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Podcast Catches On as Community Refines It

Just about a month ago, I blogged about the launch of ICANN Start, the audio podcast that helps newcomers to our community start understanding key issues. As of this week, ICANN Start episodes have been downloaded one thousand times!

All of us involved with producing the podcast are grateful for that robust welcome (which, candidly, exceeds our expectations). We will keep working hard to make the show worth your time.

Here on this blog (and elsewhere) one of the first requests we heard was that we should transcribe the episodes. Lots of people like the idea of an ICANN resource that provides basic orientation, but not all of them find it convenient to listen rather than read.

We’ve heard your request, and are scrambling to comply. The April episode that just got posted has the transcript right next to it. Transcripts for the older episodes are on the way and will go up as they’re available, with all of them up by next week. From now on, our target will be to have the transcript accompany each monthly episode as it’s posted.

The new April episode features Margie Milam, Senior Policy Counselor. It turns out that a seemingly vanilla term like “consensus policy” has a technical meaning in ICANN, packed with connotations. Margie explains what consensus policy means, and along the way clarifies the difference between a registrar and a registry. If you’re reading this, you probably know all of this stuff — but the podcast or the transcript might turn on the lights for a new volunteer in your constituency or committee or At-Large Structure. Consider sending ‘em the link, which is (And if you want to listen in, we won’t tell anybody.)

What else can we do to make the show more useful to you? Are we covering the topics you want to hear about? Let us know by sending an email to


    Domain Name System
    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."