Tobias, you are well known in the domain name industry, but for those unfamiliar with the industry: Can you tell us about your background?
Tobias Sattler: My name is Tobias Sattler, and I am a member of the board at united-domains, where I head the technology and product management.
I am also an active member of the domain name industry. I was Vice-Chair/CTO for the ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group, Founder & Co-Chair of the ICANN CPH TechOps group, Founder & Organizer of a German domain meetup called Domain-Stammtisch, and a few other things.
At the next ICANN meeting in October, I will be seated as the Nominating Committee’s registrar representative.
Where did the idea for the project »Domain Name Basics« originate?
Sattler: I have been working in the domain industry for about twelve years and learned a lot during this time. Since then, united-domains has grown considerably, and I was eager to quickly improve our new employees’ knowledge about domain name basics and intricacies. Technical aspects, processes, policies, institutions, abbreviations – the realm of domains can be intimidating to newcomers.
With the new domain extensions, the number of new participants at ICANN increased, and with that, the demand for accessible information about domain names and the underlying technology. I believe that domain knowledge should be available to everyone and, therefore, choose to publish my sessions.
Who is your target audience?
Sattler: The training sessions simplify information for newcomers to the domain name industry. I designed my sessions to be accessible. For experts, there will be little enlightenment.
It isn’t easy to strike the right balance between essential information and superfluous details. I hope I succeeded with my selection, but I also heard that it would be better to have a common thread across all presentations and specified reading order.
What can the reader learn from your »Domain Name Basics«?
Sattler: The individual presentations are self-contained. Beyond that, they cover a broad spectrum, such as domain names, DNS, registries, registrars, ICANN, and address specific topics, such as UDRP, WHOIS, RDAP, and the secondary market.
Can you please pick a specific topic for us and explain how you approached it?
Sattler: Sure, let’s take a closer look at aftermarket and premium domain names. At united-domains, we integrated Sedo and Afternic as secondary market providers to offer our customers an even wider choice. With the start of the new gTLDs, premium domain names became a new thing – not completely new, but for the general public.
In those years, we gained experience in handling both. Meanwhile, I received many questions from third parties about the performance and how the flow charts look. Documentation was available, but it did not clearly describe the process but only the API commands. Therefore, I decided to share my insights.
The presentation summarizes the secondary market and explains the different transaction types before moving on to premium domain names. There are flow charts for both and a heads up for the challenges that come along with premiums.
Did you learn anything while preparing the sessions?
Sattler: Whenever you simplify information for a less knowledgeable group, you quickly learn how well you understand it yourself. During the creation, I learned a lot myself: Do I have all the necessary information? How do I best present it? Are there new trends to look at it?
You already completed 15 online training sessions. Are you planning any new topics?
Sattler: When I’m surfing the web and reading domain related articles or ICANN reports, I sometimes think, »Hey, that might be a new topic.« Of course, I still need to develop and write a new session, but I don’t think I will stop at 15 sessions. If someone has an idea, ping me.
Are third parties allowed to use your presentations?
Sattler: I have published the presentations under the Creative Commons License CC BY-ND 4.0. You can copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, even for commercial purposes, as long as you give credit and don’t distribute the modified material. The licence link is in each slide deck.