.org: Well done or well meant?

In Germany, there is a saying: “The opposite of ‘well done’ is ‘well meant.'” Applied to dot-org, this means that I get somewhat skeptical when a proposal like GNR’s (which looks technically solid – after all, they do run a registry already) indir…

In Germany, there is a saying: “The opposite of ‘well done’ is ‘well meant.'” Applied to dot-org, this means that I get somewhat skeptical when a proposal like GNR’s (which looks technically solid – after all, they do run a registry already) indirectly promises funding to the NCDNHC, and wants to have that constituency’s leadership on a so-called Steering Committee. In fact, I’m wondering how this mixes with the NCDNHC’s demand to play a more active role in the evaluation of the proposals. Conflicts of interest, anyone?

Note that I don’t have any objections against the travel funding suggested (indeed, that’s an extremely good idea which should be pursued by more of the wealthy players in the ICANN process), or against philantropy in general – but some of this just looks too well-targeted in this particular context.

Writing from the point of view of an individual .org domain name holder, I hope that the board will mostly base its decision on the .org redelegation on the technical merits of the respective proposals (and on business stability), and use the community aspects of proposals only as auxiliary factor in its decision-making.

Bold (and possibly even risky) experiments with TLDs are fine – as long as they happen with new TLDs, and every registrant knows what’s possibly going to happen. With a well-established TLD such as dot-org, there’s considerably less room for experiments.