.Jobs Expansion OK’d; Next Steps Outlined

UPDATE: Employ Media issued a statement today saying it was pleased with the decision and offered some guidance on the next steps.

“We’re very pleased with the decision rendered by the ICANN Board,” the statement quotes Tom Embrescia, chairman of Employ Media. “Their decision validates the efforts of SHRM, its independent review, the support shown by the HR community, and the diligence of ICANN staff addressing the merits of this matter. I am very thankful for the effort put forth by all.”

The next steps, according to the statement, ” will involve an Expressions of Interest (EOI) period with details soon to follow. ”

The news release goes on to quote Embrescia saying, “We realize there has been extraordinary interest in .JOBS from many facets of the HR community. We hope the EOI period will serve as an open invitation to the community to participate.”

EARLIER: The proposal to expand the use of the .jobs Internet address has been approved.

The board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers approved the request during its telephone meeting yesterday. The announcement of the board’s action was posted to the ICANN site this morning.

No details of the vote or discussion were released. That will be made available later. A summary may be posted next week.

The resolution apporoving the request by the .jobs registrar, Employ Media, notes that the expansion and the plan on making new addresses available followed the required procedure and had the “endorsement of the sponsoring organization for .JOBS, the Society for Human Resource Management. The proposal is also consistent with other approvals to permit the registration and allocation of certain types of domain names via phased allocation mechanisms.”

The allocation plan has three facets:

  1. Employ Media will first accept proposals for the now-approved geographic, occupational, and other address names that previously were unavailable. Neither the nature of the RFP nor the selection criteria is specified.
  2. Names not assigned through the RFP process may be auctioned off.
  3. Any remaining names will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis.

I’ve contacted Employ Media requesting information about the allocation program, especially the RFP process. I haven’t yet heard back. However, the partnership between Employ Media and DirectEmployers Association, offers a hint as to what the registrar may have in mind.

Last fall, DirectEmployers launched a series of job boards with addresses using geographic and occupational names with the .jobs extension. The plan, as DirectEmployers outlined it, was to launch tens of thousands of highly targeted job boards. As the group was preparing to launch up to 30,000 of these boards, ICANN raised concerns that the addresses had not been approved for release. So the job boards were pulled down and the plan put on hold, while Employ Media and SHRM went through a review process.

(More details on the DirectEmployers’ plan and the .jobs expansion are available here on ERE.)

I also have contacted the leading opponent of the expansion program, the International Association of Employment Web Sites, for its reaction to the ICANN decision. The group launched a letter writing campaign in July, which resulted in more than 200 opposition comments submitted to ICANN.

When Peter Weddle, the group’s executive director, and I last discussed the matter several weeks ago, he was uncertain what the IAEWS would do in the event the .jobs expansion was approved. I haven’t heard back from him yet today.

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