In this member spotlight, find out how the registry behind the .ORG domain manages one of the top Internet domains, provides resources to support mission-driven organizations in the online world, and how being part of i2Coalition helps our collective mission of building a better Internet.
In 2002, the Internet Society (ISOC) had just won the competitive bid to take over management of the .ORG domain. To manage it, ISOC created Public Interest Registry (PIR), a not-for-profit corporation whose goals have since been to manage, enhance, and expand .ORG.
“ICANN was seeking to introduce competition to the marketplace at that time,” explains Paul Diaz, PIR’s Vice President of Policy and Director of PIR’s education and outreach efforts. PIR took over a sizable number of .ORG names but it’s more than doubled with more than 10.5 million today. “This gives you a sense of the growth rate in these years. And our role in the community has likewise grown and expanded.”
In addition to taking on many new domain names, PIR’s commitment to education and outreach has some people likening it to the PBS of the domain world. Diaz said, “Education and outreach around .ORG helps empower a lot of folks who have the greatest intentions in the world.”, says Diaz. We’re heartened when technology can touch the lives of countless people accessing the services provided to them through a .ORG domain.”
PIR launched an initiative called .ORG Stories that has helped highlight the power of mission-driven organizations that make their online home on .ORG, especially during the rush to move services online during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition they are producing a new series entitled “The Making of a .ORG”, which follows a single new .ORG from concept through launch and beyond, offering an insider’s view of what it really takes to make a successful .ORG . “The idea is to help educate folks and give them a taste of what it’s like to start a mission-based organization by drawing on an amazing, real-world example,” Elizabeth Bacon, PIR’s Senior Director of Policy and Privacy.
Late last year, PIR also launched the .ORG Learning Center, an educational portal that provides a wide range of resources, including articles, videos, forums, to help organizations with a social mission establish their Internet presence and thrive online and contribute to their communities.
PIR has a clear sense of mission and purpose in mind on not only an individual and community level, but also on a more global scale. The organization is actively engaged in discussions around Internet policy, particularly in regards to ICANN and critical issues such as DNS Abuse. In fact, its original general counsel, David Maher, was a long serving chair of what was now called the Registry Stakeholder Group, Diaz has held that role, and Bacon is a current Stakeholder Group Vice Chair.
Bacon is enthusiastic about the opportunity for PIR to work together with i2Coalition, noting that i2Coalition is a really good point of convention for this niche industry. “It allows us to tap into their amazing breadth and depth of experience. We also welcome the opportunity to work with its fellow members and collaborate on shared goals.”