Category: Articles

ICANN59 Alumni Fellows Program Experience

Ever since I got back from South Africa’s 18 days long short trip, I have been traveling within India, trying to prepare for our annual Domain Name show; DomainX 2017 Conference and finally got a chance to pen ICANN59 Alumni Fellows Program experience.

ICANN59 Policy Forum, Johannesburg

ICANN59 was a Policy Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26th to 29th June 2017.

As an alumni fellow from India, I am delighted to share my learnings and experience of ICANN59 along with travel trips around the country prior to participating in the policy forum. I had arrived around 12 days early in South Africa and got the opportunity to explore some of the best cities in the country like Johannesburg, Durban, and Capetown.

We shall discuss traveling experience some other time and talk about ICANN59 Policy Forum as of now. I had the opportunity to consolidate my learnings from previous experience of ICANN57 Fellows Program Experience while expanding my horizons about the working of The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). It was the experience of a lifetime with quite a bit of fun exploring beautiful South Africa.

The ICANN59 alumni fellows program experience article contains five main segments:

  • Introduction to ICANN
  • Introduction to ICANN Fellows Program
  • Alumni Fellows Daily Activities During ICANN59
  • ICANN59 in Numbers
  • ICANN59 Learnings

I was awarded ICANN59 alumni fellowship by the Development and Public Responsibility Dept. within ICANN to attend and represent India at Johannesburg, South Africa from 26-29 June 2017. As a member of ICANN’s Alumni Fellowship Program, ICANN provides (almost full) financial support for you to prepare and attend the 59th ICANN policy forum meeting.

I have mentioned “The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ and “ICANN” quite a few times already and I am sure, half of you wouldn’t even know about the organization and its mission. So without going around in circles, let me tell you in detail about the wonderful experience starting with an introduction to the ICANN and its Fellowship program.

Introduction to ICANN

For those who are not aware of ICANN and what it does, here is a short excerpt from Wikipedia:

ICANN LogoThe Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a nonprofit organization that is responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces (domain names) of the Internet, ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation.

ICANN was founded on September 18, 1998 by Jon Postel; about 18 years ago and incorporated on September 30, 1998 in the U.S. state of California under Esther Dyson as founding chairwoman. ICANN operates and lives by the slogan, “One World. One Internet.” The current key positions are held by Göran Marby (CEO and President, ICANN) and Steve Crocker (Chairman of the ICANN Board). It is headquartered in the Playa Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles.

ICANN Community Multistakeholder Model

ICANN’s primary principles of operation have been described as helping preserve the operational stability of the Internet; to promote competition; to achieve broad representation of the global Internet community; and to develop policies appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes.

Introduction to ICANN Fellows Program

The ICANN Fellows program is how ICANN’s Development and Public Responsibility Department supports and encourages new people from the community to participate and engage in the work of the corporation.

ICANN Fellows Program

This program intends to create a broader and more diverse base of knowledgeable participants in order to continue building upon its mission to build capacity within the ICANN Multistakeholder Model. High priority under this program is given to candidates currently living in underserved and underrepresented communities around the world, those who represent the diversity of gender, sector, region, experience, and expertise, and/or have established financial need. Participation in the program at an ICANN Meeting is a “fast track” experience of engagement into that community model, with presentations designed to facilitate understanding of the many pieces and parts of ICANN while providing opportunities to network and promoting interaction with ICANN Community and Staff.

Each candidate selected into the program through the online application and assessment process is provided a grant of support that covers the cost of economy class airfare, hotel, and a stipend. Fellowship recipients are expected to engage prior to, during and after the ICANN meeting with the ICANN Fellowship office, Program Alumni, Newcomer Coaches and their selected peers, as well as begin to actively contribute to ICANN processes upon completion of the Program.

Read in detail about ICANN Fellows Program here.

Alumni Fellows Daily Activities During ICANN59

I arrived at the Garden Court Hotel, Sandton in Johannesburg on Saturday, 24th of June in the afternoon and immediately started networking with other fellows hanging out in the hotel lobby. Had an early dinner with few and called it night to have a fresh start next morning.

On Sunday, 25th of June, all alumni fellows, newcomers and regional fellows got together for Newcomers Day at Michelangelo Hotel which was right next to the Garden Court Hotel where every fellow was staying for ICANN59.

Newcomers Day at ICANN59

Newcomers day started with introductions and continued with a welcome note from some of the most important executives and board members of ICANN.

Sunday, June 25th, the evening was planned for Fellowship Program gathering at Pappas restaurant at Nelson Mandela Square to have some karaoke fun with other alumni fellows.

Fellows Coordinator; Siranush Vardanyan
Manmeet Pal Singh with Fellows Coordinator; Siranush Vardanyan

Regular Fellowship Program was lead by Siranush Vardanyan which started with daily sessions on Monday (26th June), Tuesday (27th June) and Wednesday (28th June) from 12:00 Noon – 13:30 PM at Bill Gallagher Room.

The Fellowship Program sessions brought leaders from every supporting organization of the ICANN into the Bill Gallagher Room so that fellows and newcomers could directly engage with them and ask questions.

