The SIG-III Blog

Notes from the ASIS&T special interest group in international information

Archive for June 2008

The future of multi-lingual domain names

spaghetti junction

Image by twenty_questions,
used under the Creative Commons license.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) voted today to allow greater flexibility in how people and organizations choose domain names. In other words, websites will no longer be limited to the standard fare of commercial (.com), organizational (.org, or national (.fr for france, .jp for Japan) domain names. The new system of allowing greater flexibility of how on names one’s website promises the introduction of personal names (.bowen for me), niche-specific names similar to the host of smaller domain names like .museum currently in existence, and of course product and brand names.

In addition to this greater general flexibility, ICANN affirmed a commitment to introduce Web addresses in non-Roman alphabets such as Cyrillic, Arabic, and Chinese, a move that has long been sought by different peoples around the world despite some fears that such action would lead to the “Balkinization” of the Internet. ICANN has been experimenting with these non-Roman addresses, and seems to see enough of a desire for such names to continue working on the technical challenges of implementing them.

The organization charged with the oversight of these domain names, ICANN maintains weak ties to the U.S. treasury Department — a fact that has long been a source of concern outside the United States regarding how the Internet is governed. ICANN last renewed ties with the Treasury Department in 2006, although the Treasury Department enjoyed far less control over the organization than in previous years. A source of much debate, the idea is to eventually make ICANN an independent organization free of ties to the U.S. Government. Currently the plan calls for independent governance in 2011.

Contributed by Aaron Bowen


Written by sigiii

June 26, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Quick note: the blogosphere in Peru

Concurso de Blogs para Escolares project

Eduardo Avila at Global Voices notes the introduction of a blogging contest for Peruvian high school students, sponsored by the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences [es]. The project website is here [es].

Written by sigiii

June 3, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Blogosphere, South America

Tagged with

Data on social networks in Asia, Europe, and the U.S.

This week’s Data chart of the week from Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li’s Groundswell project features use statistics of social networks in different regions. Commenting on this chart from Groundswell, Josh asks

Does Korea have the highest participation because of CyWorld, or because Koreans love to connect?

Why are Germany, and especially France, so low? Is it something about the way French people behave online, or is there an opening for a great French social network (or the French version of an existing one, like Facebook)?

The data from France is something I found particularly interesting. Given that the French blogosphere is active, I would be interested to know why the number of regular social network users in France is comparatively low. Josh finishes his post by asking for reader comments regarding their thoughts on how social network use will play out in the countries listed in the chart. I invite you to do the same below.

Written by sigiii

June 2, 2008 at 5:33 pm