Tag Archives: AusRegistry

Women in online businesses and their ANZIA potential by Jo Lim, auDA COPO

Last year, market research commissioned by auDA and AusRegistry showed that women are under-represented in domain name ownership – just 16% of female respondents owned a domain name, compared with 32% of male respondents. It was suggested that one reason for this disparity may be the higher proportion of male small business owners, which is a key driver of domain name sales.And yet, other research conducted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry shows that the number of women starting their own business doubled between 2007 and 2012, with many of these businesses being online-only enterprises.So what’s the story here?It’s not surprising that an increasing number of women seem to be moving into the online business world. The advantages of a purely online business are well- known – low capital outlay and overheads, flexible hours and the ability to work from home. It’s clear why starting up an online business would be an attractive option for women who may have taken a break from the workplace to have children and whose priorities in life have changed.Witness the founders of online business “hard to find” (www.hardtofind.com.au), Eri Beaumont and Trudi Jenkins, who say on their website that “as working mothers with little time for shopping beyond the basics, we realised that there was a gap in the online market for a quality website where you could rely on finding only the best available”. Their business idea was to source a range of quality items from individual designers, promote them under an umbrella brand, and provide a single check-out service. Not only does the Internet-based business suit the working needs of the female founders, it has helped to boost the businesses of the individual designers, many of whom are also women.According to their website, the business concept behind online shoe retailer “Shoes of Prey” (www.shoesofprey.com.au) was inspired by the personal experiences of co-founder Jodie Fox, who wanted to be able to commission her own custom-made shoes. Jodie and her business partners used the Internet to allow women to do something that was not previously easy or widely available, and the results speak for themselves – from three people working out of their lounge room, to 50 staff in four offices globally. They have now opened a physical concept boutique in David Jones in Sydney – going from purely online to bricks’n’mortar, an interesting reversal of the usual pattern.Retail is not the only model for women who are looking to start an online business. Mia Freedman had already enjoyed success in the publishing world, being the youngest-ever editor of Cosmopolitan magazine at age 24. She now runs Mamamia (www.mamamia.com.au), which started as a personal blog site and has since grown into Australia’s leading women’s website covering a whole range of issues from current affairs and politics to health and relationships. According to the website, more than 1.7 million Australian women (and some men) visit Mamamia and sister site www.iVillage.com.au every month.Shoes of Prey was a popular finalist in last year’s ANZIAs (Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards), in the “Innovation” category. The ANZIAs are all about celebrating the achievements of individuals and organisations that are making significant contributions to Internet use in Australia and New Zealand. We would love to recognise more women who are doing interesting things on the Internet – whether it’s an innovative and creative business idea like hardtofind or Shoes of Prey, or a community-building and thought-provoking online space like Mamamia.To end this piece where I began, with last year’s market research showing that women are under-represented in domain name ownership. auDA and AusRegistry have conducted a follow-up survey this year, and I am pleased to say that our initial analysis indicates a notable increase in female domain name ownership from last year (we’ll be publishing the full results mid-2014).Let’s hope this trend continues into the future, and that initiatives like the ANZIAs can help to highlight the achievements of women who are already enjoying online business success, and encourage more women to follow in their footsteps.About the ANZIA – www.internetawards.org.auThe Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards (ANZIAs) are a collaboration between auDA and InternetNZ. The awards are an annual event celebrating the achievements of organisations, businesses and individuals that have made significant contributions to the development and use of the Internet in Australia and New Zealand. Entries are welcome from organisations that have developed online resources, websites and real-world projects and products. Winners in each category receive a $2500AUD prize.This article by Jo Lim, auDA COPO, was sourced with permission from the auDA blog here:

