[GTLD-WG] [CPWG] New gTLD Applicant Support - improve it, or scrap it?

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Wed Aug 7 07:36:42 UTC 2019

Hi Maureen,

On Wed, 7 Aug 2019 at 02:01, Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com>

Evan, in my example cos I am always looking at what is happening in my
> backyard, what I am saying too is that end-users in my space don't care,
> but that's because they are unaware.

Unaware of what?

Unaware of Internet domains?
Unaware of the ability to purchase a top-level domain?
or Unaware of the possibility that such a purchase could be reduced in
price under certain circumstances.

Maureen, I will respectfully disagree wholeheartedly with your assertion.
Indeed, in your backyard lie a number of the domain-name world's great
small-player success stories, in one case a TLD is the source of ten
percent of the country's whole GDP. The potential of Internet domains in
the region is well understood by governments and entrepreneurs. There is a
big difference between "they don't participate because they don't know" and
"they don't participate because they know and choose to stay away".

(BTW, there is a GREAT video that explains domain names to the "unaware",
through the lens of the Tuvalu experience, that can be found here
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34gHoxqZlJc>. I highly recommend it.)

Of course, this is at the level of governments and businesses large enough
to afford to run a registry. The reason that end users in your backyard
don't care is the same reason that end-users ANYWHERE don't care ....
Internet domains *Just Don't Matter*. At most you are arguing for an
At-Large-initiated public education campaign, which I would agree is a much
better use of resources than running after all these irrelevant issues
within ICANN. But better understanding of domains is not going to make
people flock to buy them. Registrars have already been aggressively
marketing <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMIBzojnOkY> for people to
understand (so they may buy) domain names without our help.

I would be wholly in favour of any action ALAC could take to better
understand global end users. Were we to know and act upon the actual needs
and priorities of end users ALAC's focus would dramatically change from
what it is now. I assert this because I make an effort to talk to people
around me -- friends and family who use the Internet but are not
technically or politically inclined -- about ICANN issues. I have found the
results surprising, and I invite everyone here to try the same.

> They don't know what they should be caring about.

IMO this approach is insulting. Most people have a fairly decent idea in
what to care about, including how they use the Internet. That's why they
prefer search over the use of "memorable" domain names; arguably the growth
of Google can be directly linked to the failure of the DNS to provide a
useful way for people to find what they want on the Internet,

Don't confuse "know but don't care" with "don't know".

In any case, I am unclear of the logic that leads from the premise of
"people are unaware" to a conclusion of "therefore we should subsidize
certain gTLD applications".


- Evan
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