Jackson Hts., New York, August 3, 2014 - Not too long ago my wife dug up a Report Card of mine from 1954. While I’ve had quite a few since - some better some worse - on this eve of the .nyc Landrush I thought it might be fun to issue another that assesses my work on the .nyc TLD.
But what to assess? I could base it on the 2001 Internet Empowerment Resolution, which set my original course on .nyc, and claim an A grade. After all, the city has acquired .nyc and will run it as a public interest resource. “Great work Tom.”
But it’s 2014, and 13 years have elapsed. Over the last decade, as the ICANN’s new TLD award processes were evolving, my research uncovered broad areas where a city-TLD could facilitate a city’s operation: portals, markets, identity, security, privacy, economic development, civic and neighborhood betterment, and more. A fair assessment should consider how well those findings were reflected in .nyc’s structure.
Had this assessment taken place in 2009 high marks might have been in order, for when the city issued its Request For Proposals it included many of our findings in the requirements.
But the ICANN’s planning dragged on, and our research continued. And I recall speaking with a city official in 2012 about recent findings. Frustrated, he chided me for continuously raising the bar: “We’ve done everything you asked for. We can’t keep changing things. Be realistic.”
[Let me pause here for a moment to point out the transition from “I” to “we” in the previous paragraph. For this was a collaborative endeavor with my work enabled by a plethora of others. First there were my fellow community board members who listened and trusted that a city-TLD was important. There was the gentleman from Germany who goaded me in 2005 to reengage after a two year hiatus; a top TLD lawyer from Florida who guided me for several years; a board of directors who steered and encouraged me; a family that put up with this massive time eater; good friends who encouraged and criticized me; individuals and organizations that backed our effort with digital and financial resources; software engineers and other experts who advised; smart people in the DNS industry who taught me the ins and outs; city officials who strove to make the effort a success; and more. So I’m changing the nature of this assessment to one that looks at the overall city-TLD development process and its outcome. As to my personal Report Card, my work was far from perfect. Had it been better, our city-TLD would likely have provided more nuanced and beneficial features and benefits. But I’d like to think that I improved somewhat from my 1954 B in Effort.]
Before getting into the assessment, one final note on the city-TLD development environment. As the details of .nyc’s roll-out become clear, it’s increasingly apparent that we’ve been operating in what the economists call an “asymmetric knowledge” situation. This occurs where there’s inadequate expertise for one side to call upon in a negotiation. With this the first time cities have had the opportunity to develop their TLDs, the metric presented for comparison by the knowledge holder, the contractor, was name sales, not an improved quality of life. As a consequence, New York and the other cities applying for their TLDs were unprepared to evaluate the spectrum of opportunities presented. For a parallel situation see The Simpsons episode Marge Vs. The Monorail.
So, how did WE do?
I’ve rated 12 policy and operational criteria below. While the policies guiding these were selected during the Bloomberg years, the grades test against the current administration’s “progressive” standards. This results in rather poor grades: 2 Bs, 2 Cs, 3 Ds, 2 Fs, and 2 Incompletes. Summarized on a 4 point system, the effort receives a disappointing 1.3 GPA. But the two Incompletes and some flexibility the city built into the system offer some hope.
That said, here’s the good and the bad. Note: Some digging into the Links might be required to uncover the basis of our suggested remedies.
||C||Inadequate pre-registration review. Post registration enforcement. Public pays for challenges.
|| Expand P.O. Box description to include virtual office. Pre-registration review. More spot checks. City led challenges.
|Market Creation||Inc.||No sign of development of local markets.
||Many generic names reserved, so the potential exists for new local markets.||More|
|Landrush Auctions||F||No prior use preference. A regressive high-bid blind auction policy to resolve name contention. 60% of revenue flows to contractor in Virginia.
||Give priority to existing name users. Run public auctions - put name contestants in touch with one another.||More|
|Name Distribution Equity
||F||City rejected NYS Trademarks and d/b/a names of current business and organization owners.