AusRegistry Launches $1 .NET.AU May Promotion

May NetAu Promo BannerThe wholesale price of a .net.au domain name has been lowered to just one Aussie dollar for the month of May!Yesterday AusRegistry launched a promotion for May to promote .net.au which has 294,486 domains under management compared to over 2.4 million (86% of the namespace) .com.au names out of a total of 2.8 million .au registrations. Which means it’s quite easy to get a preferred domain.George Pongas, General Manager of Naming Services at AusRegistry, said some high profile Australian brands host their web presence under net.au, including the ABC, Triple J and iiNet. Many others use the net.au for technical operations or marketing and promotional activities.”Many successful businesses use a net.au domain name as a business asset to underpin their entire online identity, serving as a digital lighthouse to illuminate their web presence.”Mr Pongas said he expects businesses will embrace the campaign. He said the $1 .net.au domain name sale provides Australian businesses with an incentive to get a relevant, memorable and geographically identifiable web presence.”Our research shows Australians trust websites ending in .au as they identify that the domains belong to Australian businesses. Now is the perfect opportunity to upgrade from a free Facebook, Blogger or Tumblr page and get a professional web presence with a short and memorable net.au domain name,” Mr Pongas said.He noted the increasing trend of businesses relying on search engine calls to action in their advertising, and encouraged marketers to adopt net.au domain names in their campaigns as a more effective alternative.”Why direct customers to search for your business online when there are so many options available in .net.au? It simply doesn’t make sense because you are exposing your brand to competition and ambush marketing practices within the search results. By using a .net.au domain name, the call to action will deliver traffic directly to your website – just like the getyour.net.au domain name works for this promotional campaign.”Mr Pongas said there are currently 2.8 million .au domain names and only 294,486 of these are net.au. The vast majority of domain names in Australia are com.au, which accounts for 2.4 million domains, or 86% of the namespace.”We know there are many businesses that miss out on securing their preferred choice under com.au. With greater availability in net.au, businesses are likely to get the domain name they want and can even supplement it with generic word domain names related to their industry or market vertical.”To register a $1 net.au domain name, customers must purchase their domains from participating registrars.

.AU Ranks High In World’s Top Domain Sales In 2013 by George Pongas, AusRegistry

AusRegistry logoLast year was a memorable one for .au domain name sales with a number of significant auctions and aftermarket deals making headlines.

For the second time in three years, a .au domain name was included in the top four sales for the world’s highest reported domain name sales for country code Top-Level Domains.

Coming in at fourth place in 2013 was cruises.com.au which was sold for $103,400. It was only edged out of third place by pizza.nl (Netherlands) by $100, followed by fotograf.de (Germany) at $117,810 in second place and jobs.ca (Canada) at $450,000 in first place.

This year’s fourth place follows last year’s highest recorded .au sale – hobart.com.au, which sold for $67,600 and ranked 15th in 2012’s sales chart.

The other .au domain name in this year’s top 30 was mysuper.com.au which came in at 29th spot with a sale value of $28,691.

This is a terrific result for .au and demonstrates the strong position it has attained on the global stage.

It’s especially significant considering the larger namespaces it’s competing with and the countries with bigger economies. Despite Australia’s relatively small population, the .au namespace is recognised as one of the world’s leading country codes and ranks in the top 10 country code Top-Level Domains globally.

Only recently we reported on the many benefits business owners can attain by registering a premium generic .com.au or .net.au domain names. Our carloans.com.au case study showed how a premium generic domain name helped their business decrease marketing and AdWord spend while increasing revenue and brand awareness.

Clearly, savvy business owners are aware of the .au aftermarket value and are using it to their advantage.

In September 2011, investmentproperty.com.au became the highest recorded domain name at auction when it was snapped up for $125,000 by New South Wales property developer Vision Homes. Only last year, the domain names – sydney.com.au, melbourne.com.au, brisbane.com.au, adelaide.com.au and auction.com.au – were touted for sale with a projected retail price somewhere in the order of $1 million as a total package.

I encourage business owners to contact their Registrar and consider a premium generic .au domain name for their business.

No doubt we’ll see even higher domain name sales in 2014 as the intrinsic value of .au domain names increases.

