Public Interest Registry (PIR) has become the first gTLD registry to undergo a human rights assessment with ARTICLE 19 and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) collaborating to guide the .org registry in its human rights efforts. The report was largely positive, finding PIR’s “policies and operational procedures respected human rights so they cause few negative impacts.”
It’s been an interesting year for Public Interest Registry, the .org operator. For months following the announcement of the proposed takeover by Ethos Capital there was intense debate as to whether it should go ahead. After many months of deliberations, ICANN rejected the takeover and PIR is back to where it was before Ethos made its bid: intent on becoming an even better registry, focussing on quality registrations and growing in its global markets in a more meaningful way.
In a year that’s been challenging for the entire world, Public Interest Registry (PIR), the people behind .ORG, have announced their second annual .ORG Impact Awards. This week PIR put out a Call for Nominations to honour the remarkable organisations and individuals making the world a better place that use a .org domain name for their website.
Public Interest Registry published their 2018 annual report Thursday, highlighting what for them was a âsolid year for .org, from exceeding financial goals to continuing to grow a strong user base with high renewal rates. These results are a direct reflection of PIRâs commitment to promoting quality domains in the .org base.â For 2019, the .org registry is âputting an even greater focus on combating abuse and making significant investments in education and outreach initiatives.â
It was a year that saw domain names under management for .org drop to 10.3 million at the end of 2018 from 10.4 million at the end of 2017. Renewals though increased by 100,000 from 6.7m to 6.8m while the renewal percentage increased from 75.7% to 77.4%.
But .org wasnât the only top-level domain in the top 10 by registration numbers to drop with .de and .uk also dropping by around 100,000 according to Verisignâs Domain Name Industry Brief, but .net (500,000) and .ru (400,000) dropped even further while .info dropped from being the eighth largest TLD with 6.4 million registrations to sliding out of the top 10 meaning their registration count was somewhere below 4.8 million registrations which is what the tenth largest TLD (.tw) had at the end of 2018.
As the annual report notes, they are challenging times with there now being 1,250 gTLDs including PIRâs .ong and .ngo and 4 others, currently with just shy of 8,000 registrations, compared to the 6 when .org was created in 1984.
Financially 2018 was a year in which PIR note they exceeded their financial goals with net bookings growing $1.1m to 93.0m and operating income jumping $7.0m to $45.9m. For 2018 mid-year PIR made some âboldâ business decisions, that led to a strong financial performance, and results specifically reflecting an ongoing commitment to high ethical standards. Mid-year also saw a realignment of marketing incentives a renewed focus on the quality (not just the quantity) of .org registrations. The .org Community grew as the result of this change. There were more quality registrations and more users. This led to significant contributions toward Internet Societyâs work for an open, globally-connected, secure and trustworthy Internet for everyone.
Other achievements in 2018 highlighted in the report were reorganising the management structure to align with strategic priorities, sharpening efforts to further improve the quality of the .org base, maintaining the robust .org renewal rates, and producing strong financial results in support of the Internet Society and their work to keep the Internet free and open for all. The report also details PIRâs plans for 2019, which include initiatives aligned with PIRâs mission to help educate those who are making a difference in their communities through the power of .org.
In 2019, PIR is building upon these efforts through the launch of the Quality Performance Index (QPI) initiative, which helps reward those registrars who are growing and maintaining trust in the .org domain while identifying areas of improvement for registrars when it comes to online trust.
The Report also details PIRâs robust anti-abuse program, its policy and privacy initiatives, and expanding education and outreach efforts. For 2019, PIR is putting an even greater focus on combating abuse online and making significant investments in education and outreach initiatives. PIR also is establishing a .ORG Impact Awards program to recognise the incredible work of organisations across the globe, and creating a PIR Grants Program to connect PIR with highly motivated individuals and groups with mutual aspirations to help them further their missions.
âPIR achieved the ambitious goals we set for ourselves in 2018, thanks in no small part to the inspiring work of the .org community. Itâs the people and organisations using .org to make a positive impact on the world who motivate us to remain diligent in our stewardship of the .org domain,â said Jon Nevett, who was appointed President and CEO of Public Interest Registry in December 2018.
âThis year, we are in the midst of a number of exciting initiatives aimed at providing even more support for the broad .org community and our domain industry partners. These include maintaining .org as the most trusted domain extension, amplifying our education and outreach efforts, and continuing to expand our already robust anti-abuse program.â
To download the 2018 Annual Report in full, go to: https://pir.org/pir-2018-annual-report/
The .ORG Impact Awards is Now Accepting Nominations from Nonprofits, Corporations, Community Groups and MoreÂ Â Â Â Â
[news release] In celebration of organizations using the Internet to empower change around the world, The .ORG Impact Awards, sponsored by Public Interest Registry, launches today to honor .ORG domain name users for their accomplishments.
From individuals to large corporations, and small community groups to multinational NGOs, purpose-driven achievements from members of the .ORG community will be honored through this inaugural program. The award submission period is open through Friday, July 12, 2019.
