May, 2017

now browsing by month

 

Good Practices for the Registration and Administration of Domain Name Portfolios (Part I)

It's always wise to remember good practices related to the registration and administration of domain names, especially when referring to portfolios with tens or hundreds of them. Good practices allow companies to have their online operations uninterrupted and prevent them, for example, from losing their domain names due to expiration or hijacking. On the other hand, poor practices can lead to disruptions in business, loss of customer confidence and harm to reputation, among other negative consequences.

This blog post, the first in a series, covers three good practices – and more will come in posts. Let's get started.

Keep Registration Information Up to Date

At the point of creation of each domain name, the registrant provides contact details to the registrar. This information is then made publicly available via the WHOIS service, allowing companies to be contacted for a wide number of reasons – including technical or operational matters associated with the domain, interest in the content posted on the associated website, or security concerns.

Companies should make sure that the contact data as displayed in WHOIS is accurate and up-to-date. Incorrect or obsolete information can prevent security researchers from contacting registrants whose domains may have been compromised, or potential business partners from establishing a contact that could lead to a new business opportunity.

Don't Use Personal Email Addresses

Companies should not allow the use of personal email addresses in the registration data of their corporate domain names. This recommendation includes both email addresses that employees use outside of work and email addresses that identify individuals in the organization. Both can leave a company vulnerable.

  • Don't allow the use of personal email addresses, such as johndoe@gmail.com or janedoe@hotmail.com.

    The email addresses listed for the registrant and the administrative contact of a domain name are key for its administration. When employees' personal email addresses are listed, nothing prevents them from hijacking the domain when they leave the company.

  • Use generic, role-based or department-based email addresses, such as domain_admin@companyname123.com, instead of email addresses with people's names, such as j.doe@companyname123.com.

    Providing the names of individuals involved in the administration of corporate domain names exposes them to an increased risk of social engineering and spear-phishing attacks aimed at the company. Instead, use role-based or department-based names, ideally with several users receiving communications sent to those addresses.

Avoid Having Domain Names In-Bailiwick

Bailiwick is the situation that exists when a company registers the domain example.com and then lists the email addresses user1@example.com and user2@example.com in the domain name's WHOIS.

Attackers who gain control of ta domain name in the bailiwick can redirect email by replacing the legitimate name servers with name servers that they operate. They can then add an MX record that directs email to a mail server that they also operate. Or they can turn off email entirely by deleting the domain's MX record, in which case no email will be sent to or received by the company that registered the affected domain.

An extra layer of difficulty is added when the registrar cannot communicate with the affected company, as it has no access to its corporate email. This situation requires out-of-band communication and proof to the registrar that the company is indeed the affected registrant.

Look for future posts where I'll give you other good practices to follow!

Beyond Custom Domains and TLDs: 3 Additional Steps to Scaling Your Online Business

Stats from StatDNS show there are a total of 126,980,556 domains that use the TLD “.com” extension, 14,887,979 domains with a “.net” extension and 10,418,897 with a “.org” extension. These are the so-called “traditional domain extensions. Among gTLDs – the new wave, the most popular ones are .xyz, .top, .loan, .win, and .club (source: nTLDstats). A few years back, a custom domain name, branded with your company name was enough to break away from the norm, in an age where Google warned against exact-match domain names. Current trends include the acquisition of a TLD extension that best describes the nature of your business (i.e. .club, .vip, accountant, .me), or in short, an “exact match” TLD.

However, this isn’t enough to gain trust, generate sales and scale your business to the next level. Here are three additional steps to scaling your online business beyond the norm.

1.     Business Email Hosting Plans Can Help with Sales

Free email hosting services such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and others offer less control and expose you to advertising schemes. It also looks unprofessional in this time and age to not own a dedicated email address. And remember, “free is never really free” as your contacts, conversations, and information can be exposed to “advertising partners”. To add more, it is harder to protect your account from phishing, spam, and other attacks.

A business email hosting plan can help your business win over clients, by increasing your brand’s trust and offering a dedicated private space where you can connect with customers and prospects. Brands and customers are likely to buy more from providers who invest in their web infrastructure, including email and communication channels (Skype credit, paid CRM tools etc).

According to LCN.com, a proper email hosting plan should contain packages that meet every need, from starter offers for bloggers and day-to-day email users, to business plans perfect for companies that require storage, multiple email addresses, and built-in control panels. Some of the common requirements from business users include IMAP to synchronize email communication across multiple devices, spam protection against viruses and malware, autoresponders, out-of-office messages, transparent layer security (TLS) protection.

2.     Website Data Stores Valuable Customer Behavior Predictions

Every visit and click on your website counts beyond search engines and actual purchases or sales. Analytics by Google, Bing and other search engines can cover a lot of ground on what works and does not work behind the scenes, and provide substantial help in remarketing campaigns.

Are your customers happy? Do you measure their happiness in any way? According to Userlike, 91% of unhappy customers will unlikely use your products or services ever again. There are at least 6 proven ways to determine their satisfaction, including customer satisfaction surveys, customer satisfaction scores, net promoter scores, customer effort scores, social media monitoring, and the “things gone wrong” method.

3.     Offering Customers Instant Updates on Products and Features

A reputable business will always cater to the needs of its customer database. And foremost, up to date and transparent communication of potential updates, changes and upgrades to the products and services can help build trust and online reputation.

There are multiple ways to do this, generally by announcing the end-result through email campaigns, instant messages, social media, company blog announcements and other channels. In the background, however, multiple processes should work for you and your customers. One of the best ways to combine such processes is to make use of any information databases can offer you. For example, you can create union queries is SQL and Access to create a process that optimizes customer data, as Acuity Training shows us in this article.

The main idea is to make use of customer data and queries to improve products and services, release updates and relevant features that address the needs of your clients.