I made it a point to participate in almost every GNSO session during ICANN59, especially GNSO’s (Generic Name Supporting Organisation) New gTLD (New Generic Top Level Domains) subsequent procedures working group as I am part of it.

ICANN59 in Numbers

  • There were over 169 public sessions at ICANN59.
  • It was 11th ICANN meeting in Africa region.
  • 2 Multistakeholder award winners
  • Over 2020 participants registered for the event and 1336 attended ICANN59.
  • There were over 386 tweets on Twitter about ICANN59 using the #ICANN59.
  • 303 photos taken during ICANN59 were posted on Flickr which were viewed about 39,000+ times.
  • There were about 410 newcomers (first-time participants) this time around at ICANN59.
  • Over 569 unique visitors logged in to ICANN59 mobile app.
  • There were 53 Alumni Fellows, 13 NextGen Members and 15 Regional Newcomer Fellows who participated at ICANN59.

ICANN59 in Numbers

ICANN59 Learnings

ICANN59 being a Policy Forum, we all were selected based on our interest to further engage and involve within the ICANN community, which in itself is a priority for the Fellowship Program.

ICANN59 Fellows

Due to my interest in the Domain Names, I was lucky enough to have an on-site mentor in the form of Dennis Chang, who is Program Director for Global Domain Division (GDD) Services and Engagement. I met Dennis quite a few times during ICANN59 and discussed my future course of action keeping my interest of domain names in mind. I am still learning its, bits and pieces being a silent working group member of GNSO’s (Generic Name Supporting Organisation) New gTLD (New Generic Top Level Domains) subsequent procedures working group.

Sell Domain Names

Here are some tips to sell domain names through outreach and email marketing.

Sell Domain Names

Please note that you may have to explore what point would work for which situation that you have in front of you. This is called trying and testing to gain experience!

From expert experience, days of the week do not matter. If a person (potential buyer) is interested in an opportunity to secure a domain name they have the slightest interest in, they will reply to your outreach email otherwise, they won’t!

PRO-TIP: Make sure the domain name is in the subject line.

Holidays or weekends are great to catch key decision makers when they are not getting bombarded with sales and spam emails. A weekend is a time when there is the least flow of emails. As an experienced professional, I tend to peep into my inbox every now and then to see whether there is an important email awaiting my attention.

PRO-TIP: Also weekends are good days to email CEO of companies. They work almost every day, that is why they are the boss!

Find out the time zone of a potential end-user in order to send him/her an email to arrange or request a phone call. Multiple attempts in a day would get your email a definite attention, though could land you in spam box as well if it’s not relevant to the recipient’s interest.

Do thorough research on the business or potential buyer to make sure they are interested or would have some interest with enough capital in the bank to acquire your asset (read “domain name” here)

If you are unable to find the right contact in a company for your domain name which you are looking at selling, seek help from someone within the company to point you in the right direction. Usually, IT manager or someone from marketing team is the people you want to get in front of rather than CEOs or CFOs!

If you are doing everything right and still no luck in getting to the right person, ask around kindly and someone within your professional circle would chime in to help point you in the right direction. #Networking helps!

Email the WHOIS of a domain name to start discussions or find contact information via the website or social media. LinkedIn email, Twitter, Facebook fan page, LinkedIn InMail etc are a good way to start.

Explain and educate your potential buyer about various Escrow services for the secure transaction in order to build confidence.

Try to contact more than one prospect per domain name to secure a sale.

PRO-PRO-TIP: Type your domain name and/keywords into Google and contact the first page results and contact page two of Google results as they want to be on page 1 for the keywords in the domain name you have.

Hope this helps! Have questions? Please attend DomainX 2017 Conference, New Delhi on 5th & 6th August to get answers and learn from experts like Ali Zandi, Troy Rushton, Amrendra Mishra and others who have been selling domain names every day through outreach!

Breaking! DomainX 2017 Confirms Ali Zandi’s Participation

With each edition, DomainX, India’s first dedicated conference for domain name investors, has been
upping the ante in connecting the Indian domain name investor community with globally recognized
names in the ecosystem and has been recognized for the same by partners and delegates alike.

Continuing in the same vein, the team at DomainX 2017 sponsored by Uniregistry, is pleased to share a
confirmation of participation from Ali Zandi, prominent domain name broker and investor who has
facilitated millions of dollars of successful transactions in the domain industry, the most recent one
being Freedom.com that was brokered by Ali for 2 Million USD.

Ali Zandi

Ali Zandi is the founder and senior broker at Starfire Holdings, a domain name brokerage and
consulting firm. Prior to Starfire Holdings, Ali was the director of sales and acquisitions at
Perception.com, a private domain name investment fund. At DomainX 2017 Ali will be speaking about
his experiences in an interactive format.

The Domain Name Owners Association of India (DNOAi), India’s only domain name investor forum
opines “Ali Zandi has a wealth of knowledge and sales experience and DNOAI welcomes his
participation in DomainX for the benefit of the Indian domain name investor who will have an enriching
opportunity to network with him and learn from his insights, experience, and mindset.”

