30 June 2014

ICANN, Governments, Domain Names, Internet Sovereignty

Fadi Chehade may be mistaken when he rules out a multilateral approach to internet governance--

Some "governments are happy to sell control to all or part of their ccTLDs to the highest bidder. Montenegro and the Pacific Island of Tuvalu, for instance, have allowed their ccTLDs to be used by websites with no connection to the country, and they fetch high prices for their respective .me and .tv ccTLDs. Laos markets its .la suffix to some Los Angeles-based businesses." (source WSJ infra)

Countries Scramble for Internet Sovereignty as ICANN Shifts - Digits - WSJ:  June 27, 2014 "... the issue is one of national sovereignty extending into the virtual realm. Representatives from Germany and other countries at [ICANN 50]... said countries must continue to have “Internet sovereignty” over their ccTLDs... but the question of ccTLD “sovereignty” is complicated. There are no international laws or treaties governing use of ccTLDs and some governments choose not to assert sovereignty over a suffix related to their name...“We should respect every country’s Internet sovereignty,” said China’s Minister of Cyberspace Affairs Lu Wei... Germany’s Mr. Dauke said that governments should also possibly be given a special role in the oversight of non-country-specific generic top level domains, or gTLDs... ICANN is currently overseeing a massive expansion in the number of of gTLDs from a small list including .com, .net, to more than 1,000 including .london and .berlin."

Of course, Fadi Chehade, President/CEO of ICANN has been his own worst enemy when it comes to the IANA transition--

Gordon Crovitz: Au Revoir to the Open Internet - WSJ: "Fadi Chehade, president of ICANN, added to the worry. He assured lawmakers that U.S. law would continue to apply to ICANN because it is a California-based institution. But he recently announced that ICANN is "now an official NGO in Switzerland.""

Switzerland? Oy vey!

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

29 June 2014

Jonathan Zittrain and L. Gordon Crovitz Debate the Future of Internet Governance (video)

Jonathan Zittrain and L. Gordon Crovitz Debate the Future of Internet Governance -
The recent move by the United States to relinquish its role in the assignment of Internet names and numbers has generated a wide range of predictions for the future of Internet governance. Professor Jonathan Zittrain and Wall Street Journal Columnist Gordon Crovitz debated the impact of ICANN's independence on the Internet and its role in society as an open platform. (June 4, 2014)

Some Background Reading:
Jonathan Zittrain in the New Republic: No, Barack Obama Isn't Handing Control of the Internet Over to China:http://www.newrepublic.com/article/11...

L. Gordon Crovitz in the Wall Street Journal: America's Internet Surrender: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/S...

27 June 2014

New gTLD domain names fallout: ICANN Dissed, Verisign Downgraded

Time out for a reality check  on ICANN's new gTLD domain names program:

Innovation? None
Adoption rate? Pathetic
Costs to Businesses? Increased with no benefits
Cybersquatting? Plenty of that
ICANN reputation? Destroyed
Domain Name Industry? Downgraded

Wells Fargo has downgraded VeriSign (VRSN -3.6%) to Market Perform. The firm is  worried slowing domain name registration growth will pressure VeriSign's top and bottom lines.
Check VRSN price now

But remember Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) is a major Verisign shareholder and Buffett usually invests for the long term-- Tracking Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio - Q1 2014 Update - Berkshire Hathaway inc. (NYSE:BRK.B) | Seeking Alpha: "Verisign Inc. (VRSN): VRSN was purchased in Q4 2012 at prices between $34.15 and $49.48. The position was more than doubled in Q1 2013 to a 0.45% position at prices between $38 and $48. In Q2 2013, the stake was again increased by one-third at prices between $44.39 and $49.27. This quarter saw a ~6% increase at prices between $51.68 and $62.61. It currently trades at $48.26. The current position is at around 9% of the business."

It appears everyone -- domain name registrants, nations (see e.g., France), businesses -- is just trying to ride out and see through all of the needless costs, chaos, and confusion imposed on the internet domain name space by ICANN with its new gTLDs domain names program.