Takeaways

Break the norm and scale your online business the right way to build trust, a solid online reputation, and a responsive customer process. This implies upgrading to a business email plan that contributes to more solid sales, making use of customer data and offering customers transparent communication in terms of products and features.

Image Source: Pixabay

The post Beyond Custom Domains and TLDs: 3 Additional Steps to Scaling Your Online Business appeared first on Domain & SEO News.

Empowered Community Power Triggered: Approval of Amendments to ICANN’s Fundamental Bylaws

26 May 2017 – On 23 May 2017, the ICANN organization sent a notice [PDF, 238 KB] to the Empowered Community that the ICANN Board has approved amendments to ICANN's Fundamental Bylaws to move the Board Governance Committee's reconsideration responsibilities to another Board Committee. This notice triggered a series of events that have been set in place for the Empowered Community to consider and approve the amendments before they can go into effect.

These events include a Community Forum that will be held on 27 June during ICANN59 for the community to convene and discuss the amendments. Following the Community Forum, each of the groups participating in the Empowered Community will have until 06:59 UTC on 21 July 2017 to provide notice to the Empowered Community Administration of its decision regarding approval of the amendments.

Details for the Community Forum, including remote participation, will be available on the ICANN59 meeting page on 5 June 2017.

To facilitate the Empowered Community's work in a transparent manner, ICANN has also launched three new websites.

A Conversation with Members of the Second Security, Stability and Resiliency of the Domain Name System (DNS) Review Team (SSR2)

James Gannon, Cyber Security Consultant (GNSO representative, Europe) and Kerry-Ann Barrett, Cyber Security Policy Specialist at the Organization of American States (GAC representative, Latin America and the Caribbean).


The SSR2 Review Team is currently reviewing security, operational stability and resiliency matters related to ICANN's coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers, and recently held its second face-to-face meeting in Madrid, Spain. Here, in their individual capacities, Review Team members James Gannon and Kerry-Ann Barrett share their highlights and key takeaways from the meeting.

In your opinion, what were the major achievements of this meeting?

James: In early May, we adopted our Terms of Reference and delivered them to the ICANN Board (per the 3 February 2017 Board Resolution). This step allowed us to make significant progress in the face-to-face meeting.

We outlined the work breakdown structure that we'll operate under and defined the key tasks and topics that we will examine during our review. We also met with key ICANN staff, including members of ICANN's Office of the Chief Technology Officer, to engage them in supporting our review.

Kerry-Ann: Some of the major achievements were the softer accomplishments. We began to solidify as a team, which was evident in team members' open expression of different views and opinions. We were also able to narrow down our scope and determine some of the key areas of focus for the review.

What are some of the areas that the Review Team is focusing on?

James: We've come to agreement on the broad topic areas that we will be examining as part of our review. These touch many of the key areas of responsibility, such as ICANN's internal security processes and the security of the unique identifiers that ICANN coordinates.

Kerry-Ann: We are determined to ensure that the review stays within the scope and mandate of ICANN's new Bylaws and within ICANN's responsibilities, as they relate to the security, stability and resiliency of the unique identifiers.

What are the next steps for the Review Team?

James: The next step is to complete our mapping exercise to associate all 100+ areas of interest that we identified in Madrid with subteams, which will be formed in the coming weeks. We'll continue to work on these areas and will meet again face-to-face to review our progress from 25-26 June during ICANN59 in Johannesburg.

Kerry-Ann: In addition to dividing our work into subteams, we'll be maximizing face-to-face meetings and online meetings to progress our review of background information and plan outreach with the community.

Why is it important for the community to participate in the SSR2 Review process?

James: Feedback and input from the community is critical to a successful review. We want to seek feedback and input from the broadest set of stakeholders possible, both within the ICANN community and from those not actively involved in ICANN. The Internet is for everyone and we encourage everyone to get involved with our work.

Kerry-Ann: The work of the SSR2 can only stand to gain from community input. Learning from various members of the ICANN community and being kept up-to-date can only benefit a more comprehensive review process.

Anything else you'd like to highlight?

James: I'd like to thank my fellow Review Team members for the hard work they've put into this process so far. I also want to specifically thank all the ICANN staff who have provided excellent support to the team since our inception.

Kerry-Ann: The efficiency of ICANN's support staff has been tremendous. The responsiveness to the requests made by the team members has been almost in real-time. There is a good synergy between the staff and the team. Additionally, the team put together for the SSR2 has such a great mix of expertise and experience. I hope our comprehensive review will benefit everyone in the long-run.

Get Involved in the SSR2 Review

  • Share your input with the Review Team. Send an email to input-to-ssr2rt@icann.org. (Note: This is a publicly archived mailing list.)
  • Become an observer. Review Team meetings, whether in person or online, have a dedicated Adobe Connect room for observers to participate. Learn more.
  • Attend the face-to-face meeting at ICANN59 in Johannesburg (25 – 26 June). The agenda and remote participation information will be posted here. Check back regularly for updates.
  • Bookmark the SSR2 wiki to make sure you stay informed of the Review Team's progress and upcoming meetings.

ICANN Launches New Empowered Community Webpages

25 May 2017 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today launched three new websites for the Empowered Community.

The primary Empowered Community page includes information about the purpose and scope of this new community structure. It also includes procedural details and timelines for executing a community power, and current news on any power being exercised, such as consideration of the Board's Approval of a Fundamental Bylaw Change [PDF, 238 KB]. ICANN has also created pages for the Empowered Community Administration and correspondence related to the Empowered Community.

"The ICANN organization is committed to supporting the ICANN community in its work to make the Empowered Community mechanism as effective and transparent as possible." said David Olive, ICANN's Senior Vice President of Policy Development Support. "These new pages aim to provide the community with clear information about any powers currently being exercised and how those processes are progressing."

