Schwartz says Internet Commerce Association headed in wrong direction.
Rick Schwartz, co-founder and Board Member of Internet Commerce Association (ICA), and the face behind TRAFFIC conferences, has resigned from ICA.
In a scathing post on his blog, Schwartz wrote:
While the ICA has done some good things, it has missed too many opportunities to be more relevant. Too many opportunities to look out for domainers and the best interests of the industry IMHO. Too many opportunities to take a strong positions on what is important to domainers. Not to mention the lack of communication to the industry. I can no longer in good conscience advise domainers to support the ICA.
It is sad to say but the ICA only supports domainer concerns when it dove tails with ppc and registrar agendas. In other words, domainers are the last to be considered and I think it sucks.
Personally, I think the ICA is doing great things for the domain industry. Keep in mind that it has to consider the goals of all constituents in the industry, not just domain parkers. That said, his criticism about lack of communication is fair and I know that ICA is working to address this.
The downside of Schwartz leaving ICA is that he’s been a vocal supporter. He has made TRAFFIC a staging ground for the organization and helped drive donations to it. On the plus side, there are a number of people who (wrongly) thought that ICA was just there to further Schwartz’s interests. I can tell you this couldn’t be further from the truth. His resignation is proof of that. But if these people needed proof, they now have it.
In politics, sometimes being brash and ruffling feathers doesn’t work. Schwartz will tell you he’s no politician.
ICA was the brainchild of former iREIT CEO Bob Martin, which later dropped out of organization when it was sued for cybersquatting.
It seems to me that we never hear much of anything from the ICA or DNOA.
I really can’t tell you what either has done for the industry, except that ICA had a lobbyist go to Congress once regarding the Snowe Bill.
Outside that I can’t tell what they do on a daily basis. Neither is involved in the forums.
Michael Collins says
In all due respect to Rick, in my humble opinion, Rick mischaracterizes an attempt by most of the ICA Board to elevate the importance of issues of common interest in order to do the most good for our industry. This is a small industry facing huge opponents and for the most part, the interests of suppliers (parking companies and aftermarket venues) and domainers are the same. In the few instances where there interests may vary, we may not have enough “domainer” input on the Board. I have tried to change that and will continue to so. It is unfortunate that we will not have Rick’s help with that.
Michael Berkens says
Look at Johnny comments above.
I think this is the perception of a lot of people in the domain community.
Rightly or wrongly (I think more rightly) his comment points out that the ICA needs to take positions on all issues important to the industry and make those positions public.
Since the Snowe bill I do not think the ICA has made any public comment on any issue and god knows we have plenty of issues
It seems that the problem isn’t what ICA is doing, it’s just that it’s not communicated well. I know that ICA is one of our only representatives at ICANN meetings, and I know that Michael Collins is personally involved in making inter-registrar transfers easier through ICANN’s processes. It’s just that we haven’t heard anything other than the Snowe Bill.
I think that’s what Johnny is getting at here.
Kevin Ohashi says
1 word: transparency. I remember someone, I think it was George K (apologies if this is incorrect) asking about seeing where money was being spent and being told it was for board members or some high donation group. It’s hard to support an organization that isn’t transparent and being vocal in what they are doing. Saying you’re working for our benefit is easy, showing it isn’t. Show us.
Hey, you wrongly linked to http://www.internetcommerce.com as the site for Internet Commerce Association, instead of http://www.internetcommerce.org. 😉
Thanks Sufyan. Once again proving the power of .com.