Thanks to those who took a moment to comment on the draft Expressions of Interest in new TLDs. If you’re unfamiliar with this, please read on.

Here is a link to the draft of the Expressions of Interest
Comments are listed here.

Some background:
Over a decade has passed since the formation of ICANN with the mandate to establish a process and get new Top Level Domains created to foster competition. New TLDs can offer a lot of benefit to consumers and internet users. They will compliment search as a means to get people to what they are looking for as resource pointers, and they will add semantic relevance to the email addresses and websites that they are used with.

Properly executed, the new TLDs can operate securely and ultimately deliver strong rankings in the search engines as we witness with .GOV or .EDU domains, where a user knows and trusts that the appearance of these TLDs in the results of a search on Yahoo!, Bing, or Google positively impact the overall psychology of the potential visitor so that they trust the relevance behind what their next click will bring.

Despite the promise and reward of new TLDs, there have been things to resolve. There have been proponents and opponents to the introductions of new TLDs, and there’s been a lot of evolution in the technologies, but the overall arguments have stayed the same. Existing registries and many of the attorneys from the Interbrand 100 brands seem to not want new TLDs and have woven tapestries to snare and slow the process of their introductions.

New applicants and groups, communities, and future users of the new TLDs are interested in ending a ten year stalemate in the introductions of new domains.

In the recent Seoul ICANN meeting last October, I had the privilege of speaking on behalf of many interested parties, communities, applicants, businesses, groups, and cities to propose the concept of an Expression of Interest in a new TLD that someone could file as an interested party.

The concept is simple… There had been a process under way to compile an Applicant Guidebook, currently in its third revision. There were a growing number of things to sort out as the drafting continued, and these drafts seem to continue well into this summer 2010. Meanwhile the delays are impacting a number of interested parties and their communities.

Taking an inspiration from a number of the registry service providers, we gathered in Seoul to come up with some ways to get the process under way of a very lightweight ‘Expression of Interest’ process for identifying what TLDs and who would apply for them, so that ICANN would be able to resource and staff accordingly. This could be done, if appropriately executed, in parallel with some of the outstanding issues that were being resolved as the Applicant Guidebook made its transition to becoming finalized.

The net product of that exercise, which took many sleepless nights, conference calls, and involvement from many different stakeholders, was the EoI proposal.

There has been a lot of careful thought put into the EoI, and it is something that the community and general internet users can benefit from.

Thanks again to those who took some time to comment on the Expressions of Interest in new TLDs. We set up the form to work so folks could voice whatever opinion they had.

Thanks for your time, and I appreciate you reading my blog.