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Username: davidf
Date/Time: Thu, October 26, 2000 at 2:01 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: Yes to .museum


  The creation of a generic TLD for museums is potentially the greatest step yet (after TCP/IP) towards a global cultural resource.

Yes to .museum as opposed to any other name.
Yes to administration by MDMA.
No to any distinction between the 'real' and 'virtual'; yes to one inclusive, all embracing set of conditions for registration and usage within the TLD. (to be defined by MDMA.)

Establishing one administrative organisation (for one global TLD) would allow for the next steps: recommended standards for how information is rendered (XML schemes, metadata conventions, thesauruses etc) and the building of dedicated search engines to exploit these standards: "click to search the world's museum domain!"

Good standards have been proposed by various organisations but none have the authority to establish these and in the absence of a unifying mechanism like .museum there is no clear incentive to adopt any particular set.

I am excited by the possibilities; however on a cautious note,  soundings within my museum have largely returned blank incomprehension and some indifference - I am not surprised or dismayed - it's a somewhat grey and technical subject and the advantages depend upon .museum being widely adopted. Given this 'chicken and egg' aspect and the natural tendency for organisations to wait and see before committing to anything MDMA will never be able to demonstrate in advance that .museum will be a success. However I think ICANN may rest assured that MDMA will ensure an orderly introduction of the domain. With both ICOM on board and a non-profit constitution MDMA are both academicly and economicly credible as representatives of the interests of the broad museum community. I hope that ICANN will give MDMA a go at making it a success.

Dave Franklin.  


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