||Institute London’s Local Priority Preference process enabling existing businesses and organizations to get the names they now use.||More|
|Sustainability||D-||No expressed sustainability policy or programs. Third level name use in dotNeighborhoods effort is saving grace.
||Few reserved names for future use. Establish programs enabling sharing and recycling of names.
|Local Jobs||D-|| No new registrar jobs created in city. Saving grace: you can request info on becoming registrar
||Train and ease entry for local registrars.||More|
||C||Complex and circuitous complaint process - city, ICANN, contractor, and At-Large have roles.
||Centralize complaints. Assure refund for Landrush auction losers.
|Governance||D|| Closed city advisory board.
||Create channels for public engagement.
||B+|| The de Blasio Administration has acquired hundreds of names to foster city operations.
|| More transparency and public engagement in name selection would have earned an A.
|Neighborhood Names||B+||Traditional neighborhood names have been reserved for licensing to local residents.||Dedicate funding for endeavor.||More|
|Premium Names||Inc.||Regressive high-bid auctions for 2,000 names such as news.nyc, sports.nyc, pizza.nyc, doctors.nyc, etc.
||Premium names should have public interest clause. Hold public forums to create awareness and opportunity for local collaborations.||More|
Looking toward our next Report Card, we expect it to evaluate the work we’re doing outside the city. We’ve start working on an ICANN project setting the criteria for future applicants for city-TLDs: How do they prove their readiness. We’ve begun advocating that city-TLD applicants preparedness be improved by increasing the current level of awareness from “Non-objection” to “Informed Consent.” As well, we hope to require engagement of the user community, through the formation of an At-Large Structure, in creating these applications. And finally, we hope to reorganize the mass of materials we’ve assembled over the years into an accessible resource library.
Jackson Hts., New York, July 29, 2014 - With the .london Landrush ending on Thursday, “30 applications for the properties.london address and over 40 for nightlife.london” have been received (see V3.co.uk/) with an auction to decide the recipient. What? Let me try to unbundle that statement.
Over the past 50+ days anyone with $75 to invest (see GoDaddy’s rates) has been able to buy a lottery ticket of sorts for a domain name within the .london TLD. With the July 31 deadline to apply for a .london domain name nearing, 30 people have purchased tickets for the “properties.london” lottery, and 40 for the “nightlife.london” lottery. By midnight on July 31 more than 50,000 different domain names are expected to have been applied for overall, with several thousand names having multiple bidders.
The operator of the .london TLD has established priority rules to sort out those instances of “multiple-applicants for same name?” Here’s how it works.
- Getting first priority are those with a registered international trademark. If more than one entity has a trademark, for example, Cadillac cars and Cadillac foods, then a high bid auction is held to determine the winner.
- Second priority goes to ticket holders with a valid London address and an established right to a name. For example, a business can upload “evidence” to demonstrate its current use of a name, and thus right, to a parallel .london domain name. Within this Second Priority several sub-categories have been established: In descending order of priority those are: entities with local trademarks, businesses without trademarks, charities, and those with unregistered trademarks. Again, if more than one entity presents evidence of prior use in a sub-category, for example, cadillac.com and cadillac.net, a high bid auction sorts things out.
- Third priority goes to those applicants with a valid London address, but no prior use of the name.
Final priority (if that’s the right word) goes to applicants without a valid London address, a New Yorker for example who wants to own a piece of digital London. In these last two instances it’s an auction that breaks a tie.
In New York
Here in New York we’re doing things differently. There’s no value to having used a name for years or decades. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve registered it with the state - neither a New York State trademark nor d/b/a counts.
Excepting those with international trademarks, local businesses and non-profits have no more right to a name than anyone else. The Bloomberg Administration, which established the rules, made the decision to start the naming process all over again on a level(ish) playing field.