Ali joins our esteemed panel of speakers that includes Samiran Gupta – Head of India at ICANN, Kevin
Murphy from DomainIncite.com, Troy Rushton of NameBrokers.com, Jon Yau of Stockphoto.com, Justin Hutauruk (Registrar Sales Director) of Uniregistry.com, Tommy Butler of Glasgow.com, and acclaimed Domain Attorneys Zak Muscovitch, Rodney Ryder, Gurpreet Monga & Ankur Raheja.

DomainX 2017 sponsored by Uniregistry will take place on August 5th & 6th in New Delhi, India. For
more information on attending & sponsorship inquiries, please visit
http://www.domainxevents.com/newdelhi/

Indian Domain Name Industry Participation in ICANN’s Neo-Brahmi Generation Panel

Vinay Murarka (मेरा.भारत) and Jay Paudyal (Hindi7.com), well-known names in the Indian domain name industry have been selected to participate in Neo-Brahmi Generation Panel approved and seated by ICANN on 26th May 2015.

मेरा.भारत

For all of you who are not aware of Neo-Brahmi Generation Panel, it is ICANN’s panel for IDN Program in India and countries around.

Both gentlemen have been invited to participate in the closed-door meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal this week.

While Vinay Murarka will skip this meeting due to prior commitments, Jay Paudyal is already in Kathmandu gearing up for the ICANN meeting and to speak about Indic Content Searchability & IDN Domains.

We at DomainInsider.in hope for increased participation from the Indian domain name industry which shall definitely help overall growth of the community in the right direction.

Become a Fellow at ICANN 60

Application submission for ICANN60 Fellowship is now open for people interested in learning about ICANN and engage in Internet policy matters.

ICANN Fellows Program

ICANN60 public meeting is scheduled for 28th October – 03rd November 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The last date to apply for ICANN60 Fellowship is 10th May 2017 while selected candidates will be declared on 21st July 2017 on the official website ICANN.org

I have been a successful participant in the fellowship program at ICANN57, Hyderabad and an alumni fellow for ICANN59, Johannesburg scheduled in June of 2017.

ICANN57, Hyderabad Learnings & Why Attend?

Reliving the memories of ICANN57, Hyderabad, I am going to point out why ICANN public meetings are a must attend for anyone interested in the secure and stable functioning of the Internet.

First and foremost, ICANN staff truly knows what they are doing when they draft and schedule public meeting days accordingly, and make it a worthwhile experience for participants. You have the option and opportunity to attend and participate in sessions relevant to your interest which are further helpful in your professional growth. I am actively involved in Domain Names industry from last 16+ years and was delighted to attend meetings of GNSO (Generic Name Supporting Organization) whose work is focused on policy building around Top Level Domains (TLDs). To top it all, I am already engaged with the GNSO by subscribing to their mailing list.

While I am also part of the NomCom 2 Working Party, I kept myself engaged with the various other ICANN supporting organisations to do my best. I could not participate in ICANN’s 58th public meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark from 11-16 March 2017 due to my health, however looking forward to my alumni fellowship experience at ICANN59, Johannesburg public meeting.

Introduction to ICANN

For those who are not aware of ICANN and what it does, here is a short excerpt from Wikipedia:

ICANN LogoThe Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a nonprofit organization that is responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces (domain names) of the Internet, ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation.

ICANN was founded on September 18, 1998 by Jon Postel; about 18 years ago and incorporated on September 30, 1998 in the U.S. state of California under Esther Dyson as founding chairwoman. ICANN operates and lives by the slogan, “One World. One Internet.” The current key positions are held by Göran Marby (CEO and President, ICANN) and Steve Crocker (Chairman of the ICANN Board). It is headquartered in the Playa Vista neighbourhood of Los Angeles.

ICANN Community Multistakeholder Model

ICANN’s primary principles of operation have been described as helping preserve the operational stability of the Internet; to promote competition; to achieve broad representation of the global Internet community; and to develop policies appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes.

Introduction to ICANN Fellows Program

The ICANN Fellows program is how ICANN’s Development and Public Responsibility Department supports and encourages new people from the community to participate and engage in the work of the corporation.

This program intends to create a broader and more diverse base of knowledgeable participants in order to continue building upon its mission to build capacity within the ICANN Multistakeholder Model. High priority under this program is given to candidates currently living in underserved and underrepresented communities around the world, those who represent a diversity of gender, sector, region, experience, and expertise, and/or have established financial need. Participation in the program at an ICANN Meeting is a “fast track” experience of engagement into that community model, with presentations designed to facilitate understanding of the many pieces and parts of ICANN while providing opportunities to network and promoting interaction with ICANN Community and Staff.

Each candidate selected into the program through the online application and assessment process is provided with a grant of support that covers the cost of economy class airfare, hotel and a stipend. Fellowship recipients are expected to engage prior to, during and after the ICANN meeting with the ICANN Fellowship office, Program Alumni, Newcomer Coaches and their selected peers, as well as begin to actively contribute to ICANN processes upon completion of the Program.

Read in detail about ICANN Fellows Program here.

Questions? Feel free to ask in comments below and I will be more than happy to guide you through.