Although 2014 will see many new options become available in the market, my expectation is that the possible confusion will make premium generic domain names in established namespaces even more valuable.

In the face of confusion, people will default to something they trust and understand.

This article by George Pongas, General Manager, AusRegistry, was sourced with permission from www.ausregistry.com.au/news/au-ranks-high-in-world-s-top-domain-name-sales-in-2013

Premium .com.au domain names a valuable asset for Australian businesses by George Pongas, AusRegistry

AusRegistry logoOne of the most pertinent issues business owners face when establishing an online presence is how to direct customer interest to their website and translate that into revenue. Continue reading Premium .com.au domain names a valuable asset for Australian businesses by George Pongas, AusRegistry

AusRegistry Reappointed .AU Registry Operator

AusRegistry logo[news release] Following an extensive review process with the .au Domain Administration (auDA), AusRegistry is pleased to announce that the auDA Registry Licence Agreement for the management of the .au second-level domain Registry has been extended for an additional four years, until 30 June 2018.

This is welcomed news and is a result that was popularly supported by industry stakeholders during the 2012 Industry Advisory Panel review.

The renewal of the licence will provide an increased level of business confidence, continuity of service and greater level of investment in the namespace for all .au stakeholders. Most importantly, this decision provides certainty for everyone involved in .au, paving the way for another strong four years of stability, security, and growth.

The licence renewal was the result of a long, diligent and transparent exercise that included two public consultation rounds over a 10-month period. This culminated in the Panel’s final report to the auDA Board in December 2012 which recommended that auDA renegotiate the registry licence with AusRegistry.

Following the Panel’s recommendation, the auDA Board voted in February 2013 to proceed with renegotiating the registry licence with AusRegistry. The Board then approved the outcomes of the negotiations between auDA and AusRegistry in October 2013.

This news release was sourced from:

