What they say is true. Your Guinness tastes better than anything on tap I can find here in the US. I’m not really sure why. I’ve heard it has something to do with the fact that your water is saturated by peat. Whatever it is, I was grateful for my six days at ICANN 54.
In fact, Rightside sent an entire team comprised of myself, SVP of Business & Market Development Dwayne Walker, SVP of Market Development & Policy Jeff Eckhaus, Senior Account Manager Michelle Fisher, VP of Product Scott Ryder, Strategic Relationship Manager Nicholas Steinbach, and Registry Compliance Manager Alan Woods. If you attended the ICANN conference you might have heard about our microsite, www.dublin.pub, promoting 14 iconic Dublin pubs and sharing a calendar of cultural events taking place there during the conference.
Despite abundance of warm, welcoming pubs, our team did manage to learn a few things. These are the five major takeaways from ICANN 54, collected by our team.
- There’s always room to step up our thought leadership game.We kicked off the conference with an article from CEO Taryn Naidu posted to CircleID–a website dedicated to breaking internet news, opinions, and blogs. Over the course of the week, we received positive feedback from both Registries and Registrars looking to expand the conversation. The Domain Name Association is also stepping forward to help drive the conversation, hosting events focused around promoting universal awareness and acceptance, security and consumer trust, and promoting new domains as navigation tools.
- Registries are really upping their distribution game, working with more partners like website builders to promote awareness of and sell new domain extensions. A strong relationship between Registries and Registrars is vital to our collective success and several team members participated in multiple meetings with Registrars gathering feedback on our new domain extensions. Nicholas Steinbach even participated on a panel conversation titled “How to Work with Registrars to Launch Your TLD.” We were happy to note a greater consensus on focusing on a complementary approach to new domains rather than selling them as replacements for a .COM website.
- The Chinese domain market is hopping, and the ICANN conference featured several sessions focused on doing business in China. But in order to sell domains in China, the country is mandating that businesses establish wholly owned foreign entities. That’s a lot more work for registries and registrars.
- Two-letter domains continue to be something of a headache. Governments around the world are blocking the release of two letter domain names that match their country codes. While ICANN has developed a process for getting these approved, some governments are still resisting this process. The result will be further delays in releasing two letter domains. On the Compliance side, Registrars are facing increasing pressure from copyright organizations (the RIAA for the recording industry and the MPAA from the motion picture industry) to be more active in shutting down illegal piracy sites. Though Registrars and Registries are resisting calls for us to become the “content police” we are trying to work with these organizations and law enforcement to curb illegal behavior. Alan Woods and I participated in these meetings and I was a panelist on a compliance-related expert panel which gave me the opportunity to highlight the great work our compliance team does to combat abuse.
- Finally, having a functional domain spinner is a major asset. There is currently a gaping hole in the market for a solution that spins right and left of the dot and Registries see the value in our domain spinner technology. We’ll be working hard on further developing that.
Anyway, Dublin, it was great to see you, as always. It may be a while before I can make the hop across the pond, but you can bet your bottom Euro you haven’t seen the last of me.
All the best.