The Empowered Community is the mechanism through which ICANN's Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees can organize under California law to legally enforce community powers. The community powers and governance rules are defined in ICANN's Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.

For more information on the Empowered Community visit here.

Issues Report – ccNSO PDP Retirement and Review Mechanism

Open Date: 24 May 2017 Close Date: 10 July 2017
Originating Organization: Country code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
Categories/Tags: Policy Development, Security/Stability, ISO 3166, country code Top-Level Domains, review mechanisms
Brief Overview:
  • The ccNSO Council initiated the third ccNSO Policy Development Process (PDP) at its meeting in Copenhagen during ICANN58. As part of the launching process feed-back, comment and input is sought on the issues as defined in the Issues Report.
  • After closure of the public comment period the input received will be collated by the ccNSO PDP Issue Manager in a Comments Report which will then be provided to the ccNSO PDP Working Group (WG) on the retirement of ccTLDs and – later – to the ccNSO PDP WG to develop a review mechanism pertaining to delegation, transfer, revocation and retirement decisions.
Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/ccnso-pdp-retirement-review-2017-05-24-en

ICANN Hires First Consumer Safeguards Director

LOS ANGELES – 23 May 2017 – ICANN announced today that Bryan Schilling will be joining as the organization's first Consumer Safeguards Director, reporting directly to Jamie Hedlund, SVP Contractual Compliance and Consumer Safeguards. Bryan brings over 15 years of international law and government affairs experience to ICANN, the majority of which is derived from working on data privacy and technology issues in the global law enforcement and security space.

ICANN Hires First Consumer Safeguards Director

Speaking about the role, Schilling commented, "Over the years, I've developed a passion for finding ways to balance the competing rights and needs of individual users, businesses, intellectual property owners and law enforcement."

He went on to add, "I'm excited to bring that passion to Jamie's team and to the ICANN community to raise awareness of ICANN's current safeguards, facilitate discussion across stakeholders concerning additional ways ICANN could potentially improve its safeguard mechanisms and help the community formulate other collaborative means to address illegal, infringing, and abusive activity impacting the DNS."

A wide array of strong, experienced candidates applied for the role, but Schilling stood out due to his work on Internet public policy issues with industry, civil society and government. "Bryan's experience, energy and passion are a great addition to ICANN," said Hedlund. "He will hit the ground running, meeting with stakeholders in Johannesburg and afterwards to catalyze the community discussion on consumer safeguards. Bryan will apply his strong analytical and engagement skills to facilitate community dialogue on the efficacy of existing consumer safeguards, potential enhancements, limits on ICANN's authority and expertise, and voluntary initiatives to combat abuse."

For several years, Bryan served as an Assistant General Counsel with the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Office of General Counsel. Working in the agency's National Security Law Branch, he collaborated with U.S. and international law enforcement officers, prosecutors and analysts on cross-border terrorism matters. He also provided legal support to criminal and cyber investigations including matters impacting the Internet and the Domain Name System.

After the FBI, Bryan went on to work for global technology and manufacturing companies, including Microsoft and Google. In those roles, he worked with his colleagues, non-governmental organizations, industry counterparts and government agencies on cross-border regulatory compliance matters, cybersecurity, privacy, transparency, and legal issues surrounding government access to user data.

Bryan began his legal career in private practice in Washington, D.C. and he is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Law and the University of Cincinnati's College of Arts and Sciences.

Bryan will work out of ICANN's Los Angeles office starting 1 June 2017.

Pre-ICANN59 Policy Update Webinar

Please RSVP via this form by 13 June 2017.
You will receive remote participation details the week of 12 June 2017.

The ICANN Policy Development Support Team will host a Policy Update Webinar on Thursday, 15 June 2017 at 10:00 and 19:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), in preparation for the upcoming ICANN59 Policy Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa. The purpose of the webinar is to summarize policy activities across the ICANN policy development community and to brief the community on the Empowered Community consultation and cross-community sessions taking place in Johannesburg.

Briefings on the Empowered Community Consultation and Cross-Community Sessions:

  • Special session on the Proposed Fundamental Bylaws Amendments
  • Next-Generation Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Registration Directory Services (RDS) policy requirements
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Geographic names
  • Operational side of ICANN's Operating Plan and Budget
  • Who sets ICANN's priorities?

Updates on Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees:

  • Address Supporting Organization (ASO) and regional Internet registries (RIR) policy development
  • Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
  • Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)
  • At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and At-Large Community
  • Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)
  • Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC)
  • Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)

The two sessions are duplicates, scheduled to accommodate different time zones. Each session runs in English for 90 minutes. The webinar will be conducted via Adobe Connect along with a dial-in conference bridge for audio. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of each session. During the course of the webinar, participants may submit questions using the chat function in Adobe Connect. Recordings of the webinars will be made available here. The Policy Development Support Team is always available to answer any questions via email at policyinfo@icann.org.

Please RSVP via this form by 13 June 2017.
You will receive remote participation details the week of 12 June 2017.

ICANN Registration System Email Validation

As part of an ongoing process to improve the security of our web applications, the ICANN Registration website will now require that all potential meeting participants verify their email address to complete the registration process.

This added layer of security is designed to ensure the validity of user email addresses and reduce the amount of malicious and spam email accounts currently being utilized.

Once a user has verified their email address, they will not need to re-verify for future meeting registrations, unless they update their email address or use a new one. Unverified email accounts will be unable to complete the registration process, nor will they be able to receive printed credentials at the meeting.

This new verification process will be implemented by 20 May 2017.

Users are encouraged to log into https://registration.icann.org after 20 May 2017 to receive a prompt to validate their email address. Users can then utilize the validation link sent to their email address, or they can enter the emailed confirmation code into the registration site confirmation code prompt.