Why website accessibility makes business sense by Maggie Whitnall, AusRegistry

With 18% of the Australian population living with some form of a disability, eliminating barriers to website accessibility remains a challenge. In this blog, AusRegistry’s Maggie Whitnall explores this important topic with the support of Gunela Astbrink from the Internet Society of Australia.Today marks an important day in the calendar for people living with a disability, their families and carers.International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is celebrated each year on 3rd December as a United Nations sanctioned day aimed at increasing public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with a disability, while also encouraging greater inclusion and accessibility.In recognition of this day, I thought it was timely to pose the following question: What can Australia’s domain name and website hosting industries do to support equal web access for all?The issueAround the world, people with a disability face physical, social, economic and attitudinal barriers that exclude them from participating fully and effectively as equal members of society.Unfortunately, these barriers are also prevalent within our own industry and the topic of website accessibility is an issue that affects the lives of many people living with a disability.The scale and importance of this issue was best articulated to me by Gunela Astbrink, a vocal advocate for the rights of people with a disability and a Director of the Internet Society of Australia. Ms Astbrink was an ambassador for the recently held Australian Internet Governance Forum (auIGF) where she led a panel discussion on the accessibility of online services.Access to information and communication technologies creates opportunities to everyone in society, but perhaps no-more so than for people with a disability. As the Australian Human Rights Commission notes, companies need to actively think about this issue because they have an obligation to remove discrimination and promote equal participation.Despite advances in recent times – especially with the Australian Government mandating the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 for all government websites – many people with a disability remain unable to take full advantage of the Internet due to poor website accessibility.Following auIGF, I sat down with Ms Astbrink to discuss website accessibility.”I am delighted that AusRegistry is spreading awareness in the sector. Thank you for taking this initiative. Designing for accessibility means designing for the whole community. Websites can be exciting and accessible. In fact, innovative, intuitive and adaptive websites can go hand in hand with accessibility,” Ms Astbrink said.”Embedding accessibility in your communications policy and creating awareness among your marketing, content development and technical teams means that accessibility isn’t compromised when a site is updated or redesigned.”The business caseMaking information technologies available to people with a disability is not only a matter of basic human rights, it also makes good business sense.Incredibly, the UN estimate more than one billion people around the world live with some form of disability. Locally, Ms Astbrink told me the Australian Bureau of Statistics say over 18% of the population report they have a disability.In terms of direct relevance to website accessibility, Ms Astbrink explains that this is difficult to estimate. Common conditions such as colour blindness affects 10% of the population but may not be included in disability statistics. A person with a leg amputation would not be affected by web accessibility but someone with limited hand movement would be. There are some people who do not reveal their disability and therefore are not counted in disability statistics.Clearly, there is a large online consumer base being overlooked. Any company would be foolish to neglect this group – both from an equity and commercial perspective.Furthermore, the UN cite a recent British study which showed UK companies were forfeiting £80 billion in lost revenue with around three-quarters of company websites not achieving basic levels of accessibility.This is not to mention the intuitive benefits that best-practice web accessibility design brings. According to Ms Astbrink, research suggests that accessible websites achieve higher SEO rankings than those that do not conform to web accessibility standards. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and WebAIM have both explored this topic in depth.What can we do?Obviously, our industry – particularly Registrars and website development companies – are uniquely positioned to be able to encourage and practice accessible web design within the community.If we as an industry are able to create greater awareness about why website accessibility options are important, we might be able to make a small but positive impact on this issue.Greater awareness is the first step. For instance, Ms Astbrink alerted me to the fact that the AusRegistry website could improve accessibility in a number of areas. Admittedly, without Ms Astbrink bringing this to my attention, we would not have known about these issues.Most of the changes are all relatively straightforward and we are now in the process of addressing them (A big thanks to Ms Astbrink for raising this with me!).See, that’s the crux of this issue. With greater awareness and understanding of website accessibility, I suspect most companies would be more than receptive to this important issue.In an attempt to create greater awareness and encourage change, I asked Ms Astbrink to provide us with her top 10 tips for website accessibility. We’ll be encouraging our .au Accredited Registrars to be mindful of these tips for their own websites and those of their clients. Perhaps others will follow suit.Gunela Astbrink’s top 10 website accessibility tips(These tips are a good starting point. For full information, please go to W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. Use the alt attribute to meaningfully describe images – not ‘image 1’ (adds context to content for blind people using screen reading software)SEO = search engines mainly index on text Use section headings with H1 to H6 elements to organise content
for people with reading difficulties and for blind people using assistive technology to more easily understand the structure of the contentSEO = used by search engines Use form labels
essential for a blind user with screen reading software to understand the context of the form. Also important for people with reading difficulties using assistive technology Use colours carefully
If colour differences convey information (ie stop/go), also include text for the 10% of people who are colour blind
have sufficient colour contrast between text and background Allow keyboard control
for people with physical disability who cannot use a mouse Use valid HTML
enables assistive technologies to work properly on websites Caption videos
important for people with hearing impairments and for people with English as a second languageSEO = search engines mainly index on text Provide HTML, rtf or doc version of PDF documents
screen reading software for blind people cannot access some PDFs
refer to Government PDF guidelines Make links descriptive – not ‘read more’
makes links meaningful to users of screen reading software especially if tabbing through links Use a text-only browser to check your siteSEO = equates to the action of a search engine botThis article by Maggie Whitnall, Client Services Manager – .au, AusRegistry, was sourced with permission from:
The original article also includes a series of links to external sources.

AusRegistry: Why Choose A .AU Domain Name

There are several options available to Australians who want to establish a presence on the Internet.One of the easiest, most effective and authoritative methods is registering a domain name and hosting a website.In Australia, the .au domain name is Australia’s home on the Internet. But why do Australians choose .au for their online presence?Last month, AusRegistry released the results of a survey of more than 10,000 Australians which sought to provide a baseline performance standard to profile .au domain name owners.The survey found:

  • Of the survey respondents who do own a domain name, 74% of Australians choose .au for their online presence, a reflection of the trust built into the namespace.
  • A discrepancy exists in the uptake of domain names between genders, with males almost twice as likely to own a domain name compared to females.
  • When it comes to age, 35 to 64 year-olds lead the way in domain name ownership, with more than a quarter of respondents in this age group owning a domain name.
  • 84% of .au domain name owners say registering a domain name is an easy process.

