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.
press release is at their website http://www.thekidsregistry.org
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org