So between August 4 and October 3, if you like a name, buy a ticket (it will cost you about $80). Then out bid the current owner (and possibly other ticket holders) at auction, and its yours. But you may get lucky. There’s no process to notify current business owners about .nyc’s introduction, so the current owner might not even know the .nyc TLD is being introduced, and not buy a ticket. In that case, no auction, it’s yours. (Sorry mom. Sorry pop.)
So what happens when 30 tickets are sold for a domain name such as properties.nyc? “The auction will be held in accordance with the auction rules… Any auction fees, charges and the final bid price for the domain name will be the responsibility of the Applicant.” A regressive process that promotes the status quo.
This Bloomberg legacy process is slated to move ahead. For the administration it’s the easy, fast, and cheap allocation process. But if you believe as I do that it’s unfair, call 311 and tell Mayor de Blasio - è ingiusto.
Jackson Hts., New York, June 8, 2014 - Beginning on June 21 and for 5 days thereafter, Connecting.nyc Inc.’s (CnI) director Thomas Lowenhaupt will be participating in the At-Large Summit II in London. Held in conjunction with the ICANN’s 50th meeting, the Summit brings together representatives from 160 At-Large Structures from around the globe. Like CnI, these ALSes seek to engage and represent individual Internet users in the ICANN’s governance process. The Summit’s theme is “Global Internet: The User Perspective.” (The first Summit was held in Mexico City in 2009.)
The Summit has three goals:
- Strengthening the At-Large Community
- Increasing Knowledge and Understanding of ICANN
- Showcasing the Multistakeholder Model
In furtherance of these goals participants will seek consensus on 5 issues:
- The Future of Multistakeholderism
- The Globalization of ICANN
- Global Internet: The User Perspective
- ICANN Transparency and Accountability
- At-Large Community Engagement in ICANN
With the conclusion of .nyc’s roll-out later this year, CnI will refocus its efforts. While continuing to facilitate the education of New Yorkers about the role of a TLD, we will work to enhance the capacity of New York and other cities to participate within the ICANN and the broader Internet governance ecology. Much of this will be undertaken through our position as an At-Large Structure. So at the summit, in addition to working toward the Summit’s general goals, CnI will look for ways to expand the channels for participation by cities (and their residents) in Internet governance processes. Our long term goals in this regard include:
- seeing that a “city-TLD path” is established for the 300+ cities with a million or more population that will soon be considering the acquisition of their TLDs;
- that this path presents the sum of experiences of the initial batch of city-TLD recipients;
- that review processes are established to assure that applicant cities have received a comprehensive understanding of the ways a TLD can influence the breadth of their social and economic life;
- and that cities have an effective means of communicating their common and disparate needs to one another and the Internet governance ecology.
You will be able to follow those efforts here.
Jackson Hts., New York, May 10, 2014 - Since the idea of a public interest city-Top Level Domain emerged from a local Community Board in 2001, we’ve been exploring the meaning of the “public interest” as it relates to cities and TLDs. A key component of our work has been to detail ways a TLD can best serve the social and economic needs of our city’s residents and organizations.
When we published the Towards City TLDs In The Public Interest white paper in 2007, we set out some general principles about the meaning of the public interest. And last Fall, when Bill de Blasio was selected mayor in what’s been called a “progressive” landslide, we began to think about how a city-TLD might be developed by a “progressive” city hall.
As a reference point, our research first looked at the Progressive Caucus’ Statement of Principles which begins:
"The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council is dedicated to creating a more just and equal New York City, combating all forms of discrimination, and advancing public policies that offer genuine opportunity to all New Yorkers, especially those who have been left out of our society’s prosperity."
and we began to think about ways the Caucus’ principles might be reflected in .nyc’s development.
But it was only this past Monday, with the start of the Sunrise registrations - an early opportunity for trademark owners to pick their desired .nyc domain names - that our thinking coalesced around several development policies that could provide more fairness and include the “left outs” in our TLD’s development.