Below is an infographic which visually presents the major findings of the survey. We welcome your feedback and encourage you to contact us via info@ausregistry.com.auAusRegistry InfographicThis AusRegistry news release was sourced from:

Scammer Websites Take The Shine Off .COM.AU Domain Names by George Pongas, General Manager, AusRegistry

Last week we were alerted to the existence of a number of websites maliciously posing as Australian online retailers in order to defraud unsuspecting shoppers out of thousands of dollars through the sale of non-existent mobile phones or other gadgets.The con artists behind this scam set up websites by registering .com.au domain names using the stolen credentials of legitimate businesses.Media reports from the Sydney Morning Herald and SBS suggest some customers lost thousands of dollars in purchases that never arrived.Following an investigation by the Western Australia Department of Commerce and .au Domain Administration, the websites were taken down.However, the damage had already been done and the trust built up in the .com.au domain name took a serious dent.As the appointed technology operator for the Registry which runs .com.au, we were disappointed that this scam was able to occur. I understand the frustration the victims of this crime must feel and appreciate their desire to strengthen the regulations around website ownership.The reason this issue cuts deep for me is that these scammers have exploited the trust we have worked so hard to build over so many years.Why people trust .com.auIt’s likely that the con artists involved in this scam strategically chose to use .com.au domain names to perpetrate their crimes.They – like many Australians – recognised the inherent trust Australian consumers place in our national online namespace when purchasing goods over the Internet.Locally, .com.au is Australia’s home on the Internet because it’s a trusted, regulated and well-recognised corner of the web for all Australian businesses, organisations and individuals. This means that when people navigate the Internet and see a ‘nab.com.au’ advertisement for instance, they can be confident that they will be directed to the official National Australia Bank website.I imagine that end users would be far less trusting in this instance of a domain name that ends in something other than .au (check out where nab.com takes you!).This speaks volumes to the effective policy and regulation of the .au namespace, the level of awareness the namespace enjoys in the Australian market, and the willingness of businesses and end users to adopt .au as their online presence.However, scams perpetrated under the guise of a legitimate .com.au website erodes this trust and justifiably causes Australians navigating the Internet to question whether they can still trust .com.au domain names.To this point, I want to ensure Australian Internet users can retain trust in .com.au and feel confident to navigate the Internet under it.Maintaining the trust in .com.auThe unfortunate reality is that there will always be people seeking to exploit the trust of others – especially in the faceless realms of online shopping.While it’s no comfort to those who were victims of the current scam, it is reassuring to know that the scam websites were taken down quickly after they were investigated. You won’t find this type of responsiveness in most other namespaces.There have been calls to increase the regulations around registering a .com.au domain. However, there is a fine balance between over-regulating the namespace as a knee-jerk reaction to an incident and maintaining efficient and streamlined processes that encourage domain name ownership.My feeling is that the current policies which require registrants to match domain names to a company or business entity are sufficient. While the introduction of a 100-point identification check would immediately weed out any fraudsters, it would also significantly burden the administrative process of managing registrations and would necessitate a large price increase to facilitate this new process.By doing this, you would disadvantage many thousands of small business owners and the majority of Australian Internet users. Importantly, honest businesses will move to other namespaces in an attempt to bypass barriers and reduce costs and in turn end users navigating the Internet become desensitised about not seeing the .au at the end of a domain name.Ultimately this would play straight into the hands of fraudsters as Australian websites hosted on other Top-Level Domains will no longer have the ability to be taken down quickly by Australian authorities and regulators.While this incident shows the current system is not perfect, I think it does demonstrate it’s robust enough to do the job it was intended for.Tips for shopping online safelyTo reduce your chances of falling victim to online fraud, below are some helpful tips to keep in mind:1. .com vs .com.auThe effective regulation and registration policy reforms implemented by the .au Domain Administration more than 10 years ago have helped to make .au a trusted and secure namespace for both registrants and Internet users.This is not the case in some national country codes or generic Top-Level Domains such as .com, .net or .org. For instance, there are no pre-conditions or requirements for registering domain names in .com or .net, meaning anyone may register a name and use it for any misleading purpose. This has been known to cause significant grief to many trademark holders and Internet users.You can have greater trust in .com.au because you know that business details have been provided when the domain name has been registered. Also, you can trust that if an incident does occur, you will have an avenue of recourse through the .au Domain Administration to resolve fraud issues.2. WHOIS check on all .au domain namesWant to know who actually owns the .com.au domain name you are visiting?AusRegistry hosts a directory portal called WHOIS that allows anyone to quickly search for the contact details of every .com.au domain name owner. These contact details can provide you with comfort that you are dealing with a legitimate business entity.3. .auLOCKDOWNWhile performing a WHOIS search you may also notice that some domain names have a special additional security measure call .auLOCKDOWN..auLOCKDOWN locks a domain name at the Registry level, preventing unauthorised changes.Importantly, if a domain name has .auLOCKDOWN applied, you know the registrant has gone to extreme levels to protect their domain name and website.4. Online security servicesOnline security is becoming ever more important as cyber criminals become more sophisticated in their activities.Below are some helpful resources and online security tips from trusted authorities: Infoxchange Australia (not-for-profit ICT organisation)
Stay Smart Online (Australian federal government initiative)
iTaNGO (Infoxchange Australia initiative funded by the Victorian government)
SCAMwatch (Operated by the federal government’s Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)
auDA Consumer Alerts (.au domain name consumer alerts from the regulatory body for the .au domain space)
CERT Australia (The national computer emergency response team)5. Mobile phone buying tipsIn this particular scam, the fraudsters chose to sell mobile phones online.The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association – Australia’s peak body representing the mobiles industry – has produced a helpful guide with practical tips for consumers who want to purchase a mobile phone.Please visit www.mobiletips.org.au for more information.By George Pongas, General Manager, AusRegistryThis article, with links, was sourced with permission from:

