Monash University is based in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1958, it is the university with the largest student body in Australia and home to major research facilities, including the Australian Synchrotron, the Monash Science Technology Research and Innovation Precinct, the Australian Stem Cell Centre, 100 research centers and 17 co-operative research centers.
Dr. Ian Tebbett is Chief Information Officer at Monash University.
What convinced you to apply for the .monash gTLD in the first place?
We are acknowledged by ICANN as being the first .BRAND in the world. Our motivations at the time were primarily around getting a name which would represent a more global presence for Monash.
We now have campuses in five countries and a growing alumni trail across the world and we put quite a lot of effort into reputation and brand for the university, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. We thought this was one way in which we could harmonize our presence, even down to a tactical level of things that appear on handbooks and in marketing materials. As we got into it, we have seen even more opportunities.
In terms of looking ahead, what will make your .BRAND gTLD a success?
We have already reached a stage where we consider the project a success. We now have a tool kit that we can use which is part of our marketing mix and I’m sure we will mature that over the next
Two or three years. We started to use .monash experimentally – primarily for marketing and campaigns around student recruitment, appealing to a user base that will adapt fairly quickly to this new approach. It seems to be working. The first site we put up was about .monash explaining what a Top
Level Domain is and why we are doing it. The main one at the moment is called destination.monash, which is aimed at pre-university scholars.
Looking to the future, the most interesting space that I’m keeping an eye on is the interplay between
URL and search. We are increasingly using search techniques, especially for postgraduate students who tend to make enquiries through search models. This is also interesting because of the way that the browsers are beginning to work. Search-browser interaction is changing quite markedly and it won’t be long until your search box and URL box are effectively the same.
Has Monash considered applying for any IDNs?
It is something we may well look at in the future. We do have a campus in China that will grow quite rapidly. It is certainly something we will consider in the future.
What will the Internet look like in 2020?
I do think that we are going to go through another cycle in the internet. In the medium term (for the next five years) it is going to get messier. Clearly there are trademark issues and a generational shift is needed before new gTLDs become the norm. It will be a difficult journey to get this message across to the public. In the longer term (five-ten year lifecycle) things will become easier. A new set of tools will appear once the search-browser interplay has changed. If you look at what’s happening in computing generally, new interfaces come along and what was once a primary interface is suddenly hidden to the user community.
I would expect a more visual experience for users. In recent years, the ‘less-is-more’ approach seems to be working very well with users.