ICANN promotes new personalised website service

The new myICANN service is designed to increase transparency and participation in the organization

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has rolled out a new service designed to help users find the information they're looking for on ICANN's sprawling website.

ICANN announced a beta version of myICANN Monday. MyICANN allows users to sign up for email alerts related to 18 topics, including security, top level domains and the organization's WHOIS service. Users of myICANN can also see a stream of their selected topics at myICANN.org.

Critics of ICANN have long questioned the transparency of the organization. ICANN officials have defended the group's transparency, but acknowledged that all the information they release can be scattered across the website. Officials hope myICANN will increase participation in the organization, they said.

ICANN.org "holds a tremendous amount of content in multiple languages and several groups are discussing the same or similar topics," Denise Michel, advisor to ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé, wrote in an email. "It is not always easy/quick to find the latest report, correspondence, meeting notice, etc., on a particular topic of interest."

ICANN.org involves "lots of searching/clicks," added Michel, who oversaw the development of myICANN.

The email service is the first feature for myICANN, but more features, including community collaboration tools and a personalized dashboard of the user's participation in ICANN, are planned, ICANN said. "We intentionally released myICANN as a beta to encourage the public to tell us what features and topic streams would be most useful to add," Michel said.

MyICANN's main page includes a link to a place where users can submit feedback.

MyICANN offers information in several languages, is enabled for mobile devices, and works on other low bandwidth services, ICANN said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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