The spark for our progressive enlightenment was the regressive nature of the Sunrise registrations. For example, the city will charge Google $15 to register Google.nyc but our local coffee shop, Ricky’s Cafe, will need to pay $30 for RickysCafe.nyc (if it can get the name at all - see the Landrush discussion below). While of minor financial significance, this realization spun the propeller on our thinking caps, and today we’re proposing several ideas that add a “progressive flavor” to four areas of our TLD’s roll-out: the Founders Program, Premium Name sales, the Landrush, and Name Retailing.
- Founders Programs - The Founders Program is a marketing effort that looks to attract prominent or innovative entities to say, in essence, “We’ve joined the .nyc bandwagon, why don’t you.” The Founders Program began recruiting participants this past Monday and will last 40 days. (Founders Program details are available here.)
Progressive Founders Program - A progressive program would provide the opportunity for existing institutions - schools, hospitals, museums… - to participate. This will require education efforts that show these sectors how our new digital infrastructure supports their existing plans and how it will facilitate their future development. The traditional targets for a Founders Program, a Macy’s or a New York Post, are part of giant corporations with digital staffs and advertising budgets accustomed to flowing with the newest technology developments. In developing their Founders Program, the developers of .paris dedicated 120 days for education of specialized groups, 3 times what is planned here. Following the .paris example will provide more opportunities for those typically left out. More time and focused meetings are required, and perhaps forums and a hackathon to facilitate collaboration. (Download more on the Paris program here.)
- Premium Names - These are valuable names such as news.nyc, sports.nyc, and tours.nyc. The plan calls for high-bid auctions, beginning in August to decide who gets what name. Deep pockets will be required. When we think, for example, about the news.nyc domain name, it’s clear there are a dozens of media moguls capable of bidding a million dollars for it with nary a second thought. It’s hard to see opportunity for the “left out” in the current plan. There’s nothing progressive about this policy.
Progressive Premium Names Policy - Imagine providing an on-ramp to those typically “left out” to organize their thoughts about innovative uses for a name such as news.nyc. And imagine the city sponsoring some hackathons to enable innovators to exchange ideas, form teams, and gain access to capital - as it does with BigApps. Here too additional time is needed to imagine new enterprises constructed of innovation and social capital. (More here.)
- Landrush - On August 8 all the names not selected during Sunrise or set aside for Founders, for Premium auctions, or for government use will become available through 30 or so resellers (registrars) that have been selected by the city’s contractor. During this 60 day period New Yorkers can bid on any of the available domain names - without regard to whether it might currently be the name of an existing business. At the conclusion of Landrush those names with a single bidder become active. Those names with more than one bidder go into a high-bid, winner-take-all auction.
Progressive Landrush - We have two concerns with Landrush. The first involves the ability of existing firms to claim their .nyc domain name. Under the current plan, Ricky’s Cafe has no right to claim the name it’s been using for 20 years. In contrast, London established Priority Period Rules that enable existing entities to upload papers that establish their priority for a .london name. Why mom and pop here should be treated with disregard while those with an International Trademark get a priority selection period seems like an affront to the “left outs” and regressive. Fairness says we must learn from the London approach. (Download London Priority Rules.) The second Landrush concern involves a high-bider auction that comes into play when more than one application is received for a domain name. Let’s imagine that there are two bidders for a domain name, say TonysPizza.nyc, with neither having a priority. The winner & loser outcome of a high-bidder auction seems less than progressive. ICANN encouraged collaboration amongst competing TLD bidders in the hope of avoiding auctions. I suspect we can do something progressively similar here. How about facilitating bidders’ ability to connect with one another in the hope or reaching an accommodation, with an auction only if needed.
- Domain Name Retail Sales - As currently envisioned, domain names will be sold by 30 or so accredited resellers, all with their headquarters outside the city. So every domain name sold will have money flowing out of our city, creating jobs and wealth elsewhere.
