[Comments-new-gtld-auction-proceeds-initial-08oct18] The Domain Name Association Supports the .CLUB proposal and the use of Auction Proceeds for Awareness

Jothan Frakes jothan at thedna.org
Tue Nov 27 01:51:42 UTC 2018

The Domain Name Association is writing to voice strong support of the .CLUB

The Domain Name Association (“The DNA”) is a non-profit global business
association that represents the interests of the domain name industry. Its
members are groups, businesses, and individuals involved in the provision,
support, and sale of domain names. This includes such organizations as
domain name registries, registrars, resellers, and registry service
providers, as well as those with an interest in internet naming and
innovation with domain names.

Our members contribute annually to be members, and volunteer time towards
creating resources to aid in general awareness and education about the new
namespace of 2018 and the future.

We often perform outreach to help educate the audiences of people that are
not those with existing awareness, and we are presented with magnificent
campaigns that could aid in helping to remedy the awareness gap.  Even the
most pragmatic of these initiatives have prices that are beyond the reach
of our modestly run, member-funded organization.

The proposed awareness campaign outlined by .CLUB is completely aligned
with the core mission of The Domain Name Association, which is, “Highlight
the use, potential and benefits of domains and DNS and a vibrant, robust,
and trusted domain name system while fostering innovation, sustainable
growth and utilization in the marketplace.”

Within our mission, we work to spread awareness, in responsible and
constructive ways, engaging the public and responding to inquiries and
questions.  We educate and evangelize healthy use of domains in a the many
ways that they enable the Internet to properly function.

The one most challenging obstacle to our mission is that in order to reach
the public who can most benefit from awareness of domains - those outside
the typical ICANN or domain/hosting conference - is available funding to
support it.

We also get distracted by helping to educate on what ICANN is and is not
with the general public, and work to aid in misconceptions that are
perpetuated by certain quarters within the ICANN community who seem
generally averse to market expansion and namespace growth.

The DNA's first priority is to educate Internet users around the world
about the benefits of domain names, DNS, and top-level domains (TLDs).
This is not limited in any way to the new gTLDs - this is general awareness
of gTLDs, ccTLDs, and new TLDs released through ICANN’s New gTLD Program,
such as GeoTLDs, Brand TLDs, Verified TLDs, and an expanded number of
generic top level domains.

The general Internet user is barely aware of ICANN, much less that their
namespace landscape is constantly evolving and changing, and research shows
that Internet users are often unaware of these changes or how to best
engage with existing and new gTLDs.

We are working together within TheDNA to develop educational resources and
campaigns to prepare users for these changes and support the success of
domains and top-level domains.  These efforts are constantly measured
against budgetary constraints, and pragmatically hobble those efforts to
match the available budget out of necessity.

There is a large gap in awareness of the evolution to the naming system.
This began in 2013 as the domain name system started to expand at the root
system. Since that time, individual companies in the registry and registrar
businesses have spent money to market their individual TLDs.  While this
works to help spread awareness as individual initiatives, they are entirely
focused on the for-profit activities of specific TLDs or companies. This
can provide some modest benefit to overall awareness of the current
namespace, but there needs to be awareness campaigns that support the
healthy use and adoption of domain names in general.

TheDNA has stepped up in the span since to fill a rather large void in
neutral awareness about the positive benefits of domain names, the changes
in the namespace and advantages of healthy domain name use and activities.
We have made some modest gains in spreading awareness, but the industry
needs a larger infusion of capital towards reaching users to ensure the
security, stability and inter-operability of the DNS.

"Digitalization" of the world is happening at a growing pace, and domain
names are part of that important story.  TheDNA wants to help spread
awareness of the benefits of using domain names across the various places
that these crucial identifiers can aid in users finding what they are
looking for, quickly.

We are encouraged that there can be some attention and resourcing made
available to helping to address awareness of domain names, as this is the
opportunity to promote healthy and functional use of domain names within
the awareness efforts, and positively impact the industry and beyond.

In service to the domain industry,


Jothan Frakes
Executive Director, The Domain Name Association
401 Edgewater Place, Suite 600, Wakefield, MA, 01880 USA
P: +1.727-351-2345   E: jothan at thedna.org   W: thedna.org W:
inthewild.domains Twitter: @dnassoc
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