If users have pre-registered for upcoming meetings, and are unable to visit https://registration.icann.org before the meeting, they will be prompted on-site at the registration kiosks to validate their registration account email address. They can simply enter the email confirmation code at the kiosk prompt.

Registration email validation links and confirmation codes are only valid for 24 hours after they are requested.

If you have any questions about this new process, please send an email to meetings@icann.org.

The DNSOP Working Group of the IETF Organizes Webinar to Raise Awareness of Special-Use Domain Names

Special-Use Domain Names are domain names that are not intended to be resolved globally using the Domain Name System (DNS). For example, queries for the top-level domain name “.onion” are never intended to be resolved through the DNS protocol. Following the approval of RFC 6761, which provides a framework for Special-Use Domain Names, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has been asked to designate several names as Special-Use.

During the RFC 6761-specified evaluation process for these Special-Use Domain Names, various issues arose and generated very lively debate, particularly within the Domain Name System Operations (DNSOP) Working Group. These discussions led to an effort within the Working Group to draft a problem statement regarding issues with these domain names, aimed at helping to properly scope and steer future discussions around Special-Use Domain Names.

The draft document (draft-ietf-dnsop-sutld-ps-04) is now ready, and will soon enter a “Last Call” period for any final input. As the ICANN community prepares to start discussions on the policies and guidelines that will govern the next round of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), it will be useful to also pay attention to the Special-Use Domain Name discussions occurring within the IETF, review the problem statement document, and contribute to the discussion of that document within the IETF Last Call process.

In order to raise awareness on its work in this area within the ICANN community, the DNSOP Working Group is organizing a webinar entitled, “IETF Overview and Special-Use Domain Names Problem Statement.” This webinar will be held on Tuesday, 23 May 2017 at 17:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Details on how to join the webinar are provided below.

This webinar is intended to help ICANN community members understand the IETF process and participate in the ongoing discussion related to the development of a revision of the IETF framework for Special-Use Domain Names. The session will start with an overview of the IETF Last Call process, after which a short summary of the document on Special-Use TLDs (SUTLDs) will be provided with pointers on how to provide input.

Participants who are not familiar with the IETF process are encouraged to read "The Tao of IETF: A Novice's Guide to the Internet Engineering Task Force” prior to the webinar.

Other recommended documents to read before the webinar are:

Webinar participation details:

To join the webinar, go to https://ietf.webex.com/ietf/j.php?MTID=m1333532ce167e4a5a09b1d42d002b632.
Note: If you go to this link in advance of the meeting, you can create a calendar invitation.

To join by phone:

Call-in toll free number (US/Canada): 1-877-668-4493
Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208
Meeting number: 310 638 156
Meeting password: LastCall

ICANN Supports the Africa Internet Summit as Part of Its Regional Outreach Efforts

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is sponsoring and participating in the Africa Internet Summit (AIS), organized by the Internet Numbers Registry for Africa (AFRINIC) and the African Network Operators Group (AfNOG). The summit will take place from 21 May to 2 June in Nairobi, Kenya, and will bring together key players of the Internet industry with the global and regional Internet community for a series of seminars, workshops, tutorials and panels.

Hon. Joseph Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology in Kenya, will deliver remarks and officially open the summit.

ICANN is actively involved in the program on three levels:

  • 27 May - ICANN Day
  • 28 May - Workshop on Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)
  • 2 June - Plenary Session

This is the third time ICANN Day will be held during the summit, and it aims to raise awareness on ICANN's role in the Internet Governance ecosystem and foster ICANN's outreach in Africa. It will consist of the following activites:

  • An introduction to ICANN
  • Panels and presentations on policy development, the regional domain name industry,
  • ICANN's NextGen, Fellowship and Newcomers Programs, and domain name dispute resolution
  • Presentations on becoming an ICANN accredited registrar, civil society's role in ICANN, Internet security and the upcoming Key Signing Key (KSK) rollover

Those who are interested in one or more of the following are encouraged to attend ICANN Day:

  • Learning more about ICANN and connecting with ICANN leadership
  • Hearing about recent developments and top trends in the global domain industry
  • Discussing various business, technical and policy aspects of the industry
  • Joining the ICANN Community and participating in policy-making processes

You can view the full agenda for ICANN Day here [PDF, 80 KB]. Live streaming and remote participation will be available.

The workshop [PDF, 61 KB] on Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), also organized by ICANN, will cover topics such as an overview of African languages and writing systems, label generation Rules (LGR) for IDNs, Ethiopic Script LGR proposal for the root zone and the use of Latin script for African languages.

The plenary session, in which ICANN Board Member Akinori Maemura is scheduled to speak, will cover topics such as:

  • An update on the Africa DNS Market Study
  • Key results from the Africa strategy since the last AIS meeting
  • Information on ICANN59 in Johannesburg, South Africa, which is taking place from 26-29 June 2017
  • Information on the Africa DNS Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

A year ago, ICANN celebrated the opening of the first African engagement office in Nairobi, Kenya. This initiative was also a recognition of Africa's increased awareness and participation in ICANN and the greater Internet ecosystem.

Given Africa's potential for a greater online presence, ICANN is committed to its engagement with African stakeholders, from governments to the private sector. The Africa Internet Summit is one of the key events in the region for ICANN to fulfill this commitment. We hope to enhance our efforts in interacting with the region, and want to help connect the region to the global Internet ecosystem.

You can find out more about the Africa Internet Summit on the event website.

Media Contacts:

Luna Madi
Communications Director, EMEA
Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +90 533 0313505
Email: luna.madi@icann.org

Buket Coskuner
Global Communications Coordinator, EMEA
Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +90 533 4876254
Email: buket.coskuner@icann.org

About ICANN:

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address into your computer or other device – a name or a number. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world.

