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Username: nicholasmoraitis
Date/Time: Tue, October 17, 2000 at 1:46 AM GMT (Tue, October 17, 2000 at 11:46 AM EAST)
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Subject: Six things a .kids proposal should contain


        Hi again all,

Unfortunately, ICANN have not yet posted the Blueberry Hill proposal. However, I was heartened to read their press release, and it at least provides some early hints that it might be a workable, positive model.

Their press release is at their website

Without knowing the details, I think it is worthwhile mentioning what I think *needs* to be part of a successful proposal:

(1) A committment to actively involving a broad-range of young people in the development of the proposal and more importantly the ongoing implementation. This should involve a range of online discussion boards discussing policies and practicies, online polling to assist collate opinions, and also a youth advisory committee or two, including broad representation from all ICANN geographic regions meeting at least three times a year in real life. While advisory, the concerns of this group should be published widely on the Internet and taken seriously by staff/investors within the registrar. A better idea would be to have the Board of the .kids registrar elected by a new category of ICANN member - those under 18 years.

(2) An emphasis in kids themselves creating content, rather than companies creating content. Afterall, there is a space for companies within .com. And we don't let companies into the educational .edu space, or governments into the .com space, so why let them into .kids. Obviously, there needs to be some scope for flexibility here!

(3) A broad range of NGO and institutional support. If a proposal has endorsements, support and involvement from groups like UNICEF, Save the Children - and youth groups like Free the Children, my own group Nation1 etc, it has my support.

(4) A pricing and revenue structure which is relevant to young people globally. Young people in India should have just as much chance of buying a .kids for their sites and initiatives, as children in the US do. To tackle this, a proposal could use a sliding scale - $19.95 might be $1.95 in India. (Admittedly, there are always going to be problems with this system). Or perhaps you need another value system instead of money. Perhaps domain names could be given away free to young people, in exchange for them doing 10 hours community service with a registered non-profit organisation. (And you could find a sponsor to pay for it). 10 hours volunteer work has the same value all around the world.

(5) A committment to multilingualism and cultural nuances. .kids is not just a US domain name, and any policies associated with it should not be based upon US laws (for example COPA) because what is appropriate in America is perhaps not appropriate for other countries - which different value systems are involved. .kids in itself is a little 'cute' and 'english'. Maybe some thought should go into a descriptor that is not so US-centric, maybe one that is even neutral.

(6) A committment to charity. Yes, companies operating top level domain names should be allowed healthy profits. Yes, there should also be a significant, absolutely integral charity component. A large portion of profits (60%?) should be put towards educational youth projects online, and a grant-making-fund for small concrete real life projects young people want to undertake.

Without at least a majority of these elements, I do not think any of the .kids domain name proposals are worthy of success this time around (and instead, this will be a learning experience for all involved).

I would be absolutely pleased to ellaborate on any of these ideas, please just let me know. Post here, or e-mail me at



Nick Moraitis
Co-Coordinator -
Nation1 -
Author, "Cyberscene: a teen traveller's guide to the web"
(Penguin Books 1999)
Link: Visit the site I work for -

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