John Berard

John Berard

Founder, Credible Context & CEO, Vox Populi Registry
Joined on November 29, 2005
Total Post Views: 185,687


Credible Context is a communications consultancy based in San Francisco, CA. It is built on the insight that effective marketing—of products, services, even the company itself—requires more than commitment, authenticity and transparency. Advocacy and persuasion must be contextually credible.

My mission is to help clients reveal, cultivate and leverage the power of their context. My goal is to help make every communication—internal or external, casual or formal—a voice of advocacy.

In founding this consultancy, I have drawn upon my experience in the financial and corporate communications landscape of New York City, the issues-driven meeting rooms of Washington, D.C. and the technology arena in San Francisco. This combination of industries and locales has given me valuable, additional perspective as finance, legislation and technology are three, key drivers of change. Credible Context is, in many ways, the logical result of a communications career begun 35 years ago.

Currently or in the course of my counseling career, I have worked closed on issues related to ICANN, registries and registrars. Some of those clients are:, NeuStar, TRUSTe and the Coalition for ICANN Transparency.

Except where otherwise noted, all postings by John Berard on CircleID are licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Featured Blogs

When It Comes to Domain Name Rights Protection,

It is not surprising that the phase 1 review of domain name rights protection mechanisms is delayed, but it is a bit of a surprise that in responding to a question posed in 2020, business executives and their lawyers replied with answers first offered and rejected five years earlier. In that time before COVID-19, the launch of the Vox Populi Registry and its dotSucks domain names drew quite a lot of attention. more

A Year Later: Insights from dotSucks

This week marks the first birthday of the general availability of dotSucks domain names. It has been a year notable for both heat and light, adding up to a set of insights relevant for any new gTLD... Be clear about who you serve and use their vocabulary (not domain name industry jargon) to tell them about it. Engage in marketing... Emotional resonance is more effective than even overwhelming facts-and-figures. The right story helps people see themselves in you. more

U.S. Congressional Trademark Caucus Haggles Over Price

It was standing-room-only at the Congressional Trademark Caucus session in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, April 6. The topic, brand protection in the new top level internet domain names, is still, it seems, a draw. With nearly two years' experience and statistical evidence of far fewer problems at far lower costs to brand owners than opponents of the program said would occur, it might be expected that the tone would cool. But the price of peace, I guess, remains eternal vigilance. more

Never Invited, but Always Present

Listening today to the U.S. Congress' House of Representatives Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing on ICANN governance reminded me just how often Vox Populi Registry, the company bringing dotSucks names to the Internet, is a guest at parties to which it has never been invited. Sometimes, like today, we are able to view it all from a distance and mostly we have refrained from trying to correct every misstatement or argue each odd point. more

We Are All Sony

"Nobody knows anything," screenwriter William Goldman (think "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Princess Bride") said famously of Hollywood. The same may be said of enterprise security. Word now comes that the Sony hack for which the FBI has fingered North Korea may, in fact, be the work of some laid-off and disgruntled Sony staff. But that's not clear, either. more

Privacy, Risk and Revenue

The nation's leading organization of government, corporate and academic privacy executives -- the International Association of Privacy Professionals -- recently did what good groups do, it issued a report that validated the pursuit of the career it supports... the IAPP reminded all what has long been understood -- privacy is an important and growing risk management activity under the watchful eye (mostly) of general counsels. With $2.4 billions being spent this year and $3 billion next, it is a growth industry. more

New Internet Domain Names Need a Backstory to Succeed

If web address registrations are any indication (and they may not be), the hundreds of new Internet domains (where .guru competes with .com and .berlin intrudes on .de) are seeing slow, but steady success. By one count, there are about 2 million new online addresses. Slow and steady may wind up being the best business model, but if the effect of the top level domains is to be felt in business, culturally and socially, there needs to be more done than create the opportunity to register a new name... more

Internet’s New “Big Bang” Creates Chance to Put Down Roots

The Internet has done as much as the jet engine to shrink the distance between where we are and where we want to go. Even the propeller-type connectivity of dial-up was a giant leap forward. But as much as the technology has allowed us to go with ease to any place we choose - to learn, to be heard, to promote - equally powerful is the platform's ability to help us gather. The phenomena of social media services like LinkedIn and Facebook are present day proof of this human urge. more

