The Internet’s naming authority will take up the controversial plan to expand the .jobs addresses at its Aug. 5th telephone conference.
The agenda of the board of directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers was released a short while ago and includes consideration of the proposal.
Also on the agenda for the three-hour meeting is the even more controversial proposal to approve a .XXX extension for porn sites. For obvious reasons, that request has garnered wider public interest, including 13,325 comments posted to the ICANN forum. The .jobs expansion plan garnered 316 comments.
The board’s telephone conference is not open to the public. An ICANN spokesperson said that the board’s decision on all agenda items will be made available following the end of the meeting. The spokesperson didn’t say exactly when the results would be reported.
The proposal by Employ Media, and endorsed by its partner, the Society for Human Resource Management, seeks approval to permit the use of geographic, occupational, and other names in conjunction with a .jobs Internet extension. (Complete coverage of the issue on ERE is available here.)
Currently, only employer names can be used. However, some non-employer names have been registered. The Chicago Urban League has one. It runs a job board on NextMove.jobs. At least a few others have been registered, including MakeItHappen.jobs, which is registered to Lee Memorial Health System and forwards users to Lee’s career site.
Employ Media wants permission to use the so-called generic names and assign them in one of three ways: first via an RFP process; then an auction; and finally on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The proposal has been widely condemned by the job board industry, which objects to the power it vests in Employ Media to decide who will get the names.
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The beneficiary is widely expected to be the recruiting consortium DirectEmployers Association. The organization launched several job boards using the restricted addresses last fall and announced plans to launch tens of thousands — possibly a million.
Led by its trade association, the International Association of Employment Web Sites, hundreds of comments opposing the plan were posted to the ICANN forum. Monster and CareerBuilder posted notes, as did many other operators. Besides objecting to the distribution method, the opponents complained that the job board industry was not consulted, and that as a major player in sourcing and recruiting, it is part of the international HR community.
Proponents of the expansion, though not as numerous in the public comments, pointed out that a job board operator participated in the SHRM committee that considered the plan. Aaron Matos, CEO of Jobing.com, resigned before the vote on the plan was taken. The committee endorsed it 7-1 and the SHRM board later approved it, too.
SHRM was a sponsor of the creation of the .jobs address in 2005 and has since played a role in advising Employ Media on the program. One of its responsibilities is to review and recommend proposed changes.