VeriSign Management Discusses Q1 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript | Seeking Alpha

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26 June 2014

ICANN 50 Closes, France Calls ICANN "unfit for Internet Governance"

ICANN 50 closed Thursday with the largest attendance ever, but on a sour note caused by a growing dispute over its controversial new gTLD domain names program:

France says U.S.-based ICANN is unfit for Internet governance: London (AFP) – France strongly attacked the US-based body that assigns internet addresses on Wednesday, saying it was not a fit venue for internet governance and that alternatives should be sought. The eurozone’s second-largest economy has been at war with the body, which assigns domain names like ‘.com’ and runs crucial internet infrastructure, over the ‘.wine’ and ‘.vin’ suffixes being rolled out as part of an unprecedented expansion of domains. On Wednesday France failed in a bid to freeze the assigning of the domains, which it believes should be restricted to protect trade agreements on region-specific products like champagne. “ICANN’s procedures highlight its inability to take into account the legitimate concerns of states,” the French delegation to ICANN’s 50th meeting, taking place in London, said in a statement. “Today ICANN is not the appropriate forum to discuss Internet governance.” France will initiate discussions with European countries and other stakeholders on the future of internet governance, the statement said....

At the conclusion of the public meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors on Thursday, someone in the room noted there would not be wine at the Cocktail Party immediately following, but perhaps vinegar.

The next meeting of ICANN, ICANN51, is scheduled for Los Angeles, 12-16 October 2014, followed thereafter by ICANN52, 8-12 February 2015, in Marrakesh, Morocco.

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ICANN 50: Interview with Theresa Swinehart (video)

ICANN 50: Interview with Theresa Swinehart (video above)

Theresa Swinehart, Senior Advisor to the President on Global Strategy, discusses the IANA stewardship transition during ICANN 50 in London - Published on Jun 25, 2014

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25 June 2014


Selected Tweets from the one and only -- present on the scene at ICANN 50 in London this week:
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24 June 2014

Google LIVE Presentation Wednesday on New gTLD Domain Names

While ICANN 50, now ongoing in London, appears to be drowning in dysfunction -- the real action this week is across the pond, specifically in San Francisco and Mountain View:

Google presentation on New gTLDs -- Who Cares About New Domain Names? --streamed LIVE* from Google I/O in San Francisco: Wednesday, June 25 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM (Pacific Time US): "The first new generic top-level domains are coming online, from .photography to .みんな. Who cares, you say? We do. We’ll tell you how the explosion of new domain names means cool things for the future of the web. But it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. New domain names also mean new challenges for all of us. In fact, they’re probably already breaking your products. Join us to find out what’s happening, get a glimpse at what’s coming, and learn what we all need to do now to prepare."

Ben Fried - Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Google 
Corey Goldfeder - Google engineer on the Domain Registry team in NYC
Kripa Krishnan - Technical Program Director at Google and works on the new gTLDs launch and acceptance program

*If you can't watch live, you can see YouTube recordings of all Google I/O sessions after the conference.

Meanwhile, Google as Domain Registrar has launched in beta: Google Domains. Why Google decided to get into the Domain Registrar business was explained in a Google+ post:

"Starting to test Google Domains It's 2014 " . . .  55% of small businesses still don't have [a website]. So as we explore ways to help small businesses succeed online (through tools like Google My Business, we thought it made sense to look more closely at the starting point of every business’s online presence - a website. And that starts with a domain name. We’re beginning to invite a small number of people to kick the tires on Google Domains, a domain registration service we’re in the process of building. Businesses will be able to search, find, purchase and transfer the best domain for their business - whether it’s .com, .biz, .org, or any of the wide range of new domains that are being released to the Web...We also want to make sure our customer support and infrastructure works flawlessly, and that we have the right additional services (like mobile website creation tools and hosting services from a range of providers, as well as domain management support)... our goal is to make Google Domains more widely available soon ..." (emphasis added)

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23 June 2014

ICANN vs France, Spain, Portugal, and the EU over .wine and .vin

As reported here yesterday, a storm is brewing in Europe over ICANN's intentions to delegate new .gTLDs .vin and .wine. ICANN Board Chairman Stephen Crocker apparently spent a busy day Saturday, June 21, 2014, signing what appear to be "form letters" to various governmental officials who have "sounded off," pro and con, on the .wine and .vin issues, including the following (all bearing the date June 21, 2014):