New Domain Name Association To Represent Industry Launching October

A new domain name industry association is set to launch later this month with the goal of representing the entire domain name industry, positioning itself as an advocate for the commercial interests of maximising the value of all domain names.The new body is to be called the Domain Name Association and the momentum has come for the organisation with the launch of new generic top level domains on the horizon. The DNA is assuming a mandate to educate internet users about the benefits of new gTLDs with the intent of building trust, exchanging ideas, educating and raising awareness of domain related issues.”For too long the domain name industry has relied on ICANN to defend our commercial interests, even though this is not ICANN’s responsibility,” said Adrian Kinderis, Chair of the Interim Board of the Domain Name Association. “The formation of the Domain Name Association reflects a maturation of our industry in the corporate sphere and presents a united front in the promotion of domain names as the primary tool for users to navigate the internet.”I strongly encourage everyone involved in the industry to join the Domain Name Association and contribute to our collective growth.”Founding members include ARI Registry Services, Demand Media, Donuts, FairWinds Partners, Go Daddy, Google, Momentous and United TLD while another 50 firms have expressed an interest in getting involved.Along with Kinderis as chair of the DNA’s interim board, who is also CEO of ARI Registry Services, other members of the interim board are Jeff Eckhaus of Demand Media, Statton Hammock of United TLD, Job Lawrence of Google, Jon Nevett of Donuts, Elizabeth Sweezey of FairWinds Partners and Richard Merdinger of Go Daddy.Membership in the DNA is open to organizations involved in all aspects of managing domain names, including domain name registries, registrars, resellers and registry service providers.The DNA has a website — thedna.org and also maintains an education site at whatdomain.org.