For many of us in the domain name industry it seems that ICANN’s new gTLD program has been moving along slower than a snail on tranquilizers for the past few years. That’s all about to change as we seem to be on the cusp of dozens, if not hundreds of new gTLDs hitting the streets before the end of this year and into 2014.
Trouble is, that as ICANN moves from rolling out these new gTLDs at what may be an old-school dial-up pace at first, to likely a fibre-power broadband delegation pace later, the public at large seems to know nothing about all this.
Don’t take my word for it, read the research posted by SEDO earlier today that said “More Than 60 Percent of Small and Mid-Size Businesses are Unaware of New gTLDs.” We all know that Internet users might get confused by new gTLDs. This has got to change.
And change will be possible if folks such as domain registries and registrars, applicants for new top level domains, and domain related service providers manage to get organized via a new trade association that’s just now getting off the ground.
Thanks to Google’s new gTLD team, a bunch of old (like me) and new faces in the industry got together alongside the ICANN regional meeting in Amsterdam last January. We talked about setting up a domain name industry trade association to help educate the world on the coming changes in the domain landscape and to support the interests of the domain name industry.
Thanks again to Google, and those that attended that January meeting, volunteers are now working towards getting things going to the point where the trade organization is launched and operating. It’s very early days and much work remains. So far a very basic informational site has been set up at whatdomain.org.
As stated on the site: “This is an opportunity for your organization to collaborate with your peers involved in the domain name industry to define how the industry works together to promote and ensure success through a period of major change.”
If you are interested in joining, I encourage you to visit whatdomain.org to learn more. Even if you are unsure of how you might participate you should submit the interest form and the organization will work with you to help you decide.
All in all I believe this initiative is worthwhile and very important. It needs support and execution to ensure the growth and development of the Internet domain name industry.