Letter from Stephen Crocker to Lawrence Strickling (USA)
Letter from Stephen Crocker to Keith Besgrove (Australia)
Letter from Stephen Crocker to Axelle Lemair (France)
Letter from Stephen Crocker to Victor Calvo-Sotelo Ibanez-Martin (Spain)
Letter from Stephen Crocker to Nuno Crato (Portugal)
Letter from Stephen Crocker to Neelie Kroes (EU)
Letter from Stephen Crocker to Bruce Parkes (New Zealand)

Dr. Crock may think he has "blown off" Ms. Lemair (France) et al, but sources in London and Paris say the Crocker has no idea who or what he is dealing with--just read what the staid London financial newspaper, the Financial Times, is reporting:

France lashes out at internet naming body ICANN - FT.com: " . . . France has linked the issue [new gTLDs .wine and .vin] to the broader question of how ICANN is structured and governed. “The problem is it is totally opaque, there is no transparency at all in the process,” Axelle Lemaire, minister for digital affairs, told the Financial Times... Ms Lemaire also wrote this month to the ICANN board saying the domain name process threatened to “undermine confidence in your organisation”. The US agreed this year to give up its ultimate control of ICANN exercised through the commerce department, but Ms Lemaire made clear France wants to go further, seeking to rally support for a global conference on its overhaul. Paris wants it set up under international law with a redefined mission and overseen by a “general assembly” of stakeholders that would include governmental representation on a “one country, one vote” basis, Ms Lemaire said. In her letter to the ICANN board she wrote: “The lack of adequate redress mechanisms and, above all, the lack of accountability demonstrate the need for significant reform of ICANN even before the current debate on the global internet governance system comes to a conclusion.”..."

I have a feeling Ms. Lemaire et al are just getting started. Vive la France!

--report submitted by contributing editor, John Poole, Domain Mondo

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22 June 2014

France, Portugal and Spain warn ICANN re: new gTLDs .WINE and .VIN

"the failure of ICANN to take due account of the wider public interest"*
"the lack of adequate redress mechanisms and, above all, the lack of accountability demonstrate the need for signficant reform of ICANN even before the current debate on the global Internet governance system comes to a conclusion."*
There is a storm brewing on the continent of Europe over ICANN's stated intention to delegate new gTLDs .WINE and .VIN -- *excerpt from letter of Axelle Lemaire, Secrétaire d'Etat au Numérique (French Deputy Minister for Digital Affairs) to Members of the ICANN Board of Directors --

But France is not alone -- see also --
Portugal's letter to ICANN:

Uncle Sugar isn't going to cover for a dysfunctional ICANN anymore, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

And of course, Esther Dyson warned everyone about all of this in 2011, but no one listened.

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20 June 2014

STUDY: Internet Users and Website Owners Prefer dot Com Domain Names

New gTLDs #FAIL: Devastating news for ICANN and the new gTLD proponents -- Businesses, internet users, and website owners prefer dot Com web addresses and  do NOT want to visit nor have new gTLD domain name websites -- says a new SCORE Study (excerpts and infographic below):

"How will new gTLDs impact​ small business?
  • Four out of five SMB website owners prefer a .com web address over a new gTLD web address
  • 81% of SMB website owners believe new gTLDs will be confusing to their customers
  • 94% of Internet users feel safe visiting a .com website VS. 33% of Internet users feel safe visiting a new gTLD website
"What do small business owners consider when naming their website?
  • 77% of SMB website owners prefer a .com web address over a new gTLD that describes their business
  • 79% of Internet users would rather visit a .com web address than a new gTLD one that describes the business
  • 66% of SMB website owners prefer a descriptive, longer .com web address to a shorter new gTLD one"
2014 SCORE and Verisign new gTLD Research Study Infographic
2014 SCORE and Verisign new gTLD Research Study

No wonder they are giving new gTLD domain names away for free ($-0-)!

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18 June 2014

Free Domain Names For Everyone! .Berlin, .XYZ, and more coming!

About the Program | ICANN New gTLDs: "The New generic Top-Level Domain Program was developed to increase competition and choice in the domain name space."

