I’m pleased to present the fifth edition of AusRegistry’s quarterly industry magazine, Behind the Dot – State of the .au Domain.

In this edition of Behind the Dot, we present the inaugural .au zone file analysis – a comprehensive examination of the namespace’s 3 million domain names and their websites. This is the first time an analysis of this kind has been conducted and presents insights that have never before been publically available.

By cross-examining this data with other sources ranking the top-performing websites in the .au namespace, we’ve also been able to gain a fascinating view of the strategies employed by the ‘best of the best’ in .au. Several of these findings have been explored in greater detail throughout Behind the Dot.

The data collected from this research creates a benchmark for analysis in the future on the trends of website development and best practice design in Australia.

Continuing the theme of innovation and collaboration, the last few months have been an exciting and eventful time for the .au namespace as a whole, with industry events bringing together the wider Australian Internet community and encouraging collaboration and growth.

October saw more than 20 executives from .au Registrars meet in Melbourne for AusRegistry’s .au Registrar Executive Day. This marketing and sales-focused day was designed to offer valuable insights from industry experts into conducting business online, while also providing a forum for frank discussion.

The feedback gathered on the day helped identify a number of action points for the development of our namespace and will inform future Registrar Executive Days.

Last month also brought the au Internet Governance Forum (auIGF), hosted by .au Domain Administration (auDA) at the Park Hyatt hotel in Melbourne. The auIGF was a two-day program of panels, workshops and presentations featuring an incredibly diverse array of speakers from across the Internet community.

Sessions were held that represented all aspects of the online experience – from the technical aspects to social and cultural elements. Topics included security and dispute resolution in the .au space, as well as many social and business topics such as online engagement and involvement, the Internet and Indigenous community and using the Internet for business start-ups.

One clear highlight was the opening session on Gender and the Internet, featuring an incredibly engaging and intelligent panel of experts and commentators including journalist and broadcaster Tracey Spicer and Head of Public Policy, Australia & SE Asia for Twitter Julie Inman-Grant.

The AusRegistry team was also well-represented at the auIGF with General Counsel David Carrington moderating a panel on metadata retention in Australia and Information Security Officer Mark Culhane a highly-praised member of the ‘Security in .au’ workshop panel.

The questions and comments posed by attendees throughout the auIGF demonstrate not only the dynamism of our industry but also the high levels of engagement and passion within this community. Events like the auIGF provide a valuable forum for members of this wider group to gain more information and contribute their thoughts, ideas and skills to the betterment of our industry.