For more information, please visit: https://www.icann.org/

A look back: The ICANN History Project

Brad White interviews Peter Dengate-Thrush


It was indeed ironic–Ira Magaziner's boss, President Bill Clinton, had just won his 1996 bid for re-election, yet Magaziner was feeling the pain of defeat.

As a Senior Policy Advisor to the President, Magaziner had been heavily involved in Hillary Clinton's failed healthcare initiative and now he too wanted a win.

The Clinton aide's opportunity came when the President asked him to come up with some creative ideas to keep the economy growing. It was at a time when Clinton's entire Cabinet was trying to tell him what he needed to focus most on during his second term. Magaziner recalls that the ideas they were throwing at Clinton were all pretty conventional, but Magaziner had an idea that was anything but.

"I wanted to put a framework in place to let the Internet take off," said the former Presidential aide.

Magaziner said Clinton embraced his idea. But the President's Cabinet? Well - not so much. "They said 'the Internet? What the hell is that?' Then they shrugged their shoulders and said, 'I don't care.'"

If Vint Cerf is considered one of the "fathers of the Internet," then Ira Magaziner could easily be considered "the father of ICANN."

It was Magaziner who spearheaded the formulation of a plan for an international, multistakeholder organization, the likes of which few had ever seen. And it was this organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, that would manage the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS).

Magaziner related his little-known story in a video interview that is part of the new ICANN History Project, which can be found at https://www.icann.org/history. There, you will find a growing number of video interviews.

In addition to the conversation with Magaziner, we also talked with Vint Cerf, former National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) Chief Larry Strickling and a number of other major players from the organization's past.

But the History Project is much more than just video interviews. You'll find an interactive timeline, historical documents, correspondence, pictures and more. As new materials are collected and posted, the history project will expand and evolve.

The project tells the story of ICANN's past through exploring various tracks, or themes. The first one is the historical relationship between ICANN and the U.S. Government. That relationship recently made news headlines with the successful completion of the IANA Stewardship Transition.

Larry Strickling, the former NTIA chief, told ICANN during a video interview that there was never any doubt in his mind that the transition would be successful. But Internet pioneer Vint Cerf disagreed, saying he thought the transition was in jeopardy "every single day," between the time it was announced and when it was completed more than two years later.

That sort of difference of perspective is one of the elements that drives the History Project. It is also one of the reasons that we did not do an overarching narrative or declarative history, like a journalist might. We want you to draw your own conclusions.

It is our sincere hope that the History Project will form a lens through which we can more clearly focus on ICANN's future.

Clarifying the Roles of the ICANN Complaints Office and Ombudsman

Last month, the ICANN organization officially launched its Complaints Office, which serves a complimentary role to ICANN’s existing complaints processes, such as Contractual Compliance, Request for Reconsideration and the Ombudsman. However, we have noticed some confusion about the difference between the scope of the Complaints Office and the Office of the Ombudsman. We hope that this blog will help clarify and differentiate the roles and scopes of our offices.

  Ombudsman Complaints Officer
Function
  • Independent function, reporting to the ICANN Board, not to the ICANN Organization
  • Established in the ICANN Bylaws
  • A function within the ICANN Organization
  • Established by the CEO
Reports To
  • ICANN Board (per ICANN Bylaws)
  • The Ombudsman is independent from the rest of the ICANN Organization
  • ICANN Organization, directly reporting to the General Counsel
  • Works with the ICANN Organization Executive Team and employees
Visibility Level
  • Confidential process
  • Transparency is the default, but that may be restricted if requested by complainant
Scope
  • Investigates complaints from ICANN community members who believe that ICANN staff, Board or an ICANN constituent body has treated them unfairly
  • May investigate systemic issues of unfairness
  • Evaluates issues and complaints related to the ICANN Organization.
    • For example, issues that may be related to how a request was handled, a process that appears to be broken, insufficient handling of an issue
  • May investigate systemic organizational issues

We fully anticipate that there will be some overlap – especially in the early stages – between the complaints received by our offices, so we’ll be working together to direct complaints to each other when appropriate. While our work will be separate, and we report to different parts of the ICANN ecosystem, we both aim to provide more accountability and transparency for the ICANN organization, Board and community, in service of ICANN’s mission.

As a reminder, it is expected that the Complaints Office and its processes will continue to develop and evolve over time. If you have any questions, ideas, suggestions or comments about the Complaints Office, please feel free to contact Krista directly.

For more information about the Complaints Office, please visit here.

For more information about the Office of the Ombudsman, please visit here.

2016 Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Year in Review Report is Out!

Relive all our activities in the LAC region during 2016 by downloading this comprehensive report put together by ICANN's regional team. This resource is available in English [PDF, 2.14 MB], Spanish [PDF, 3.69 MB] and Portuguese [PDF, 3.69 MB].

Here's a preview of what you'll find in the report :

Introduction | Rodrigo de la Parra

What Happened in the Latin American and Caribbean Region in 2016?
IANA Stewardship Transition Concludes
New ICANN CEO: Göran Marby
Relocations of Meetings from Panamá and Puerto Rico Result in the Mitigation Plan
LAC Domain Name System Marketplace Study Published
CEILAC: Our Entrepreneurship Center Is a Reality
Partnerships Thrive
What's Next for 2017?

