become MORE and MORE important.

  • tim
    October 5, 2015 at 11:16 am
    Permalink

    damien, please ask brett the same, short enough for you?

    • October 5, 2015 at 2:12 pm
      Permalink

      shh Tim don’t interrupt Brett whilst he’s giving us his opinion.

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