Fix Flawed Dot-jobs Process, Weddle Says

Oct 26, 2010
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Peter Weddle, a recruiter-consultant-author who heads up an association of people who run job boards said today that the “process was flawed” — a reference to the ongoing saga of the .Jobs domain name. He announced that the body that regulates these web addresses is part way through a period in which it’s reconsidering its recent decision to take an expansive view of how the addresses can be doled out.

Speaking here in Hollywood, Florida at a meeting of the IAEWS, Weddle said he has high regard for the organizations on the other side of this issue — the DirectEmployers Association and SHRM — but that he and his allies such as the Newspaper Association of America, the American Society of Association Executives, and the American Staffing Association believe “this whole exercise is flawed.”

In his conference session — “The Truth About the .Jobs Affair” — Weddle said the following are myths about the proposal to expand .Jobs beyond its original use, which was to be only in conjunction with employer names:

  • “This is good for employers.” If that’s true, Weddle asks, why is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposed to it?
  • “This is good for veterans.” But, he says lining up against the proposal is the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and other military hiring organizations.
  • “This won’t violate trademarks.” Weddle says the European Trademark Owners Association opposes the proposal. Weddle gives an example also of, a small job board, that he says has spent a decade building its brand. In the last four or five months it has begun to be confused with the new NativeAmerican.Jobs, which is an entirely different site.
  • “This is just a U.S. issue.” Weddle notes that non-U.S. boards and companies like Jobstreet, JobServe, Onrec, Seek, and Workopolis are all opposed.
  • “This is only a problem for for-profit companies.” Weddle says non-profits representing chemicals, hospitals, physicians, and others are all on his side.
  • “This is an issue for niche job boards that can’t compete.” CareerBuilder, Monster, Dice, and Jobing are all opposed, he says.

Weddle announced that the Governance Committee of ICANN is midway through a 90-day window in which it’s reconsidering its decision. He argues: 1) Sponsored dot-jobs addresses shouldn’t be used for purposes that were never intended, and that the original charter was for .Jobs to be used with company names; 2) The process thus far offers little hope that future expansion — more names being given out — will be fair; 3) And, as mentioned, trademark rights aren’t being respected.

ICANN could change its mind during its reconsideration period. Or, it could merely announce that it’s thinking of changing its mind, and open the decision back up for further review.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.