Unlike other industry award programs, The .ORG Impact Awards does not seek to profit from submissions. In fact, winning individuals and organizations will receive up to $5,000 in a monetary contribution to the nonprofit of their choice, and finalists will receive two complimentary invitations to attend The .ORG Impact Awards Ceremony at The Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. on October 10, 2019 where winners will be announced. Finalists in the âIndividualâ category also will be offered travel assistance.
Achievement will be honored in the following award categories:
Individual Awards honor the contribution of an individual to their organization or the broader sector:
- Innovator Award
- Rising Star Award
- Outstanding Volunteer
Sector Awards recognize organizational and team accomplishments:
- .ORG Nonprofit of the Year
- .ORG Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program of the Year
- .ORG Community Group of the Year
Initiative Awards celebrate achievement in a specific online niche area:
- Best Social Media Campaign
- Top #GivingTuesday Campaign
- Outstanding Online Fundraising Campaign
- Outstanding Microsite
- Outstanding Website Redesign
- Best Integrated Communications Campaign
- Best Use of Partnerships/Celebrity Endorsements
- Outstanding Multimedia Content
- Outstanding Community Relations Campaign
âThe .ORG Impact Awards is an opportunity to convene organizations of all types and sizes from around the world to learn from each other, celebrate each otherâs accomplishments and strengthen the work being done through .ORG to make the world a better place,â said Jon Nevett, president and CEO of Public Interest Registry. âThe mission- and affinity-driven .ORG community is vast, diverse and incredibly innovative in how it harnesses the power of the Internet to improve the lives of people near and far, and weâre thrilled to shine a spotlight on these accomplishments to help strengthen these stellar .ORGs for the future.â
All award entries must be submitted through a form on The .ORG Impact Awardsâ secure online platform and should highlight activities occurring between June 1, 2018 and June 1, 2019. Nominators may submit to more than one category/subcategory, but each submission must be original. All submissions must be in English and there is no cost for submission.
For official eligibility criteria and rules of The .ORG Impact Awards program, as well as submission requirements, deadlines and judging information, please visit https://orgimpactawards.org/.
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Public Interest Registry is a nonprofit corporation that operates the .ORG top-level domain â one of the world’s largest “generic” top-level domain with more than 10 million domain names registered worldwide. As an advocate for collaboration, safety and security on the Internet, Public Interest Registry’s mission is to educate and enable the global noncommercial community to use the Internet more effectively, and to take a leadership position among Internet stakeholders on policy and other issues relating to the domain naming system. Public Interest Registry was founded by the Internet Society (internetsociety.org) in 2002 and is based in Reston, Virginia, USA. Visit Public Interest Registry at https://pir.org/.
The internet is increasingly playing a part in the lives of Belgians with growing numbers enjoying the freedom it gives them, go online for entertainment and feel the internet is an essential part of their daily lives. But only 1 in 20 Belgians have ever registered a domain name.
This is all part of research conducted by InSites Consulting on behalf of DNS Belgium, the .be ccTLD registry, at the end of 2018. The research found trust is important for Belgian internet users, and .be domain names score high on that front.
When asked what were the most important factors when it comes to trusting a domain name, Belgians responded:
- Language of the domain name
- Extension of the domain name
- The brand of the domain name
- Length of the domain name.
When it came to trusting a website, an encrypted connection (https) was considered the most important, a .be domain name second and a company logo third.
When asked if theyâve ever registered at least one domain name, 5% of Belgians said they had while 95% said not. 60% understood the concept of domain names while one third (35%) said theyâd consider registering a domain name in the future, the remainder said they wouldnât.
For the top level domains Belgians register domain names in, 77% said their own country code top level domain .be, 30% said .com, 16% said .net and 13% said .eu. Following was their neighbour .nl (Netherlands – 8%), .org (7%), .fr (France – 4%), .brussels (2%), .london (1%) and others accounted for 9%.
When it comes to the reasons for registering a domain name, 43% of Belgians said for a website, 40% for website and email and 6% just email.
It also appears Belgians are registering domain names sooner in the process of developing a business or idea with 42% saying they registered a domain name âdirectly at the time of the ideaâ compared to 23% in 2017, 11% âwhen the business is launchedâ (11% in 2017) and 23% after the start (30% in 2017).
Awareness was highest with .be and .com, with both scoring awareness among over 90% of Belgians (94% and 92% respectively) while .vlaanderen and .brussels scored 27% and 19% respectively.
Belgians said they valued the freedom and entertainment the internet offered them with 70% saying they loved the freedom the internet gives them (up from 59% in 2017), 68% said they go online at home for entertainment (57% in 2017) and 67% said they âfeel the internet is an essential part of their daily livesâ (47% in 2017).
Belgians say they surf safely online with almost two thirds (64%) saying they ânever surf to untrustworthy sitesâ while half (50%) âare concerned with safe internet useâ and a quarter (25%) âare aware of the latest online security toolsâ.
In December of 2018, a new leader was welcomed to Public Interest Registry â Jonathon Nevett, a new President and Chief Executive Officer. Jon brings decades of domain expertise to the company and an impressive track record of industry leadership that will be instrumental to the ongoing growth and success of the .org domain.
