It’s not every day you get the opportunity to say “I rubbed shoulders with the bloke who invented URLs, HTTP and HTML.”
This week I had the honor of attending a sold-out lecture and exclusive Q&A panel hosted by the .au Domain Administration (auDA) in Melbourne with British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium and inventor of the World Wide Web.
Sir Tim had the audience in awe as he offered his thoughts on web innovation, cyber warfare, HTML5, the benefits of open datasets and the pitfalls of government censorship of the Internet.
I was glad to see a healthy mix of industry stakeholders, technology enthusiasts and business leaders in the audience. This reminded me that while we work in the Internet industry and have a passion for its development, hundreds of millions of people around the world are the beneficiaries of our vital work and equally share this same passion for the Internet.
Joining Sir Tim on the auDA Q&A panel was auDA CEO Chris Disspain, journalist and broadcaster Alan Kohler, social commentator Jane Caro and Deloitte Digital’s ‘Chief Edge Officer’ Peter Williams.
For me, the highlight of the night came when Sir Tim discussed the importance of trust in domain names.
Sir Tim described how domain names and TLDs allow people to navigate the Internet and make informed decisions about the content they are navigating to. He said a domain name is like a sign post for trusted and secure content.
I absolutely agree with Sir Tim on this point. For instance, in Australia, the .au namespace is Australia’s home on the Internet because it’s a trusted, regulated and well-recognised corner of the Internet for all Australian businesses, organisations and individuals. This means that when people navigate the Internet and see the ‘nab.com.au’ domain name for instance, they can be confident that they will be directed to the official National Australia Bank website. I imagine that end users would be far less trusting in this instance of a domain name that ends in something other than .au (check out where nab.com takes you!).
This speaks volumes to the effective policy and regulation of the .au namespace, the level of awareness the namespace enjoys in the Australian market, and the willingness of businesses and end users to adopt .au as their online presence. This can in part be attributed to a high performing namespace with a commitment to security.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank auDA for hosting the Q&A panel and the University of Melbourne for hosting the lecture. I would also like to thank the team of AusRegistry staff who attended the events for their passion and contribution to advancing the Internet.
Finally, I would like to thank Tim-Berners Lee for inventing the World Wide Web, because without him I would arguably not have a job that I love so much!