Free Domains Anyone? .Berlin Adds 70K Domains & Tops 116K; .XYZ Adds 27K & Tops 145K: "A huge day in the new gTLD program as .Berlin in its first day of offering free domain names,  added some 70,000 domain names, more domains than were registered in the extension in the three months since .Berlin was launched...." (read more at link above)

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17 June 2014

ICANN, London 50, Special Interests, Lobbyists

Going to ICANN's next meeting, London 50 (June 22-26  #ICANN50 )? Better take along some Chinese herbal lotion:

" . . . . you deny the existence of special interest lobbies in ICANN? Tell you what. Get yourself to an ICANN meeting, let me know if it is London, Los Angeles, or any other one, and I will give you a personal guided tour of special interest lobbies in ICANN. You’ll be shaking hands with so many lawyers and consultants you may want to bring some Chinese herbal lotion. If you want less dynamic and interesting evidence, take a look at this old blog post of ours, http://www.internetgovernance.org/2013/09/14/meltdown-iii-how-top-down-implementation-replaced-bottom-up-policymaking/ which documents ICANN staff’s catering to trademark/brand protection interests. And take a look at the public comments submitted regarding the EWG preliminary reports. It’s pretty obvious where people line up...." - Professor Milton Mueller (source)

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16 June 2014

Internet Population, Internet Penetration (2008)

visualisation of global Internet Population and Internet Penetration (2008)

Source: Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, England (UK): click on map to enlarge

This visualisation illustrates the raw number of Internet users in each country as well as the percentage of the population with Internet access.

This map uses 2008 statistics from the World Bank, which has tracked the number of Internet users per country and the number of Internet connections per 100 people since the 1990’s as part of its Worldwide Governance Indicators project. The data are visualised with a cartogram in which the size of each country is drawn based on its proportion of global Internet users. The shading of each country reflects its Internet penetration rate: darker shades indicate higher levels of Internet usage amongst the population. Countries with online populations of less than approximately 2 million have been removed from the map.

We see that the map of the world’s online population presents an interesting picture of the locations of Internet users. China has the world’s largest total number of Internet users (there are currently over 400 million users in China) despite its relatively low penetration rate. The map also starkly illustrates the relatively small number of users in South America and Africa. The visualization causes South America to shrink to a size that is smaller than the United States, and Africa to skew unrecognizably on the map. We also see that there are very few countries in the Global South with high Internet penetration rates. This indicates future growth in the total number of Internet users will most likely come from areas that are currently underrepresented.

Visualization and analysis by Dr Mark Graham, Scott A. Hale and Monica Stephens in collaboration with Dr Corinne M. Flick and the Convoco Foundation.

This map is taken from the following publication: “Graham, M., Hale, S. A. and Stephens, M. (2011) Geographies of the World’s Knowledge. London, Convoco! Edition.”
Author(s): Dr Mark Graham, Scott A. Hale, Monica Stephens

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15 June 2014

Tweets of the Week, ICANN, EURODIG, Internet Governance, Cheap Wine

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13 June 2014

How to Change Your Website Domain Name And Keep Your Internet Traffic and Google SEO

Thinking about changing your website domain name, but afraid of losing your internet traffic and Google SEO? Follow the good advice in the infographic below if you change your website domain name (address) to a new one (and not just if you are changing your website domain name from .co.uk to .uk):

15 Step Guide to change your website domain name to a uk
Graphic attribution: europeandomaincentre.com

Critical steps above include the 301 redirects and use of Google Webmaster tools!

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12 June 2014

Amazon, Good or Bad for Your Online Business?

Platform giants like Amazon, Google, Apple et al, can be beneficial or detrimental for independent businesses -- watch your step:

Amazon's War Against Publishers Like Hachette - BI: "Some of Amazon's independent merchants believe that Amazon screws them out of their search rankings. When companies sell stuff through Amazon, their Amazon page rides high in search result listings. If the merchant decides to do business elsewhere, their old page cannot be deleted, the merchants say, and it sits there like an empty shelf, sucking up all the SEO that ought to go to the merchants' more current offerings."

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11 June 2014

Gender and Social Networks Online

The above graphic shows the population of some of the world’s most popular social platforms segmented by the gender of their users. Source: Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, England (UK): (click on graphic to enlarge)

"The graphic uses 2013 social network statistics (not publicly available at the time of writing, as being updated) collected via the Google Display Planner tool by Information is beautiful, who have also published a visualisation (using 2012 data) of the gender balance in social networks.