Progressive Domain Name Retail Sales - This is a new and growing business area that should be providing local jobs. The city should encourage and facilitate the licensing and training of local resellers. Local resellers will make domain name registration accessible to end users: think specialized resellers focused on Brooklyn, on sports, civics, or mom & pops. Competition and choice of this sort is good for end users. Lots of small businesses should be popping that sell names or package them with hosting and other services creating jobs for those “left out.”
There are positive signs from city hall that more thoughtful policies might be forthcoming. Monthly meetings are now held by a .NYC Community Advisory Board. And more civic names, such as the neighborhood names, are being considered for distribution using thoughtful processes.
But the administration’s progress toward a more reasoned approach (let’s say progressive) must confront a 5 year contract the Bloomberg Administration signed with Neustar, a Virginia firm, to market and operate the .nyc TLD. Entitled to 60% of the Premium Name auction and other name sales revenue, Neustar has an opportunity to fill it’s pockets this Summer.
Real progress depends on persuading Neustar that the long term view is where its interest lies. Perhaps an extension of the contract term to 10 years will enable them to look toward a long term relationship (we’re already 2+ years into that 5 year contract). Or perhaps Neustar can be convinced that with a successful .nyc under its belt - demonstrated by metrics showing how the TLD contributed to a more livable and prosperous environment - it will be positioned to sell its services to the 300+ cities with 1 million+ population that have yet to apply for their TLDs.
Looking at the Progressive Caucus’ Statement of Principles presents other possibilities for imaging the operation of a TLD under a progressive city administration, particularly in the areas of transparency, accountability, and enhancing democratic participation. These will be the focus of a future post.
Jackson Hts., New York, May 4, 2014 - Starting at noon tomorrow those owning an international trademark will be eligible to select its equivalent .nyc domain name. This “Sunrise Phase” will last for 45 days.
So if you have a globally recognized trademark - one issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office counts, but one issued by NYS doesn’t - you’ll be eligible to register it.
But you’ll need to prove ownership by registering it with the Trademark Clearing House. (You’ll have to pay a $150 fee and receive a SMD File as proof of ownership). For the official details on process and whether you qualify, see http://www.nic.nyc/sunrise-policies.html. To register a name, start here.
While we’re delighted to see the .nyc issuance process move ahead, we have two concerns:
- Our main concern is that trademarks issued by New York State don’t count. And it’s too late for those with a NYS trademark to get a U.S. Trademark within Sunrise. Those with NYS trademarks and desiring a .nyc domain name will need to submit their applications in August, during the Landrush Phase. And at that point their NYS trademark will provide no special right to use their existing business name. When existing businesses experience the loss of their traditional names we expect an outcry or two.
- We’re also concerned about the quality of the nexus policy - which seeks to limit .nyc names to city entities. The current policy allows an entity from anywhere to use a mailing service as proof of city nexus. But it only takes 5 minutes to acquire a 5th Avenue address using one of hundreds of re-mailing businesses that operate in the city. Nexus needs strengthening.
But after all these years, things are finally moving ahead. And we’re pleased to see city hall (and its contractor) focused on making the most of this opportunity.
Those planning on registering a trademark within .nyc can access a list of 30 or so registrars at http://nic.nyc/registrars. For those not in the Sunrise category, details on the City Government, Landrush, and General Availability phases are available here, with the latest timeline as follows:
Registration Periods For the .nyc TLD
||Start Date||Start Time UTC||End Date||End Time UTC|
||May 5, 2014|| 15:00:01
|| June 20, 2014
||36 days||June 25, 2014||15:00:01||July 31, 2014||15:00:00|
|Landrush Period||60 days||August 4, 2014||15:00:01||October 3, 2014||15:00:00|
|General Availability||n/a||October 8, 2014||15:00:00||n/a||n/a|
Jackson Hts., New York, May 1, 2014 - As currently envisioned, the name distribution plan for the .nyc TLD does not provide any rights to current business owners to select a domain name that matches their existing business - with the exception of those holding a trademark listing in the Trademark Clearing House. As it stands, small business owners will have to hope their desired name is available during the Landrush period which begins on August 8.
