As most readers of Domainer will know, Shane Moore and I were going to run for the two Demand Class Director positions at the next auDA AGM.
But a lot of things have changed this week. Most notably, Dr Michaella Richards chose to resign her position as a Demand Class Director on Monday 14th August, and this has created a “casual vacancy” for the position.
Secondly, I have decided not to run for personal and business reasons.
auDA has called for expressions of interest for the casual vacancy by no later than Monday 21st August. This only runs until the next AGM in November – so about 3 months. Given that Shane narrowly came 3rd in last years election, many Demand Class members support him for this position. If auDA is indeed listening to its membership base (as recently promised), then hopefully common sense will prevail.
Shane and I were going to publish candidate statements this week, but as mine is no longer necessary, here is Shane’s. Regardless of whether he is appointed to the “casual vacancy”, he is still going to have to stand for election come November.
Here, in his own words, is why he will make a good Director in November! Suffice to say, it also outlines why he should be the logical choice for the “casual vacancy”.
My name is Shane Moore, and I’ll be nominating as a demand class director of auDA at the 2017 elections.
Last year I missed out by just four votes, and this year I believe it is more important than ever to have strong, genuine demand class directors on the board.
What I stand for has not changed since last year.
Direct registrations are still a huge concern, and transparency has become an even bigger issue than it was last year.
We still have huge amounts of red tape that hold back the .au namespace, and much of it is unnecessary.
I am firmly against the introduction of direct registrations in Australia.
I believe there is no demand for them and they will not provide any genuine growth.
What they will bring is a huge amount of confusion to registrants and the general public, along with extra unnecessary expense to business.
Their introduction will not provide more options to business owners. It will simply result in existing registrants spending more money on defensive registrations.
That is not genuine growth, and it is certainly not innovation.
♦ However, if their introduction cannot be stopped, then it is vital that the implementation does not hurt existing registrants.
Australian business owners and domain name investors have invested vast amounts of money into com.au registrations, both as new registrations and aftermarket purchases.
There should never be a situation where direct registrations jeopardise these investments.
Personally I love shorter domains. I love innovation and actively look for change. But would I switch my business from .com.au to .au? No way. It’s not worth it.
Ultimately, if I was given the opportunity to oppose direct registrations at the board level, I would.
Engagement with registrants and members
Last year I said that auDA needed to seriously increase its level of engagement with existing registrants.
This year you can include members in that comment.
Since last year’s elections auDA have made a number of decisions which have reduced the effectiveness of communication with members.
Whilst the newsletters have been a welcome addition, the removal of the meeting minutes from the auDA website was unacceptable to many members.
This led to a member revolt, and ultimately, the reinstatement of the minutes.
It should never have happened in the first place however, and with better member engagement from the start, a lot of time and money could have been saved.
Reducing red tape
I believe the restrictions around .com.au have helped to make the space as trusted as it is today.
That’s a great thing, but times have changed and it’s time to move on.
For many potential registrants, the red tape around .au domains make it seem far easier to just register a .com or similar.
But at the same time, those who understand the rules know that you can register virtually any name and work the system to be eligible for the domain.
So why have a set of rules that scares off potential new registrations, whilst allowing those in the know to be eligible for most names anyway?
The logical option is to remove much of the red tape that exists. This is will provide far greater genuine growth than introducing direct registrations.
The two-year registration period should be scrapped, and moved in line with other TLDs.
The ABN requirement should be scrapped, and instead anyone with an Australian address or presence should be able to register an Australian domain name.
Opening registrations up to people without an Australian presence is also an option, but would require a lot more consideration.
Scammers are getting around the ABN rule every day anyway. The current system makes it easy for scammers, yet difficult for genuine users wanting a domain name.
Ultimately, we need to make it more attractive for Australian businesses, organisations, bloggers and others to register an .au domain over the competition.
My great loves are my family, my business, Formula One and domain names. Roughly in that order.
I’ve been a part of the domaining community since 2010, and registered my first .com way back in 1999. My first .com.au was a few years later in 2003.
Although I love being a part of the domaining community, I’m not a domainer. I have bought and sold plenty of domains, but now hold slightly less than 100.
I’m an end-user of premium domain names via my businesses, but also a lover (and perhaps hoarder) of great domain names.
Some of my previous and current online businesses include Nuts.com.au, NumberPlates.com.au and my insurance business, Trade Risk.
I’m the managing director of Trade Risk, which is an award-winning insurance brokerage I founded in 2010.
My business has benefited from the use of premium domain names, and I credit these for a lot of our growth in the early days.
I now manage a team of four staff, who look after the insurance needs of over 3,000 clients throughout Australia.
I am a Certified Insurance Professional, and a Senior Associate of ANZIIF (Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance).
Whilst small business is my love these days, prior to that I spent most of my working life in the corporate world.
Prior to founding my own business, I was a compliance analyst for a subsidiary of the ANZ Banking Group.
I’ve held compliance and project management related roles with corporates including Suncorp Bank, the National Australia Bank and other financial institutions.
I also have some public-sector experience, having spent time in London working for the UK Government.
Why vote for me?
I have the best interests of business owners and domain name investors at heart when it comes to domain names.
Following last year’s close election result, and subsequent discussions, I also believe I have the respect of many demand class auDA members.
Getting a seat on the auDA board is not about money, prestige or improving my CV.
I have a great business that provides everything I need. I have no interest in joining other boards. I simply want help ensure auDA is heading in the right direction.
After the recent Special General Meeting of auDA members, I believe that auDA might now be back on a proper course. I want to help ensure it continues that way.
Shane Moore – 18th August 2017