PIR is thrilled to welcome Jon and decided to sit down with him so he can share more about his background, what motivated him to join .org and some of his priorities and goals for the .org domain.
Tell us about yourself! What led you to where you are today?
I started my career in government service and then as a lawyer by trade. After a few years of practising at a law firm, I moved to working at a large telecommunications company and started gravitating away from the law and towards the business side of a regulated industry. I then made the transition to Network Solutions and the domain industry and havenât looked back. Iâve worked in a variety of capacities within the industry â from starting out as an ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) policy wonk to serving as the Chairman of the Board of two industry joint ventures; from establishing a business ethics program to leading a government affairs effort. I have been fortunate enough to serve on various industry advisory groups and panels, as well as helped start our own industry trade association.
Most recently, I co-founded and served as an executive vice president at Donuts Inc., a domain registry that manages hundreds of new domain extensions. Over the eight years I was with Donuts, I had the opportunity to help raise over $150M in funding, build a registry from the ground up, and manage an amazing team of professionals. When this position opened at PIR, however, I knew it was the opportunity of a lifetime and that the stars had aligned.
What made you pursue this new role at .org?
Iâve admired .org and PIR from afar since I began in the industry. PIRâs mission is to ensure that all who are committed to the public interest have a voice online and I knew immediately thatâs a mission I wanted to support. Joining the great team at PIR is an opportunity for me to stay in the industry I love and continue to work within the community that has supported me throughout my career. Additionally, Iâve lived in the greater DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area for over 25 years and PIR is right in my backyard, so I didnât risk the ire of my family in trying to get them to relocate.
What most excites you about this new role?
I wholeheartedly believe that .org is the crown jewel of the domain name system and my job is to polish it and let it shine as much as possible. It is known that .org has a long-standing reputation as a best-in-class domain, particularly when it comes to domain security, trust, and reliability. I felt that joining .org would give me an opportunity to do something good, as it is a purpose-driven domain for people who want to do great things online. Leading .org gives me a chance to help empower those people and help change the world for the better.
Many people also forget that PIR is a nonprofit, so we have our own public interest mission. Importantly, every time someone chooses a .org domain, a portion of their domain purchase goes toward supporting the Internet Society and its great work like keeping the internet free and open and helping to bring internet access to every corner of the globe. Iâm honored to be at the helm of such an impactful organisation like PIR and want to do everything I can during my tenure to enhance the .org domain.
What are some of your priorities and goals for PIR and the .org domain?
Quality of the domain space will always be a big focus for me. I want to uphold .orgâs reputation for being safe, secure, trustworthy, and a place for mission-based organisations and individuals to bring their ideas to life. That emphasis on quality means the total domains under management (DUM) metric wonât rule supreme. There are more important qualitative metrics that I plan to implement that will ultimately be more critical to the long-term health and growth of .org.
Additionally, Iâm looking forward to fostering the education and outreach element of our charter and have some ideas for how to ramp up those efforts in the coming years. We have strong expertise as an organisation on issues such as web identity, web presence, and how .orgs can be most successful on the internet, so you can expect in the near future to see PIR sharing our expertise with the greater non-profit community in new and creative ways. We also have some other exciting developments coming soon for the organisation, but we are keeping them under wraps for now.
Finally, Iâm just really excited to be joining an organisation with such a strong internal culture and so many inspiring and talented people across the globe. I want to keep building on that foundation and ensure .org stays a great place to work â somewhere people can really grow and thrive professionally. And while weâre at it, letâs have a little fun!
What are you doing when you arenât running one of the original domain extensions?
Family and friends and my various communities are my focus when I am not thinking about domain names.Â My wife, Karen, and I have three amazing kids â two in college (Rachel and Michael) and one in high school (Danielle) â and our personal time mostly revolves around them (especially girls travel soccer!).
I have also served for many years on the board of the Green Acres School, a progressive school founded 85 years ago and the first integrated school in Montgomery County, Maryland.
One of my most important achievements this year is that I am the proud winner of the ICANN community fantasy football championship and of course, all the bragging rights that go with it.
This Q&A by Jim LeFevre â Senior Director of Marketing, Public Interest Registry was republished with permission by PIR. The original version was published on PIR’s website here.
Public Interest Registry has announced Jonathon Nevett will commence as their new CEO on 17 December, replacing Brian Cute who resigned in May. Nevett, a Donuts co-founder, himself recently stepped down from his role at Donuts as executive vice president of corporate affairs but remained for a short time as a close advisor to the company. Continue reading PIR Announces Jonathon Nevett As New CEO
The Public Interest Registry (PIR), who operates a number of gTLDs including .org, ngo and .ong and associated internationalised domain names, has begun accepting nominations for their Board of Directors.
In 2019 there are three positions opening on the PIR Board. The three directors will serve a 3-year term that begins mid-year 2019 and expires mid-year 2022. PIR says prior board experience is preferred. All directors must be able to read and understand a balance sheet, as well as read and communicate effectively in the English language.
There are approximately 15 full days per year for face-to-face meetings (not including travel time), regular conference calls (generally monthly), and daily email correspondence. Directors that participate in all meetings are eligible to accept compensation up to US$12,000 per year