"Each bar represents a social network, divided in two sections: a red one on the left, representing the proportion of female-registered users in the social network, and a blue one on the right, representing the proportion of male-registered users. The width of the bars is used to convey the total number of registered accounts.

"This more-or-less equal gender balance can be seen in the two largest social platforms, Facebook and YouTube, whose gender ratios are very close to the ratio in the general population (however, both do see slightly more male than female users).

"The third largest social platform, Google+, in contrast, has a higher proportion of males, with only 43% of its user-base being female.Twitter, in contrast, has a slightly higher female participation rate, with women accounting for 53% of its users.

"It is interesting to note that, despite the fact that we see a slightly higher overall male participation rate, we actually see a greater number of platforms that have a higher ratio of women to men. For instance, both Flickr and Tumblr have a ratio of over 55% female users. A similar ratio can be observed in the Google-owned social network Orkut, which is popular in Brazil and India. Meetup, which is one of the largest networks to facilitate group meetings, also has a predominantly female population, with only 38% male users. Foursquareand Myspace both have fewer than 40% male users, and the movie discovery website Flixster, has more than 70% female users.

"On the other end of the chart, the largest professional social network LinkedIn has only 40% of its accounts owned by female users. The social news and entertainment website Reddit has a similar balance. The population of the social discovery website Tagged is also highly skewed towards male users, as males account for over 60% of the user base. Finally, the social networking and gaming platformHi5 registers a mere 36% female users.

"On the whole (and with exceptions) we see that social, local, artistic, and parental-oriented websites tend to have a higher ratio of female users, and professional and games-oriented sites have a higher ratio of male users.

"As the Internet becomes available to billions of new people in the next few years, it will be important to keep a focus on how these statistics evolve. Will we start to see more gendered silos of use or more balanced platforms of participation?"

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10 June 2014

Google Is an Advertising Company, Search Myth Busted

Google 2013 Revenues:  Advertising: 91%  Other: 9%

The Google 2013 Form 10-K says it all:
Data on Google Revenues, Advertising, Other
Google Segment Revenues by Percentages

Google Revenues by Segment
Google Segment Revenues by Revenue Source 

"Google is not a search company, nor they are a smartphone company - they are an advertising company and there is no way around it." -- Seeking Alpha

Google provides services, including search, upon which it can place advertising. For that reason, most Google services are free to the user. The monetization model for most Google services therefore is based upon advertising revenues.

Search Myth Busted"Consumers aren't just searching via Google. In fact, YouTube is the second largest search engine. Meanwhile, Twitter gets about 32 billion search queries per month, which is more than Bing and Yahoo combined."

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09 June 2014

GoDaddy files for IPO, SEC Form S-1

GoDaddy revs up IPO plans: "GoDaddy Group, an Internet hosting company and domain registrar with a reputation for raunchy ads, today filed for an initial public offering, three years after being acquired by private equity firms for $2.25 billion. The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company listed $100 million as the amount it plans to raise, but a source familiar with the situation says that is just a placeholder, as GoDaddy has not yet reached a final determination on offering amount. Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan are listed as lead underwriters. No ticker symbol nor exchange was listed. GoDaddy reports a $200 million net loss on $1.13 in revenue for 2013, compared to a $279 million net loss on $979 million in revenue for 2012. Its 2014 also is tracking better than 2013, based on a $51 million net loss on $320 million in revenue for the first quarter. GoDaddy previously filed for an IPO in 2006, before later abandoning the effort over apparent valuation concerns. At the time, founder and then-CEO Bob Parsons also wrote in a blog post that he had balked at SEC ‘quiet period’ regulations. The self-described “outspoken” executive called the quiet period “suffocating” and didn’t want to give up his weekly radio show, or other planned radio and TV appearances...." (read more at link above)

For more info: Form S-1 filing with the SEC

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08 June 2014

ICANN accountability, the public interest, new gTLD domain names

Recently our colleague, John Poole at Domain Mondo, submitted his input to the ICANN enchancing accountability process. In his email, he addressed fundamental issues facing ICANN --

