It usually happens at the end of all ICANN meetings. Yesterday was Prague's Public Forum meeting and new gTLDs were discussed in the end of it.
I will remember a few things from this forum:
- The ICANN wants more stakeholders to participate.
I am myself a member of one of these groups but I admit it, vocabulary used is the ICANN one (a difficult one to understand) and it is not in my native language so I do not participate so much. The basis of these exchanges is done through emails and sometimes through conference calls. You can also meet the groups but you must travel to do so (and pay your plane ticket).
- Far too complex for the Internet Community to follow and understand.
Internet users, in the case if new generic Top-Level Domains, are not the Registries who will launch soon to sell domain names but :
- Brands who will use their domain name extension for themselves and;
- "Registrants": those who are going to buy domain names to Registries through the network of Accredited Registrars. It is these people - brands and individuals - who are concerned and unfortunately, they are not the one to talk.
It is these people who represent, probably 99% of the stakeholders who will buy these new domain names.
It is these people whom are concerned by new gTLDs because they are the one who are going to face what comes next...
- This 14 years old Asian kid who came to talk to the micro to expressed himself about the .KIDS new gTLD: on of the rare person concerned by the launching of new gTLDs.
- Most of the people who expressed themselves have a financial interest in the launching of new gTLDs.
- I wish I was not involved in these new gTLDs because I would have asked the right questions: those no one would dare asking.
- I was happy to be able to follow the conference from my office here in Paris.
More details about the Public Forum can be found here: http://prague44.icann.org/node/31829