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How Should We Raise Global Awareness of New gTLDs? Engage the ICANN Community.

As part of the launch of the new gTLD program, ICANN's Board of Directors mandated a communications campaign of "at least four months" to raise global awareness. Leveraging the ICANN community is a component of the draft plan to achieve that.

In order to make the most of our global community's knowledge and networking capabilities, we are preparing multilingual materials that community members can use to raise awareness of new gTLDs. These will be available online with the launch of the new gTLD web site in September 2011.

We would also like to ask community members to recommend events and opportunities to raise awareness of new gTLDs. Please send all recommendations to Natalie Schoer (, ideally at least one month in advance of the potential event, and include the following information: event date, time, location, information on sponsoring organization, expected audience and a link to the organizers' website. A calendar of events will be posted online.

Due to limited resources we cannot promise that we will participate in every event, but we will consider it against the following established criteria:

  • Audience composition. Does the event reach beyond the audience ICANN typically communicates to? Does the event reach the audience targeted in the draft communications plan, in large enough numbers to justify sending a spokesperson? Are audience members influential and able to help spread the word further?
  • Partnership opportunities. Are there other organizations that we could partner with to get the most benefit from the event?
  • Quality and visibility of the speaking opportunity. Is it a keynote address or other high visibility slot? Is the event professionally run and promoted?
  • Media potential. Will top-tier press be at the event or available to attend a press conference or one–on-one interviews?
  • Options for marketing exposure. Do the event coordinators offer opportunities to promote awareness of new gTLDs beyond the speaking slot?
  • Sponsors. Who are the sponsoring organizations at the event?
  • Proximity of other events. Are there other events in the region that we may be able to take part in while we are in the area?

Thank you in advance for your suggestions and assistance in helping us raise global awareness of new gTLDs.

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Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."