"ICANN asks:
  • What issues does the community identify as being core to strengthening ICANN's overall accountability in the absence of its historical contractual relationship to the U.S. Government?
  • What should be the guiding principles to ensure that the notion of accountability is understood and accepted globally? What are the consequences if the ICANN Board is not being accountable to the community? Is there anything that should be added to the Working Group's mandate?
  • Do the Affirmation of Commitments and the values expressed therein need to evolve to support global acceptance of ICANN's accountability and so, how?
  • What are the means by which the Community is assured that ICANN is meeting its accountability commitments?
  • Are there other mechanisms that would better ensure that ICANN lives up to its commitments?
  • What additional comments would you like to share that could be of use to the ICANN Accountability Working Group?
"Where to start? The central issue and problem at ICANN is how the public interest is so disregarded. Time, and time again, we see examples of this. ICANN's multistakeholder model only contributes to this -- see: http://www.domainmondo.com/2014/05/the-real-problem-with-icann.html . What can ICANN begin to do better? Increase representation of 1) domain name registrants and 2) internet users (often referred to as "consumers") within ICANN, and diminish the presence and voices of those with profit-motives at stake in ICANN decisions, workings and outcomes.

"A real living example of how this plays out within ICANN:

"Is It ICANN's Job To Market New gTLD Domain Names? (go to the foregoing link for the full posting, excerpt follows) --

".... I think it is now clear why the public interest was so disregarded in ICANN's new gTLDs program--

“'The public at large, consumers and businesses, would be better served by no expansion or less expansion' of domains" said Jon Leibowitz, former chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission in the New York Times."

""I really can’t see a legitimate upside where new benefits [of the new gTLDS] outweigh costs, and everyone I mention this to feels the same way. People just shake their heads. It’s all about the money. They [ICANN] are creating these extensions because they can." University of Pennsylvania Wharton School marketing professor Peter Fader, co-director of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative. (source: Knowledge@Wharton, emphasis added)

"Esther Dyson On New Top-Level Domains: “There Are Huge Trademark Issues” | TechCrunch: "... we are not running out of domains. This is a “way for registries and registrars to make money,” says Dyson. She also points out that “there are huge trademark issues. I just think it is offensive... It will create a lot of litigation.”" [see: Esther Dyson Told ICANN new gTLDs were a mistake in 2011 (video)]

"Tim Berners-Lee: "....when a decision is taken about a possible new top-level domain, ICANN's job is to work out, in a transparent and accountable manner, whether it is really in the best interest of the world as a whole, not just of those launching the new domain. It also means that ICANN's use of the funds should be spent in a beneficent way..."...."

What are your thoughts on this? Feel free to leave comments below.

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07 June 2014

ICANN publishes NTIA IANA Functions Transition Process and Next Steps

Graphic of NTIA IANA functions transition Coordination Group Composition
NTIA IANA functions transition Coordination Group Composition (click to enlarge)

ICANN has published a Process to Develop the Proposal and Next Steps that is "the culmination of a series of community discussions and input into the process to develop a proposal to transition the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community," see ICANN's NTIA IANA Functions' Stewardship transition for more information. According to ICANN: "the document reflects the multitude of views expressed in different fora and establishes the creation of a Coordination Group [formerly the proposed "Steering Group"--see graphic above] and its composition" and calls on the respective community members represented in the Coordinating Group to launch their internal processes to select their representative members no later than July 2, 2014 -- see further below for selected excerpts from the ICANN document:

To ensure full transparency, the (IANA Transition) Coordination Group will hold open meetings accessible to all global stakeholders; relevant transcripts and recordings will be posted on the website.

The Coordination Group will be responsible for preparing a transition proposal respective of the differing needs of the various affected parties of the IANA functions. It should be responsible for assembling the components from the respective communities into a single proposal meeting the criteria set out by NTIA. Namely, it must have broad community support and address the following four principles:
  • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
  • Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
  • Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services; and,
  • Maintain the openness of the Internet.
NTIA will not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution.

