Another brick in the [chinese] wall...
[Posted to on January 28, 2003 06:24 AM| Links to this post ]

Bret notes that the folks over at GNR are taking things into their own hands. While I'm a strong believer in "what's good for the goose is good for the gander"; creating more registries possessed of more conflict of interest doesn't intuitively seem like a step in the right direction. Instead, ICANN needs to devote some of this energy towards the creation of net new registry operators and the registry operators needs to focus on upholding their contracts. In fact, new TLDs are almost secondary to this goal, although it only stands to reason that because there are limited opportunities for registry operators, that there will be a limited number of registry operators.

Of course, none of this even gets close to what many see as the central issue: the Registry/Registrar construct was implemented to ensure that the gTLD zones were indeed competitive and not controlled or unduly influenced by particular monopolies. PersonalNames should never have been accredited by ICANN in the first place unless it goes to further competition and increase diversity. This deal doesn't appear to do that.

There's another story here that no one is talking about either - what is it about the dotNAME opportunity that compels the folks at GNR to continue throwing money at the string? I'll give you a hint: its not about GNR management failing to recognize the size of their money pit (although that may yet prove to be the case), its about the behavior of the market. Customers are self-organizing in ways that very few people in the business understand or have even noticed. The typical gTLD registrar thinks that their organization is focusing on the big market opportunities. They haven't even recognized what these opportunities really are. Reminds me of the perennial favorite about the three blind men and the elephant.

Obdisclaimer: I work for a registrar, therefore my self-interest should be as plain as the nose on your face. Also note that I have a pretty good nose for what competition smells like ;)

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