IANA Stewardship Transition | Rafael Lito Ibarra

"… because it has left me many good things"
Lessons Learned

2016 LAC Strategy Highlights | Rodrigo Saucedo

Latin America and Caribbean DNS Marketplace Study
Latin American DNS Observatory
LAC-i-Roadshows
SusInGI: Sustainability and Inclusion for Internet Governance
2016 LAC Strategy Activities By the Numbers

ICANN Extends Engagement in Brazil in 2016 | Daniel Fink

Expanding Our Outreach
Supporting New gTLDs
Strengthening Partnerships
Spreading the Word Through NextGen

ICANN Expands Engagement in the Caribbean | Albert Daniels

A Sampling of Events
CANTO 32, Haiti, January 2016
Internet Government Workshop, Turks and Caicos, March 2016
Girls in ICT Day, Barbados, April 2016
CaribNOG 11, Jamaica, April 2016
LACNIC 25, Cuba, May 2016
12th Annual Caribbean IGF, Belize, August 2016
Caribbean Working Lunch at ICANN57, India, November 2016

Supporting the DNS Industry in LAC | Daniel Fink

LAC DNS Forum
CEILAC: Internet Entrepreneurship Center for the LAC Region
LAC DNS Marketplace Study

2016 LAC Communications Highlights | Alex Dans

We Are Very Social!
Explaining Our Mitigation Plan
Get Our Latest News

Be sure to keep up with the LAC team by following us on social media and subscribing to our regional newsletter.

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

YOUTUBE

LINKEDIN

FLICKR

NEWSLETTER

A New Perspective on the Stakeholder’s Journey

Photo: Catching up with the Asia Pacific Internet Governance Academy (APIGA) alumni at the recent ICANN meeting in Copenhagen (From left to right: Mohammad Abdul Awal from Bangladesh, Haoran Huang from China, Adeel Sadiq from Pakistan, Donggi Lee from South Korea and Kelvin Wong from ICANN)

Last year, I posted a blog on the inaugural Asia Pacific Internet Governance Academy (APIGA) 2016, a five-day capacity building program to nurture Asia Pacific youth leaders to participate actively in the global multistakeholder Internet governance ecosystem.

After the program ended in August 2016, the APIGA alumni have been active in exchanging information about opportunities to participate in regional and global Internet governance events. Some of the alumni have gone on to participate and contribute in fora such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF), as well as ICANN.  

For Haoran Huang – a postgraduate student from the Institute of Internet Governance and Law, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), China – APIGA was his first foray into the world of Internet governance, and he has not stopped since. Over the short span of nine months since APIGA ended, Haoran has attended ICANN meetings, joined ICANN as a community member and participated in the last IGF and Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF).

APIGA can help kick off your Internet governance journey    

According to APIGA alumnus Haoran, “It is important for youths like myself, who grew up with the Internet, to recognize that we form an important group in the global Internet community. Young adults will form the next generation of leaders in the Internet community. We need to voice out issues we’re concerned with, and contribute to Internet governance discussions to help shape the evolution of the Internet for the next generation.

APIGA 2016 gave me the opportunity to do that. Through its rigorous curriculum, the program provided me insights into the world of Internet governance. I was particularly interested in ICANN’s work, and the program helped me take further steps in participating in ICANN and Internet governance discussions.

Two months after APIGA, I attended ICANN57 and the Indian School of Internet Governance, which was held alongside ICANN57. As a newcomer to ICANN meetings, the experience widened my perspective on Internet governance and spurred me to join the Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) in the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO). It also sparked my interest to join some of the ICANN working groups, including the Jurisdiction Subgroup in the Cross-Community Working Group-Accountability Work Stream 2. This was a good learning opportunity, which helped improve my knowledge through direct exposure.

Shortly after, I went on to participate in both regional and local IGFs. I was selected to be a Youth@IGF participant (a program organized by the Internet Society), and attended the IGF 2016 in Mexico. I took the initiative and joined the Multistakeholder Steering Group (MSG) at the regional APrIGF. Both are important platforms for the community to participate in discussions on significant Internet governance issues.

My Internet governance journey would not have started had it not been for APIGA. By participating in these Internet governance discussions, I have expanded my network significantly and met many students, who like me, are passionate about contributing towards global Internet governance discussions. I challenge all the young people around me to join in the discussions, to make our voices heard and make a difference to the Internet for the next generation.”

Apply for APIGA 2017 today

If you are like Haoran and want to make an impact to the Internet, I encourage you to apply for the 2nd run of APIGA in Seoul, Korea, taking place from 7 to 11 August 2017. The Fellowship applications window for APAC youths to apply for this program will open from 12 May to 8 June 2017. Find out more and apply now at go.icann.org/apiga.

3 Innovative Content Strategies for a Company Blog

The single most important thing to remember when creating a content strategy for a company blog is, you must create content in other channels too. It is necessary to reach out to readers and draw them in with an authentic voice, creating a personal connection, and being willing to offer video content in a wide variety of locations.

Cultivate Your Voice

Creating a consistent and relatable voice for your company blog is more important than ever. Consumers are tired of being driven to content that feels impersonal and that offers no intrinsic value to the reader. One way to combat that is to ensure that in addition to offering industry information and insight, you also cultivate a personal exchange. LeadFeeder has done this for their readers through topics such as social selling, customer success checklists, and practical ways to use their tool to get a better understanding of your website’s visitors.

Another important consideration in creating the voice of the company blog is to ensure that it is well thought out and defined as part of a broader content strategy. It’s important that the tone convey personality and not sound generic to the reader. To do this it is necessary to carefully cultivate the elements that will lend authenticity. A blog, even one hosted by a business, doesn’t need to follow perfect grammatical structure. Colloquialisms, contractions, buzzwords, and even slang are acceptable as long as they are being used consistently.

 

Make it Personal

Part of creating a company blog that invites users to become more invested in the content is to create a personal connection with the audience. One way to do this is to install heat maps that allow the user to see themselves interacting with the site in real time. This lets them feel seen and allows them to know their input and feedback are specifically valued beyond being another statistic.

