|Switch ORG Proposal, Appendix A: Community Concept||back to index|
Table of content
This document describes a community process for ORG that SWITCH believes to be useful to the ORG community and viable in terms of the financial, logistic and secretarial support required from the registry. The proposed structure described here is meant as a strategy for the initial set-up of a transparent community process. Once operational, this process should be the basis for defining its future shape.
The non-commercial Internet user community needs to be able to exercise a credible influence in
The SWITCH Community Interaction Model for ORG provides TLD registrants, registrars and non-commercial organizations at large with a consensus-building framework. SWITCH will devote personnel to administer the forums and document the consensus items (with majority and minority views, if applicable) on the community web site. In doing so, SWITCH personnel will work with delegates from non-commercial organizations who devote time to the ORG community process.
Although for practical purposes, users tend to prefer similarity and standardization across a wide range of TLDs, SWITCH believes that the policies for ORG should be solidly based on community input and feedback. One of the most critical areas on this context is the publication of data by the registry and registrars (standard WHOIS directory service, extended WHOIS, search modes, protection of e-mail addresses from spammers etc.).
The registration process (in particular the thick-thin registry issue, the storage of additional data, the ability store, use and access credential and authentication information) is an area where community members need to have a say alongside registrars and representatives of Intellectual Property holders, governments and public policy groups. In doing so, the ORG TLD has the potential of becoming a model for other TLDs and to achieve cross-gTLD standardization of the registration process on a more community-oriented level.
The marketing focus of the ORG TLD has a great influence over the public perception of ORG registrants identity. The non-commercial community needs to be able to provide feedback as to how the ORG TLD should be projected.
The ORG marketing concept is based on co-operation between registry, registrars and non-commercial ORG registrant organizations. The principles and priorities governing co-operative marketing on this basis will be elaborated and maintained on the framework of the ORG community process. On an executive level, co-operative marketing funds are screened by a Joint Outreach Marketing Committee composed equally of community representatives and registrars.
As a non-profit foundation under Swiss law, SWITCH distributes no dividends nor can it be a vehicle for capital gains. At the same time the operation of the ORG registry has the potential to generate surplus funds beyond the scope of reasonable reserves. In the context defined here, the Community Gateway process could be defined as costs as SWITCH believes this is a necessary service to the Community and is fundamental to the governance of the TLD itself.
Any remaining fees would be devoted to:
The principles and priorities of such actions would be decided within the framework of the ORG community process: the Community Council and the Registry-Registrar Business Committee.
These provisions, which keep surplus funds within the defined scope of the ORG TLD activity, avoid the potential for controversy which cold arise from allocation of funds outside. Registrants need not be concerned that their fees are being diverted to causes of which they do not approve.
SWITCH is aware of the diversity of the existing ORG registrants and is committed to looking after the interests of existing registrants of all categories whilst creating a distinguished identity. In focusing on the non-profit community, SWITCH will create an environment that is less conducive to a domination of the registry with duplicative and defensive registrations. However, SWITCH is committed to maintaining accessibility on a first-come-first-serve basis and recognizing that it is for individual registrants to decide how best to protect their intellectual property.
Traditional, high-cost marketing practices, targeting the global Internet community would have limited impact amongst existing users who have already created an identity with their domain names. Co-operative marketing between registry and registrars alone has proved to be effective only for larger, centralized registrars and as such would be a diversity-diminishing policy.
The SWITCH marketing concept will be based on co-operative advertising arrangements involving the provision of support to campaigns of non-commercial ORG registrants, and prominently featuring their ORG domain name. This will provide a showcase for the ORG name in the non-profit context and not directly advertise the registry or the registrar, though the latter is free to make separate arrangements of they wish.
On an executive level, the criteria and the proportions of funding would be screened by a Cooperative Marketing Committee composed equally of representatives appointed by the Community Council and the Business Steering Committee. The rules and funding limits, within the registry budget, will be defined by the Cooperative Marketing Committee.
This focused approach will create a strong ORG identity for potential new registrants, highlighting the importance of this non-profit brand for charities, associations, education and governmental bodies and the like: the dot ORG culture.
The ORG registry will be portrayed as the global home for all non-commercial activities. To reach this goal, a credible, independent and neutral approach is required, which can truly embrace the diversity of the ORG world.
As the needs, concerns and views of the noncommercial registrants and commercial registrars are completely different. SWITCH will establish separate channels to interact with these diverse target groups: the Registrars Platform and the Registrants Website (Community Gateway). Both will be supported with secretariat functions provided by SWITCH.
