Thursday, November 5, 2015

Hammer, nails, and feedback

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The public has looked at domain names the same way for 30 years. Of course why not? Verisign, Nominet and all the other registries have trained us that domain names are just DNS delivery vehicles; domains have no function out of the gate and we are required to build services on top of them.  What if a domain was something more? What if a .Feedback domain could collect feedback, with no special coding skills required, in seconds after a registration? A long standing assumption I keep hearing about .Feedback is that everyone expects us to deliver DNS-only domains. I, Jay Westerdal, the CEO of .Feedback, would like to address this huge assumption. 

Mark Monitor recently wrote on their blog, "The registry operator behind .feedback has decided that just because you pay to register a domain name does not mean you should actually be able to use said domain name."

Frankly this assessment is factually inaccurate. We absolutely let people use domains they purchase and we do more then any registry has ever done in terms of using a domain. We offer a screwdriver in a hammer only world.  Within minutes of registering a domain the registry facilitates use of the domain. We provide a platform with survey questions and a way to customize the look and feel of the website. We provide a platform for engagement and feedback. With a DNS-only domain registry, it would require load of external software, external infrastructure, and a lot of different programming and design skills. 

ICANN's core values are creativity, innovation, and respect the flow of information. The .Feedback registry is innovating and following those core values by allowing transparency with an independent review system that can be operated by anyone willing to sponsor a name.  The .Feedback domain is different from all the other registries. It is human nature to fear change and innovation, this registry doesn't want to be in the business of selling just DNS domains like every other registry. We want to innovate!

Our mission is to "facilitate customer feedback". If someone wants to register their favorite pizza place's name, and setup a portal where customer's of that place can give feedback, our domains are the perfect solution. Not everyone has the computer experience to setup this type of platform on their own. For the cost of a domain we provide an entire platform that does it all.

If we, as a registry, are not innovating then we are just like all the other registries. We are not just a fancy label maker with a unique suffix. If a person doesn't want our product they can choose not to purchase. 

I would encourage everyone to expand your horizons and think of domains as more than just labels on the Internet. Domains can be complex platforms that are easy to setup and easy to operate. In a few short years we will see more platforms and more innovation. Let's avoid thinking everything is a nail and the only solution is a hammer. 

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