Another way is to share the stories behind the brand. For example, SparesBox has a category called Our Stories, which encourages those who visit the blog to learn more in a way that feels intimate and authentic. To take it further, interacting with your readers in real time on social media platforms like Insta Live is also a refreshing idea. This requires having people who are consistently monitoring various channels and who are on board with the voice of the brand and able to interact within the confines of the structure established to ensure consistency.

 

The role social media is playing in customer satisfaction is continuing to grow. Most blogs have installed buttons that invite readers to share the content on their favorite social media site. But how many are following up when their clients are talking to them on social media? Only the ones who want to ensure they have happy customers who are willing to sing their praises to their entire social media network.

 

A Moving Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

If video isn’t already in your content strategy, it should be. The most recent Internet Trends report from KPCB projects that more than 70 percent of all online traffic will be derived from online video. YouTube, arguably the most well-known video platform, has more than a billion users who watch hundreds of millions of hours of video content each day.

The way in which your company can introduce video content to its audience is more diverse than ever. YouTube videos or native video content can be posted on a company blog or hosted elsewhere to introduce new products and services. However, social media platforms are rapidly becoming the preferred method for people to view video.

Instagram introduced InstaStories in August of 2016. Some can be set to disappear after a day which gives them a sense of urgency and exclusivity that is attractive to viewers. It guarantees engagement and allows your followers to feel more connected in a tangible way.

This is similar to the feature offered by Snapchat that has found such popularity over the past year. MediaKix recently reported that daily video views have increased 400 percent in 2016 and the growth was expected to continue along the same trajectory in 2017. Any business that is targeting Millennials or teens should be creating a content strategy that includes leveraging this newer platform.

For a broader demographic, Facebook is still one of the most powerful platforms for companies who want to drive traffic to their blog. By now most people are aware that video has quickly begun to dominate Facebook newsfeeds. The next evolution of this will be Facebook 360. This will allow content creators to utilize virtual reality technology to give viewers a fully immersive experience with their video or image content. This has immense potential going forward and should be something you are working on now to implement in future content strategies. It would be easy to talk about a new product or service on your company blog and post a link to a Facebook video that gives the reader more information.

 

As you develop your content strategy, take the time to really develop the voice with which the company will speak to consumers. Use it consistently across all platforms to create authentic experiences for readers. Then, develop it further with the use of video on whichever social media platform is home to your target demographic.

 

Source: Pixabay

The post 3 Innovative Content Strategies for a Company Blog appeared first on Domain & SEO News.

Startup News: Market Stats for the Beauty Industry in 2017 [Infographic]

It is no news that startups have it rough in their first years even in top performing industries such as IT, security, finance, real estate and more. However, market research findings encourage the launch of new companies in emerging industries outside the “app zone”.  Let’s talk about “the Internet of Beauty” and why you should launch a startup in the beauty industry today.

Industry Highlights

The beauty industry represents a multi-billion dollar potential, expected to reach $429.8 billion by 2022, and growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) according to Allied Market Research. Little known fact is that since the 2008’s recession, it has still remained a profitable venture, with the United States generating nearly $56.2 billion.

Global beauty services have also shifted towards a better, more personal consumer experience. In addition, nearly half of global skin care sales have been attributed to Asia and Pacific markets, which triggered the thirst for beauty products among its consumers. An explosive growth of the industry has been reached thanks to social media marketing efforts, customized personal brand messages. More interest had been paid towards everyday community leaders (influencers) both online and offline, as well as to micro-branding and beauty ambassador programs.

Market Customer Behavior and Insights

The industry has enormous potential for growth in the long run, from a more dynamic perspective, as consumer buying behavior varies by category and preferences. According to the data provided by FacialCo, skincare products rank among top picks, followed by hair care products. Perfume, makeup, and toiletries are next in line, with an increase in revenue for online purchases of cosmetics in general. Here is the market share breakdown:

  • Skincare 36.1%
  • Hair care 22.9%
  • Make-up 17.3%
  • Perfume 12.2%
  • Toiletries 10.4%
  • Cosmetic online purchases 10%
  • Oral cosmetics 1.1%

An interesting behavior to watch is online purchases, with a focus on the organic market. As consumers use mobile devices, beauty businesses will continue to extend their reach in joint industries such as apps and mobile solutions. More stats available in the infographic below.

Beauty Industry Highlights Infographic

Infographic created with graphic design software Vengage

The New Business Model: Organic Beauty Products

Much talk has centered on climate change and carbon footprint, which led to a rise in the “everything organic” trend. The beauty industry makes no exception. In the United Kingdom, the demand for organic products has surged. Organic health and beauty products, in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), have gone from $30.1 million in 2011 to $54.02 million in 2015. In other words, in just four short years organic beauty product demands have doubled.

In relation to organic personal care market shares, Grand View Research findings estimate the industry is to reach $25.11 billion by 2025. Previously mentioned beauty product categories have witnessed a growing popularity of organically enhanced products, as well. Among key highlights is the consumer perception growth of purchasing organic and sustainable products. Well-known companies have started shifting business and investments in this industry, thanks to that, such as L’Oréal, which acquired “The Body Shop” back in Oct. 2013 to increase market share presence.

