This post was originally published on Domainer.com.au by Ned O’Meara.
I was thrilled to learn yesterday that a friend of mine has decided to stand for election as a Demand Class Director at the auDA elections later this year.
Shane Moore has fantastic credentials in my opinion, and will be a great representative if elected. He’s Brisbane based, and has been involved in domaining and online marketing for over a decade. Some of his online businesses include Nuts.com.au and NumberPlates.com.au.
He also runs a successful insurance brokerage specialising in insurance for tradies. Have a look at TradeRisk.com.au – it’s a great example of a thriving business website!
Here in his own words is why Shane wants to be elected.
I’m nominating for the auDA board this year
Nominations don’t open until much later in the year, but given the recent interest in auDA issues I’ve decided to make my announcement earlier than planned.
I will be running for a seat on the auDA board this year.
I feel that the board has been without a director who genuinely represents small business and domain investors, and who engages with the community on a regular basis.
The board has instead been dominated by people from within the domain name industry, as well as people who may not necessarily have the regular SME owner’s best interests at heart.
It makes sense that the board would be made up primarily of people from within the domain industry, however given the way that pending changes in the AU domain space will affect all SME owners and domain name investors, it is my intention to be their voice on the board.
I believe I fill a rather unique gap between genuine end-users of premium domain names, and pure domainers.
But before I get into my background, I think it’s important to begin with where I stand:
I’m on record as having said I supported the idea of shorter domain names, in the form of direct registrations.
What I don’t support is any form of implementation that damages existing com.au domain holders and their investments in branding, trademarks and indeed the domains themselves.
It is my firm belief that all existing com.au domain holders should be issued the .au version of their domain without the risk of losing it to any other party.
Australian business owners and domain name investors have invested vast amounts of money into com.au registrations, both as new registrations and aftermarket purchases.
There should never be a situation where direct registrations jeopardise these investments.
Ultimately, if I was given the opportunity to oppose direct registrations at the board level, I would.
Despite my personal fondness of shorter domains, I am well aware that the majority of people I seek to represent are firmly against the introduction of direct registrations.
I do believe however that the battle we need to be concentrating on is implementation.
Engagement with registrants
I believe auDA needs to seriously increase its level of engagement with existing registrants.
The vast majority of end-users, in particular SME owners, have no idea about what is happening in the Australian domain name space.
Whilst their domain name might represent a very small priority within their business, they should still be fully informed about any possible changes affecting their domain name or names.
Direct registrations are a major example of where many people believe engagement with everyday domain owners was poor, and who knows what other changes will come in future that need to be far better communicated.
Evening up the balance
Small business owners, and large businesses for that matter, are the major users of domain names in Australia, however they have very little representation on the auDA board.
Whilst some past and present board members may have been SME owners, I do not feel that they were on the board as a genuine representative of SMEs.
My background in small business and domain names
The business I founded six years ago, insurance brokerage Trade Risk, has used premium domain names in order to grow into a multi-award winning national business.
I know first-hand that without investing in premium Australian domain names that I could not have achieved the same success.
I am also the founder of Nuts.com.au, which is a fast growing online food retailer, as well as the owner of NumberPlates.com.au which is a leader in its category.
What my businesses have in common is the use of premium Australian domain names.
I have invested strongly in these and many other names, and I am very aware of their value as business assets.
I have a lot to lose if the implementation of direct registrations is handled poorly, as do many other SMEs and domain investors.
Unlike the vast majority of end-users I’ve also been a part of the domainer community for many years.
I registered my first .com domain in 1999 and my first com.au in 2003.
I have been a member of numerous online groups since 2010 and have been a constant contributor throughout that time.
Whilst I haven’t sat on previous committees or boards, I do have a strong background in the corporate world prior to moving into small business.
Prior to founding my own business in 2010 I was employed as a compliance analyst for a subsidiary of the ANZ Banking Group.
I’ve held compliance and project management related roles with corporates including Suncorp Bank, the National Australia Bank and other smaller financial institutions.
I also have some public sector experience, having spent time in London working for the UK Government.
In my current primary role, I am the principal of my own insurance brokerage. With insurance being a very heavily regulated industry, I am required to uphold very high standards in terms of compliance.
So why vote for me?
I feel very strongly that SME owners have been completely left in the cold when it comes to direct registrations.
I also believe that domain name investors (who are also SME owners) have been completely under-represented on the auDA board for many years.
Some past and present auDA directors seek support from the domain investor community around election time, however once the election has been run we rarely hear from them for another year.
I have been a strong contributor to the domain name investing community in Australia for a number of years, and also a strong advocate for small businesses using premium domain names.
It is my intention to finally give SME owners and domain name investors a genuine seat at the table so that we can have some well-deserved influence over policies which can and will affect our livelihoods.
Even if we cannot win a seat on the board, at the very least we can send auDA and the current directors the message that we are prepared to act together for our own interests – just as many of them have been doing for years.
If anyone wants to contact me for further information, please email me.
Thank you for reading.