Update on auDA election and other matters

This post was originally published on Domainer.com.au by Ned O’Meara.

Shane Moore

With auDA Board elections imminent (probably end of November), I thought it would be good to give potential candidates an opportunity to ask for your vote!

First cab off the rank is my good friend Shane Moore. He first announced his intentions way back in May on Domainer, so it’s good to get a comprehensive update from him.

In my opinion, Shane will make an excellent Demand Class Director of auDA. He runs his own business in Brisbane; he thinks independently; and he’s a listener. He’s also been involved with domains for many years.

He certainly has got one of my votes!

I’d Like To Ask For Your Vote Please!

Written by Shane Moore – 21st September 2016

We’re getting closer to the expected announcement of the 2016 auDA AGM, which means the elections won’t be too far away.

As stated earlier this year, I will be nominating for one of the two demand class directorships, and so far I’ve been very pleased with the level of public and private support.

There are challenging times ahead for the au domain space, and with that in mind I want to provide an update on how I see the current issues and what I’ve been up to generally in the online world.

Direct registrations

In my opinion this is the biggest change to occur during my time in the domain name world, which kicked off back in the late nineties.

There have been other big changes, such as the ability to sell domain names and the monetisation policy, both of which were great positive changes.

The difference between these and direct registrations is that they didn’t affect the average small business owner.

If you owned one or two domains for your SME, with no interest in acquiring additional domains, the changes to monetisation or selling of domains had no real impact on you.

But with direct registrations, every single domain name owner is going to be affected.

The insurance brokerage I founded and continue to run, Trade Risk, has thousands of small business clients, many of whom have an au domain name.

I have spoken with many of them regarding direct registrations, and they aren’t happy about having to deal with yet another issue that’s going to cost them more time and money for no benefit.

A number of them spoke about their frustrations with competitors having confusingly similar domain names, and the addition of direct registrations will only add to this issue.

Are direct registrations really a good thing for Australia?  I’d say they’re a great thing for registrars, but I can’t see the benefit for domain name owners.

What’s doing at auDA?

Ned has done a fantastic job of keeping us all updated on what we do (and don’t!) know about the goings on at auDA.

With that in mind I won’t go over the same issues again, but I do have to agree with Ned that we are being treated like mushrooms.

Having spent most of my career in the corporate world as well as running my own business, I completely understand that there is some information you can release, and some you cannot.

So I understand that auDA can’t just spew out page after page of everything that goes on there, but the current level of engagement with registrants is certainly disappointing.

Under normal circumstances the goings on at auDA would be pretty far down my list of priorities, with my business and my family occupying the first twenty or so places!

But these aren’t normal circumstances…

Decisions about direct registrations and their implementation are possibly being made right now, but it seems that the board isn’t exactly in the greatest of health.

How do we know that the right decisions are being made?

I like to think I’m a fairly positive guy and trust people to do right thing.  The current directors should take notice of what domain owners really want and make their decisions accordingly.

They should also recognise that many of the survey responses came from people who were not fully informed, and whose responses did not necessarily reflect the overall domain name owner’s community.

What I stand for

If I am fortunate enough to have the support of sufficient auDA demand class members, here’s what I’ll be using my position to push for.

1.      No introduction of direct registrations unless all existing domain name owners can be assured they will not be disadvantaged in any way.

2.      Make it easier for more domain owners to become auDA members.

3.      Make it easier for people to register an au domain.

4.      Ensure the interests of domain name owners and users have appropriate influence over decisions that affect them.

5.      Ask questions about auDA’s revenue, specifically in terms of how much it can justify and how it is used.

And most importantly, I’ll be pushing for auDA to be as transparent as is legally possible.

In my opinion, greater transparency will remove the vast majority of issues that people have with auDA.

What have I been up to?

My whole professional life revolves around domain names, websites and digital marketing.

Where I differ to a lot of people in the industry is that I don’t provide any services to other people, and instead only work on my own businesses.

My insurance brokerage, Trade Risk, is kicking along well and continues to grow.

Since my last guest post on Domainer, we picked up an award as one of Australia’s top 30 ‘Elite’ brokerages.  This is the second year in a row we’ve achieved this.

We put on another new staff member just last month, and we’re also working on a fantastic new online system.

It’s not bad for a business which started off as nothing more than a hand registered au domain name!  The premium domains we have added since have unquestionably helped.

My ecommerce business, Nuts.com.au, also continues to grow.  It’s been almost twelve months since we started selling products, however this business might be off to a new home soon.

And then we have NumberPlates.com.au which launched a brand new site just last month.  It’s going really well and proves that the classifieds model can still work well in the right niche.

I just love online business, and in particular online businesses which use premium domain names as part of their branding and overall strategy.

auDA have done a great job of developing the au domain space over many years, and I hope to be part of the board that continues to push it in the right direction.

If you’d like to get in touch with me please email me.  You can also connect with me on LinkedIn.

I’d also be happy to answer any questions on here as well.

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