WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- President Obama's 2012 campaign mastermind Jim Messina will be the keynote speaker at a February 19 conference on the impact of new top-level Internet domain names on businesses and consumers.

Messina, who perfected the digital age campaign in an unprecedented merger of technology and politics, also served as White House Deputy Chief during the President's first term and played a key role in passage of the economic stimulus bill.

Beyond the Dot 2014, to be held February 19 at the Newseum in Washington D.C., will be the first conference to explore the ramifications of new top-level Internet domain names (the text to the right of the dot in a web address, such as .COM, .NET, and .ORG) on the end user.

"We look forward to hearing Jim's ideas about where new top-level domains will fit into politics and American society over the next several years," said Nao Matsukata, President and Chief Executive Officer of FairWinds Partners, a strategic domain name consultancy, which is hosting the conference. "Jim's 2012 consultation with the nation's foremost tech leaders is just one example of his out-of-the-box thinking, which is so crucial to the future of the Internet."

Other speakers at the conference include former Ambassador and Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, who is also chairman of the Internet task force at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Akram Atallah, President of the Global Domains Division at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees many technical functions of the Internet. In addition, the owners of new top-level domains .GOP, .GAY, .NYC, and .UNO will participate in panel discussions. See the agenda or register here.

Beyond the Dot 2014 is designed to educate the public about the coming changes to the Internet: 1,400 new top-level domains over the next two year, in addition to the 22 now in common use. These changes will affect the totality of Internet behavior, from search, to navigation, to commerce, to security, to privacy, to analytics, and more. For a primer on this unprecedented expansion of the domain name space, check out FairWinds' microsite beyondthedot.com.

About half of the new top-level domains will be branded sites, such as .WALMART, and will be controlled by the corresponding brand and mostly closed to the public for registration of websites. The other half, however, will be generic extensions, such as .BOOK, .SHOP, or .NINJA, which will be open to the public for the purchase of websites. Seven top-level domains are now available for registration by the public. They are: .SINGLES, .VENTURES, .HOLDINGS, .BIKE, .CLOTHING .PLUMBING, and .GURU.

CONTACT: Leslie Phillips leslie.phillips@fairwindspartners.com +1 202 499 4419Source:FairWinds Partners