ICANN is stepping up its so-far lackluster new top-level domains outreach campaign with the launch tomorrow of a microsite dedicated to the topic.
The site is expected to host the long-anticipated “final” or production version of the new gTLD Applicant Guidebook, which could be published as early as Monday evening.
It’s designed to educate potential gTLD applicants from outside the usual crowd of insiders.
The site is scheduled to go live at roughly 1930 UTC tomorrow, but DI has had a sneaky peek and can bring you some exclusive preview screen captures today.
Unlike icann.org, which strikes many as confused and a little bewildering, the microsite adopts a more conventional, basic, business-focused design.
Abstract clip art? Check. Businessperson pointing to bar graph? Check. Globe? Check. Smiling Asian lady? Check.
Here’s a a grab of the front page.
And the Program Status tab gives an indication of what ICANN is planning for the web site a few months down the line.
Director of marketing and outreach Scott Pinzon also has a new blog on the microsite, possibly the first of a few.
Here’s a grab of the Applicant Guidebook page. The links are not yet working, but note the date.
The site has a video page. ICANN’s very well-received plain-English overview of new gTLDs has been uploaded, in addition to plain-French, plain-Russian, plain-Chinese and plain-Spanish versions.
There are several talking-head featurettes, which edit together soundbites from gTLD registry executives, giving a very high-level flavor of what it’s like running a registry. Here’s a sample.
Overall, it looks like an encouraging step in the right direction.
The design is clean and accessible and there’s very little ICANNese and very few acronyms. As a gateway for the new gTLD program, it appears to be easily up to the task.