Privacy is a Growth Market in Search of Leadership

Within a single month, privacy has moved to the top of the "to-do" list for government, business and consumers. In fact, the confluence of activity is the best indication in the last ten years that the will exists to establish regulatory and self-governance programs that complement consumer protection. Privacy is a growth market. more

Instead of a New gTLD, Maybe There Ought to be an App for That

The conflicting yet co-existing anxiety and enthusiasm in support of expanded Internet territory -- those new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) we have heard so much about -- may be misplaced. If the economic reports commissioned by ICANN are to be believed (non, nod, wink, wink), top level domains fall flat because they are either too tightly defined (.museum?) or lightly marketed (.aero?). Building a business plan to give a new gTLD the market and marketing reach it will need to succeed is a heavy lift. more

Turns out ICANN’s Beckstrom is an Inspirational Patron of the Tea Party

Friday's edition of National Public Radio's "On The Media" devoted attention to the rise of the Tea Party and its widespread use of the social media. In the report Ken Vogel of Politico noted that the movement drew inspiration from the book, "The Starfish and the Spider" co-authored by ICANN President, Rod Beckstrom. more

ICANN’s “Hallway” Agenda

On Monday, June 21, ICANN convenes in Brussels, hosting its "Welcome Ceremony" for attendees. In advance of the session, the agenda for the Board meeting on Friday, June 25 has been released. As is the fashion, it lists significant issues without being too specific or tipping the Board's hand. It also allows for matters that arise organically during the week of the meeting to (possibly) be heard. more

Privacy Becoming Very Public Matter

At the round tables on privacy held by the Federal Trade Commission, Indiana University law school professor and member of the board of the Privacy Projects, Fred Cate said out loud what long has been silently known about consumer protections based on the notices web sites post to describe their data protection practices and the consumers' choice to click on or away. Cate said: "Choice is an illusion." There is more than a bit of substance behind the bumper sticker... more

Privacy Getting a Reboot

Anyone old enough to remember when cross-border data flows were limited to what could be put in a DHL box in New York and sent directly to Milan for the next day? Or when MIPS were so costly and centralized that batch processing was the norm? The world has changed, but the rules governing data protection and privacy haven't (much). Today technology allows and users demand that data flow without the drag of political boundaries or national borders, yet we still want assurances that our information will be protected and respected.  more

10,000 Domain Names Pre-Ordered Daily for Likely New Top-Level Domains

Last month and Quintaris started a joint project to let consumers pre-order – without cost – domain names in new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) for which ICANN will likely get an application. Latest stats released from the group is showing strong demand -- about 10,000 per day in the first month of the program... more

Trademark Protection Dust-Up Obscures the Potential Value in New gTLDs

As a member of ICANN's Business Constituency I have heard first-hand the perfectly appropriate criticisms from trademark holders of ICANN's roll-out of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). But while it may be OK for branded companies to wish they didn't have to deal with the matter, the dust that has been kicked up has obscured real value in the program. more

DotAsia Auctions Aim to Address Problems of the Past

The announcement this week that DotAsia will work with on an auction system to introduce its new domain names is a good reaction to problems of the past. Previous launches worked (sometimes not well) on a first-come, first-served basis. For example, had over 280 potential applications but only the first was even considered. Yet, today, nearly 2 years later, the domain application is still being reviewed... more

Topic Interests

DNSNew TLDsDomain NamesInternet GovernanceICANNRegistry ServicesPrivacyPolicy & RegulationCloud ComputingWebLawCybersecurityCyberattackBrand ProtectionDomain ManagementCybercrimeRegional RegistriesUDRPEmailWhois

Recent Comments

The Whois Wars Go On
Who Really Cares About New gTLDs?
Never Invited, but Always Present
Never Invited, but Always Present
Never Invited, but Always Present

Popular Posts

DotAsia Auctions Aim to Address Problems of the Past

Instead of a New gTLD, Maybe There Ought to be an App for That

U.S. Congressional Trademark Caucus Haggles Over Price

10,000 Domain Names Pre-Ordered Daily for Likely New Top-Level Domains

New Internet Domain Names Need a Backstory to Succeed