Divide and Conquer?

How can we expect there to be coordination across the domain industry around life-altering issues like EU’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when major groups cannot even coordinate the timing of conferences?

It is common knowledge that we, industry folk, frequent these conferences to move the industry forward through policy and partnerships. We use them to connect and collaborate with other members of the industry to drive partnerships and forge new ones. They are global events that play an important role in how the industry stays connected.


Cloudfest (formerly World Hosting Days prior to being purchased by GoDaddy) is the biggest hosting conference in the world. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the group responsible for responsible for “coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces of the Internet ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation”* has three meetings a year, often at peculiar locations across the globe — we will save the location of ICANN meetings for another post.

Next week our beloved industry has these two events at the same time. Cloudfest at Europa Park in Rust, Germany, a ‘planes, trains and automobile’ scenario to get to, and ICANN in Puerto Rico, a country dealing with the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria, with almost 1 million people still without power.

ICANN meetings (according to ICANN’s website) “offers the best opportunity for face-to-face discussions and airing of opinions among knowledgeable people dedicated to the continued stable and secure operation of the Internet.” I guess ICANN considers having 7000+ global hosting professionals in Germany while their meeting is in Puerto Rico as the best opportunity for face-to-face discussions and does not consider these professionals as knowledgeable or dedicated to the continued stable and secure operation of the Internet.

When we inquired about the timing of Cloudfest we told by one of their executives that “people will desert ICANN to go to Rust”. That will not be the case. Instead, groups like us, are forced to ‘divide and conquer?’ As my friend and colleague rightly pointed out, this means to divide your enemies then conquer them, not divide your resources to meet with more people, which makes you think, who is actually the enemy in this double-booking scenario?

* from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICANN


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