Three weeks into a public comment period and what the Internet addressing authority is being told is that it should approve changing the .jobs program.
All but one of the 20 comments (six from the same person) support the request by Employ Media to be allowed to offer occupational, geographic, and other names in conjunction with a .jobs extension. Currently, only company names (ATT.jobs) are permitted.
Most of the comments are short, and along the lines of this one:
“I’ve reviewed the minutes of the .JOBS PDP Council meetings, and I think that the amendments are very comprehensive. All of the relevant issues appear to be covered, so I recommend that the ICCAN (sic) Board approve the recommendations.”
Indeed, the wording of several is curiously similar, making a specific point of noting that the writer has read the minutes of the advisory group appointed by the Society for Human Resource Management.
Interested persons can post comments until July 15 here.
Unlike the comments solicited by SHRM’s group, these comments are public and include the names of the writers. Some voluntarily identify themselves and the company they represent. At least one, Jose Manuel Alvarez, who wrote the six posts supporting the change to the .jobs program, is, or at least was, a close business associate of one of the central figures in the .jobs expansion plan.
Alvarez is founder and CEO of OCCMundial, a leading job board in Mexico. At the early part of the decade, he provided some of the funding for WOWemployers Network, a now-defunct ATS service provider and job board started by Bill Warren.
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Warren, today, is a leading player in the .jobs saga. As executive director of DirectEmployers Association (which acquired some of the assets of WOW), Warren launched a series of geographic- and occupation-focused job boards using the .jobs address extension. The plan, as detailed on one of the promotion sites — Universe.jobs — was to eventually have hundreds of thousands of such sites.
But the plan was brought to a halt after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers sent letters to SHRM and Employ Media suggesting the original 2005 agreement had to be amended. That agreement, which created the domain in the first place, allowed the use of only employer names.
Warren headed up the original Policy Development Procedure Council, as the SHRM advisory group is officially called. He and most of the members were replaced when critics pointed out the conflict of interest potential.
On June 3 the council approved the request to change the .jobs rules. Later, SHRM’s board of directors also agreed to the changes. Now, ICANN must act. The comment period, which opened June 15, is part of the process. In addition, ICANN staff will also review the proposal. It is possible for ICANN’s board to act on the proposed expansion at its next meeting in August.
Opposition to the change has most been muted. Some job board owners and CEOs are opposed, most visibly Ted Daywalt, founder and CEO of Vetjobs.com. A group met last week in Phoenix, reportedly to discuss strategy. It is not known what came out of that meeting.