The ORG registry operation will fully comply with the policies defined by ICANN, which includes accreditation, shared registry access, the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and access to registration data via WHOIS.
In addition to the interactions registrars have at their disposal with the current un-sponsored TLD registries, Switch provides them with
The major goal in dealing with the registrars will be to provide equal access for all those accredited by ICANN to compete on a fair basis. The registry will therefore be open to all registrars, who comply with the policies defined by ICANN. SWITCH will not introduce any policy or practice that would prevent or interfere with free competition.
In addition to their principal offices in Zürich, Switzerland, SWITCH will establish representations in the USA and Asia to provide registrars with the best support and services regarding the registry operation in appropriate languages. These representations will serve as first level support for registrars. Back office services will also be multi-lingual and provide expert know-how for in-depth technical problem analysis and accounting issues (second level support). The support staff will be charged with bringing to the attention of the Business Steering Committee any current issues or suggestions.
Furthermore SWITCH will develop an ORG logo program for the benefit of the registrars and their resellers. The principles and rules for use of the logo(s) will be defined by the Business Steering Committee, which ensures the input of registrars.
SWITCH will support a Business Steering Committee consisting of registrar representatives, elected by the accredited registrars. Registry personnel will attend as required and support with elevant documentation, analysis and statistics. The Committee will make formal recommendations to the registry on tasks, policies and procedures based on input from the registrar community and other stakeholders (registrants, trademark community etc). All recommendations will be published in a transparent manner through the secretarial and logistic support offered by Switch
The Registrar Constituency of the ICANNs DNSO will be asked to appoint the registrars representatives in the initial Business Steering Committee who will be tasked with establishing a charter and setting election rules for future committees. Switch will also seek the assistance of the Registrar's constituency to help create Regional Registrar Working Groups.
Switch will provide the logistic and secretarial support for at least three regional registrar working groups (Americas, Europe / Middle East / Africa, Asia / Pacific). Depending on numbers of interested participating registrars, additional geographical working groups can be formed.
The support provided by SWITCH aims at facilitating the registrars' activities.
SWITCH will provide a high quality of service and security at the lowest possible price but will also position and promote the ORG community on a dedicated Website: Community Gateway.
This Gateway will serve as a direct communication and interaction platform with the ORG community. By means of Gateway contact facilities and discussion groups it will be possible to monitor approval of the ORG Community to registry services and the facilities provided. SWITCH will react to the input and take action to respond to the requirements expressed. This will be backed by opinion polls entrusted to independent, polling companies.
Through the Community gateway into the ORG space will get a face and place where registrants can meet.
The Community Gateway is composed of tools to
This will be a project to collect data about the nature and scope of activities of non-commercial ORG registrants for publication in the SWITCH2ORG search engine. This will enable the public to find non-profit organizations of similar types and with similar themes and objectives to be more easily found. The data will be contributed by the registrants on a voluntary basis via their registrars. The registry may, in collaboration with the registrars, provide a direct interface between registry and registrants.
The ORG Community Council (ORGCC) is designed to represent the ORG Community, i.e. the registrants in the ORG TLD, the users of their Internet resources, the non-profit organizations at large. SWITCH will provide the logistic and secretarial support for the ORGCC and fund, if need be, the travel of its members to the Council meetings organized preferably in conjunction with ICANN meetings. SWITCH personnel will support the ORGCC statistics and analyses and will fund, within the scope of the budget allocated to the ORGCC, independent polls entrusted to independent professional polling companies.
To create the initial ORG Community Council, SWITCH will propose a list of organizations and bodies who will each be asked to appoint one of the 7 representatives of the ORG Community Council. The list will be put to the DNSO names council which may make changes at its full discretion. Once the initial ORG community council is constituted, it will define its charter and future election and/or appointment process.
The role of the ORG Community Council is to provide policy recommendations for the ORG TLD. Its proceedings and recommendations will be published in a transparent manner along with minority views and responses from other ORG bodies concerned with the recommendations.
The concerns of the ORGCC overlap with the Registrar Business Steering Committee in the context of the marketing focus and differentiation given to the ORG TLD. As described, the cooperative marketing approach linking registrants, registrars and the registry in cooperative advertising arrangements is the principal mechanism for the definition of an ORG identity in the public eye. The Joint Outreach and Marketing Committee is composed of representatives appointed in equal numbers by the registrars Business Steering Committee and the ORGCC. SWITCH will provide logistic and secretarial support for this committee if this is in the interest of the ORG community. The definition of its charter and the definition of the co-operative marketing framework is a task of the initial Committee constituted.
CORE Internet Council of Registrars