By contrast the .london TLD provides existing businesses with a priority in selecting domain names. Here we explain elements of .london’s Landrush pricing policy and how priority is determined when more than one entity selects a domain name.
1. Pricing - As of today there are 5 registrars signed up to sell .london domain names. We tested the availability of the “ThisIs.london” domain name on the GoDaddy site via a pre-registration request and received the following purchase options:
Line up ahead of everyone waiting for general availability.
Vastly improve your odds of landing this domain. GoDaddy submits your pre-registration when registration opens on Tuesday, September 09, 2014.
Take your place in front of standard pre-registrations.
Give yourself the best chance for grabbing this domain. GoDaddy submits your pre-registration early, before Thursday, July 31, 2014.
2. Who gets first pick? Fasthosts (another of the 5 registrars) provides insight into London’s effort to give existing entities a first priority during Landrush.
There are four categories of priority for applications:
- Trademark holders that are verified with ICANN’s TMCH database
- Londoners (those with a physical address in the City of London or its 32 boroughs) with rights to a name such as proof of business or trading name
- Londoners (those with a physical address in the City of London or its 32 boroughs)
The following situations are determined by an applicant’s position within these four categories.
- “If you are the sole applicant for a specific .London domain, this will be registered to you during late August/early September when registrations are confirmed by the Registry.”
- “If two or more applications are received for the same .London domain name, you will be asked to provide proof of business/trading name and address. Once this has been submitted, the rules above in relation to priority will apply.”
- “In the event that a domain is applied for by two or more applicants with the same level of priority, these will go to auction after the close of priority applications on the 31st July. The auction process will be managed by the Registry.”
- “By applying for a .London domain you agree to the terms and conditions regarding categories of priority as set out above.”
Perhaps New York could institute a similar policy. And when two or more entities apply for a .nyc name, priority is given to the one actively using the name. (Image courtesy of Wiki Commons.)
Jackson Hts., New York, April 30 2014 - The below excerpt from a commentary in today’s Huffington Post identifies “enabling innovation” as the key component of a successful Net Neutrality policy. While important, we see facilitating public engagement in governance (that process the First Amendment seeks to foster) as the key element of successful Net Neutrality policy. And we see a parallel with city-TLDs: their key benefit arises through facilitating improved governance and a concomitant enhancement to quality of life. Here’s part of the Post’s post:
THE PERFECT AND THE GOOD ON NETWORK NEUTRALITY [SOURCE: Huffington Post, AUTHORS: Kevin Werbach, Phil Weiser]
Network neutrality is in jeopardy — just not in the way you might have heard. In implementing network neutrality, some differentiation of traffic must be allowed on the Internet, even encouraged. The real question is whether Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposed rule is so much worse than what came before. Under what we understand the FCC proposal to be, access providers can’t block, can’t degrade, can’t arbitrarily favor certain applications, and can’t favor their own traffic. The major change in the new proposal concerns so-called paid prioritization agreements. In other words, the new rules appear to allow a broadband provider to offer content providers the option of faster or more reliable delivery for a supplemental fee. Under the old rules, the FCC didn’t prohibit such deals, but said it was skeptical they would meet its discrimination test. In the new proposal, the FCC appears to mandate that paid prioritization offerings be “commercially reasonable.” Calling paid prioritization “discrimination” is a matter of semantics. Indeed, the traditional “Title II common carrier” model (which some network neutrality advocates favor) has allowed different levels of service — paid prioritization in other words — as long as the prioritized service level was available to all comers. As for the FCC’s apparent proposal, it does not encourage or require paid prioritization. At most, the proposal would allow some commercial offerings — subject to negotiation between the two firms — to allow for a higher level of service. How to defend and implement network neutrality is not as simple as banning all forms of paid prioritization. What really matters is ensuring that the broadband environment continues to provide space for tomorrow’s innovators to develop new, disruptive offerings. When the FCC releases the proposed rules for comment, we should all focus on that criterion to evaluate whether they are sufficient and effective. [Werbach is Wharton Professor and founder of Supernova Group; Weiser is Dean and Thomson Professor at the University of Colorado Law School]
Jackson Heights, New York, April 12, 2014 - Vital to the operation of a livable city are its public spaces: parks, plazas, streets, schools, libraries, etc. Over the centuries we’ve established standards for such spaces, including where they are best located and how they are used and governed.