Final Thoughts: Pre-Launch Startup Checklist

DynamicBusiness provides a pre-launch startup list to go by. With a few additions, here’s how you can be ready to launch your business in the Beauty industry:

  • Commitment. Often known as passion or unwavering tenacity. In the long haul, you need to believe in your product or service, independent of the industry you plan to take over. Like Sun Tzu says in ‘The Art of War’, “in the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity”. Own it!
  • Locating customers. And knowing them and their needs like the back of your hand. Ideally, be where your audience is, and don’t lose sight of it. Some beauty businesses work better locally, while others are more location-independent. Research both markets, compare growth potential factors and decide based on numbers and predictions, not based on personal preferences. Growth happens outside your comfort zone.
  • Balance between work and life. One of the first must have items is a business coach, who will teach you how to be effective and fully operational, without disrupting the work-life balance. Especially when you know your product/service is helping someone and improving their lives. What about yours, then? It’s easy to forget to just breathe and take a break, but don’t make it a habit.
  • Business war. Market dominance. Being the best, not just in search ranks, but also in the quality of products and services you deliver. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, they say. But have you thought that it’s also in the hands of the provider? This isn’t the type of war where customers are victims. It is a fight for bringing wellbeing and happiness to customers worldwide. No casualties whatsoever.
  • Cash flow. Money. It’s great if you have them from day 1, but be ready to put in some sweat and effort. Your products/services should be priced accordingly, based on ingredients, techniques, years invested in training and knowledge acquisition, innovation involved and so on. Prices should be kept steady, without frequent spikes, so to maintain a steady cash flow. Optimize your products and services for specific markets. I.e. do not gamble on luxury products in a location that cannot sustain such a segment.

In short: be smart, listen, observe, take notes and apply. A solid market research will aid you greatly in spotting needs that go unaddressed, and where to find them.

 

The post Startup News: Market Stats for the Beauty Industry in 2017 [Infographic] appeared first on Domain & SEO News.

The Fellowship Spirit

Part Two of a Four-Part Blog Series (Read Part One)

FY18 Budget and Fellowship … is that a weird way to start this second blog on the Fellowship spirit? As the ICANN community, organization and Board prepare to finalize the budget for the next fiscal year, the Fellowship Program stands out as a unique investment. All three parts of ICANN have grown to understand how the program has made a positive impact on ICANN over these past 10 years. But what exactly is the investment? Why is it important that we continue funding the program?

Within the next two months, the ICANN organization will share the results of a recent survey, coinciding with the ten-year anniversary of the Fellowship Program. Our goal is to provide real-time statistics and to better understand the program's impact. Where are these individuals today in the Internet ecosystem compared with where they were before the Fellowship Program? Are they engaged in regional or community work within ICANN? If not, how can we bring them back to volunteer today?

We're waiting for the survey results to be compiled. But we already know that over 600 individuals participated in the program – in its various stages of evolution and growth – since its inception in 2007 at ICANN29 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Then, 33 candidates were selected out of 125 applicants from developing nations around the world. Today, up to 60 individuals may be selected for each meeting. We are still committed to supporting those with financial challenges, but today's selection process also focuses on diversity and on bridging gaps in sector or community representation.

We'd like to highlight just a few of our alumni who have been contributing to the ICANN community since their Fellowship experience:

  • Gao Moseau, Botswana, ICANN29
    Member of Consumer Choice, Competition and Consumer Trust Review Team, Fellowship Selection Committee member
  • Tracy Hackshaw, Trinidad and Tobago, ICANN35
    Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) representative (later GAC Vice Chair), Community Onboarding Pilot member
  • Maureen Hilyard, Pacific Islands, ICANN39
    At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) member, ALAC liaison in Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
  • Alejandra Reynoso Barral, Guatemala, ICANN41
    ccNSO Secretariat/ccNSO Council member; Community Onboarding Pilot member
  • Amrita Choudhury, India, ICANN41
    Alumna of several Fellowships, civil society activist within the Internet Society (ISOC) India Chapter, supporter of ICANN's Global Stakeholder Engagement team (including partnering with Head of India at ICANN57 Hyderabad)
  • Beran Dondeh Gillen, Gambia, ICANN44
    Nominating Committee (NomCom) appointee to ALAC, Community Onboarding Pilot member
  • Lianna Galstyan, ICANN48
    ISOC Armenia member, At-Large Structure (ALS) representative in Asian, Australasian and Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organization (APRALO), leader of Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) initiative in Armenia
  • Marilia Maciel, Brazil, ICANN48
    Member of Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC); Non Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) representative in Generic Names Supporting Organization (gNSO) Council, currently at DIPLOFoundation and previous NetMundial
  • Dusan Popovic, Serbia, ICANN50
    Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) member; created yearly conference around Intellectual Property at University in Belgrade with ICANN speakers
  • Nadira Al-Araj, Palestine, ICANN53
    Founder of the first ALS in Palestine, APRALO member, community member working with ICANN's regional team since ICANN53, active member of Arab IGF MAG

These Fellowship Alumni, now established ICANN community members, are proof that the program works. By investing resources and guidance during a newcomer's journey, the ICANN organization and community have benefited from the continued participation of these talented and committed individuals.

We invite you to be a part of the Fellowship Program. If you'd like information about how to apply or have any feedback or comments, please email us at fellowships@icann.org.

New Contracting Statistics Released

Fellow or NextGen? Explore Your Options

Did you know that ICANN has two programs aimed at bringing people to ICANN Public Meetings? Are you interested in:

  • The future of the Internet and how it is governed?
  • How to develop regional and global Internet policy?
  • How to approach technical and security challenges?

If you are, then one of these programs might be right for you.

The ICANN Fellowship Program is open to professionals from all regions and sectors. We’re looking for people who are either new to ICANN or are already working in Internet governance and want to volunteer in the ICANN community.

The NextGen@ICANN Program is for university-level students. We want to engage the “next generation” in their regions so they can begin developing Internet policy within one to two years following program completion.

Which program should I apply for? Which one best matches my interests and goals? We hear these questions all the time. To help you decide, ICANN has created a short video to walk you through each program – what sets it apart and who should apply. Explore your options and opportunities! Click here to start your journey with ICANN.

 

Do you still have questions? Please reach out to us at engagement@icann.org or visit our website: go.icann.org/journey. We'll get you all the information you need to become part of the ICANN community.

You can also follow ICANN on social media:            

       Facebook:        icannorg                                                                                 

       Twitter:             @ICANN                     

 

^