Once a proposal is developed, ICANN will review the proposal to ensure it is in compliance with the defined framework and criteria and determine: 1) adherence to the NTIA principles and 2) conformity with the principles outlined by the community input. The responsibility for consideration and acceptance (as appropriate) of the proposal is solely vested in NTIA. ICANN's assessment of whether or not the process met the above mentioned requirements will be communicated with the proposal. (source ICANN)

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06 June 2014

ICANN 50 Webinar Monday, A Guide for Business Newcomers

ICANN Webinar Invitation -  What to Expect at ICANN 50: A Guide for Business Newcomers
ICANN Webinar Invitation -  What to Expect at ICANN 50: A Guide for Business Newcomers (click to enlarge)

ICANN is presenting a webinar Monday for people in the private (business) sector on the upcoming ICANN 50 meeting in London 22-26 June 2014-- even if you are not going to ICANN 50, this might be very informative, topics include: impact of ICANN's work on business success and latest topics in the internet domain name system --

What to Expect at ICANN 50: A Guide for Business Newcomers - ICANN:

Date: Monday, 9 June 2014
Time: 13:00-14:00 UTC (time converter: goo.gl/g28Ak2)

"Join ICANN Vice Presidents Jean-Jacques Sahel and Christopher Mondini for a pre-ICANN 50 webinar for business participants.

"This webinar is meant as an introduction to ICANN and the GNSO Commercial Stakeholder Group, for people in the private sector who are new to the ICANN Community and interested in the upcoming ICANN 50 public meeting in London.

"Presenters include:
Martin Sutton – ICANN Business Constituency and Brand Registry Group
Petter Rindforth – ICANN Intellectual Property Constituency
Tony Holmes – ICANN ISPs and Connectivity Providers Constituency"

To RSVP and learn how to access the webinar, go to this link: http://goo.gl/IV6MG5

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05 June 2014

Demand Media: Registrar Business; Content and Media Business

bar chart of Demand Media revenue 2011-2013
Demand Media Revenue (in thousands) by division

data on Demand Media Revenue (in thousands) by division
Demand Media Revenue (in thousands) by division

Things are looking up for Demand Media (eNom, Name.com, eHow, Livestrong et al) -- Seeking Alpha has an in-depth report of how Demand Media's Content and Media Business (eHow,  Livestrong) took a hit from a Google Panda update in May 2013, designed to reduce the search results of websites that mass-produced low-quality content. Since then, a recent Panda update appears to have helped both eHow and Livestrong --

Demand Media's C&M Business Prospects Boosted By New Google Search Algorithm Changes - Demand Media (NYSE:DMD) | Seeking Alpha: "Summary: Demand Media is a deeply undervalued internet company underpinned by blue-sky growth in its registrar business and a turnaround in its C&M business. A Google search algorithm change introduced last week has boosted DMD’s ranking in search engine results and should translate into immediate growth in revenue. Sell-side analysts are at peak pessimism in their views on DMD. The new Google algorithm update will change that and lead to re-ratings and renewed interest in DMD...." (read more at the link above)

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04 June 2014

Where Most TLD (gTLDs + ccTLDs) Domain Name Registrations Occur

Global Map of GNI (PPP) per capita by nation
Gross National Income (GNI) (PPP) Per Capita in 2007 based on World Bank estimates.
Most TLD Domain Name Registrations Occur in High GNI per capita countries (click on map to enlarge)

As previously reported, according to data provided via the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, England (UK) -- see: Domain Mondo | domainmondo.com: Domain Name Registrations and the Global Internet Population -- 78% of all TLD (gTLDs + ccTLDs) domain name registrations in the world are in Europe and North America. Fewer TLD domain names are registered in China than the UK even though China's internet user population is 10 times that of the UK. A nation’s ranked position by GNI per capita explains about 50% of the variance in its ranking by number of domain names per Internet user, followed by level of internet censorship.

The GNI per capita is the dollar value of a country’s final income in a year, divided by its population. It reflects the average income of a country’s citizens. Knowing a country’s GNI per capita is a good first step toward understanding the country’s economic strengths and needs, as well as the general standard of living enjoyed by the average citizen. A country’s GNI per capita tends to be closely linked with other indicators that measure the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the country and its people. For example, generally people living in countries with higher GNI per capita tend to have longer life expectancies, higher literacy rates, better access to safe water, and lower infant mortality rates. (source: Wikipedia)

for more info:
List of countries by GNI (PPP) per capita - Wikipedia: "a list of countries of the world sorted by their Gross National Income (GNI) per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP)."