Today we’re faced with identifying public spaces within the .nyc TLD. According to .nyc’s Launch Program, we’ve only until 11 AM on August 4th to identify and set aside our digital public spaces. At that moment the Landrush period begins and within a few minutes all names of public spaces that have not been set aside will be purchased for private purposes. Thereafter their public use will be through condemnation and eviction procedures.
Why is this important? Some background will help.
38 cities applied for their TLDs in 2012, including 4 from the U.S. - New York, Boston, Miami and Vegas. In 2018, when the next window of opportunity to acquire a city-TLD will arise, we expect several hundred to apply for the capacity to develop this digital infrastructure.
New York City has been a leader is development this resource. And just last month, after a 13 year gestation, it was delegated the .nyc TLD by ICANN a global licensing entity. The city is now in the process of deciding who gets what name for what purpose and when. (See http://nic.nyc for highlights on .nyc’s rollout or Launch Policies for a detailed look.)
One of the challenges the city faces is looking over the horizon and discerning digital spaces (domain names) that should be reserved for public use. There’s little guidance on this as traditional TLDs (think .com and .org) don’t have public spaces.
The last time the city faced such a challenge was in the early 1800’s when it set about carving up Manhattan into real estate parcels. What became known as “The Commissioners’ Plan of 1811″ created our street grid that has served our city well. But one of the “over the horizon” needs we missed back then was parks. And in the 1840s, when the need for public recreation spaces became apparent, the city was forced to evict several thousand people who were living in what is now Central Park. (According to Wikipedia “The earliest purpose built public park, although financed privately, was Princes Park in the Liverpool suburb of Toxteth” in 1842. So prior to that humanity lived in a world without public parks!)
Today’s challenge is identifying public spaces within the .nyc TLD, be they for public assembly, discourse, recreation, or some new “digital” purpose. Hopefully we’ll avoid the need to resort to eviction to create a more livable city.
In addition to acquiring the digital property, one of the advantages that will arise from this exercise is the development of a descriptive vocabulary. So today, if I visit any U.S. city and feel the need for a moment of restful meditation, I can ask anyone “Where’s the nearest park?” with my need being easily understood.
So my question dear reader is, What needs and opportunities are there within a city, be it the digital or traditional, that a city-TLD can address? What are these public spaces called? And how are they funded, governed, and operated? This last question need not be answered immediately - we only figured out how to properly fund Central Park in the 1980, 140 years after setting it aside.
So… what are our digital public spaces?
Jackson Hts., New York, March 25, 2014 - In the past couple of days a number of people have contacted me to offer their congratulations or thanks for my role in making the .nyc TLD a reality. With our city’s TLD having been entered into the root - see it here http://nic.nyc - they presumed that my goals for .nyc had been achieved.
But the Internet Empowerment Resolution that I’ve been shepherding for 12+ years had two key components.The first was acquiring the .nyc TLD. Done. But the Resolution sought the TLDs development as a public interest resource. That is not yet assured. So hold the good thoughts and join us in making sure that .nyc achieves a significant role in making a more livable and prosperous city.
When all New York’s businesses, civic organizations, institutions, artists, and residents have good .nyc domain names; when the city’s digital resources are a cinch to navigate online and off; when we can readily identify problems and opportunities and organize ourselves to address them; then it will be time to break out the bubbly. (Commons graphic courtesy of Mr. Groovysweet.)