List of countries by GNI (nominal, Atlas method) per capita - Wikipedia: "a list of countries by Gross National Income per capita in 2012 at nominal values, according to the Atlas Method, an indicator of income developed by the World Bank."

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03 June 2014

IANA transition and ICANN accountability update

While everyone is waiting on ICANN in order to proceed on the two issues of IANA transition and ICANN accountability, there are four noteworthy submittals (either to ICANN or the US Congress) thus far:

1. The Karl Auerbach letter to the US Congress - see: ICANN Accountability, IANA Transition, Karl Auerbach Letter

2. Google's response to ICANN's Draft Proposal to Transition NTIA's Stewardship of the IANA Functions -- see: Google Says ICANN Board may have IANA Conflict of Interest

3. Comments on the IANA transition and ICANN accountability from the Just Net Coalition (you can view copy here)

4. The Internet Governance Project Roadmap for Globalizing IANA - see: Separating IANA from ICANN, the Internet Governance Project Roadmap for Globalizing IANA

Note: the comment period on the ICANN accountability process has been extended to June 6 --
Enhancing ICANN Accountability - ICANN"Update: The discussions around enhancing ICANN Accountability are very important. Community feedback has noted the desire for a longer comment period for this proposed process. In response to ensuring the community has sufficient time, while also having the process in parallel to, and informing, the process to Transition NTIA's Stewardship of the IANA Functions, there is a one (1) week extension of the comment period to 6 June. Community members are urged to continue identifying members for the Working Group, with those selected by the ICANN London meeting to hold a listening session with the community. The reply period will close on 27 June at 23:59 UTC. Comment Period: 6 May 2014 - 6 Jun 2014 23:59 UTC | Reply Period: 7 Jun 2014 - 27 Jun 2014 23:59 UTC"

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02 June 2014

New gTLD domain names are failing to impress, "many, many will fail"

Interesting article from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Knowledge@Wharton: selected quotes below (emphasis added):
"“The introduction of new TLDs is likely to increase the value of the gold-standard ‘dot com.’ Adding more side streets only increases the value of a main-street address.” –Karl Ulrich, Wharton’s vice dean of innovation and professor of operations and information management.
"Wharton marketing professor Stephen J. Hoch is likewise unconvinced by the potential of gTLDs as an enormous advance. “From the consumer’s perspective, I don’t see a lot of difference,” he says. “Moreover, with search and automatic filling in of email addresses, it is not clear that the brands, at least big brands, would be affected either. People are not really thinking about anything that comes after the period.”
Others ... fail to see the new gTLDs as useful. Wharton marketing professor Peter Fader considers the new generation of suffixes as downright retrograde. “This is 1999 technology,” says Fader, co-director of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative. “If you think about it, back in the day, if you wanted to share your web address, you had to say, ‘http, www, slash, slash, etc.’ We have whittled it down and gotten to the point where our email knows when you type in a .com, it says, ‘Hey, it’s a URL.’ I really can’t see a legitimate upside where new benefits outweigh costs, and everyone I mention this to feels the same way. People just shake their heads. It’s all about the money. They [ICANN] are creating these extensions because they can....“I think we have all learned by now that you have to be creative with what’s to the left of the dot,” says Fader. “You can’t hide behind the right side of the dot as a lack of creativity to differentiate your brand.”
"The extent to which the project [new gTLD domain names] is succeeding will be gauged by an ICANN committee convening after the new generation of names has been up and running for a year. “I think some will succeed and many, many will fail,” says Jonathan Zuck, president of the ACT, The App Association — an advocacy group representing the interests of small and mid-size app developers — who will chair that committee. One of the outcomes may be greater reliance on search engines. If there are too many suffixes, I am not going to remember whether that photographer I am looking for can be found under .photo or .portrait.”

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01 June 2014

Insurance Summit 2014: Doing Business with New Digital Consumers (video)

Insurance Summit 2014: Doing Business with New Digital Consumers - YouTube:

Insurance Summit 2014: Doing Business with New Digital Consumers (video above)
Presentation by Jean Lassignardie, Corporate Vice-president, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Capgemini at The Economist Event's Insurance Summit 2014, London. Published on May 8, 2014

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