New York, fashion3.JPGNovember 1, 2009 - We recently received notice from the Committee for Open Fashion NYC, organizer of Fashion Camp 2009, requesting that the domain name be reserved for use by New York City’s fashion industry. The Committee recommended that

  • Should present a complete and unbiased directory of the city’s fashion industry.
  • Care should be taken to assure that suitable control is exercised over those listed in the directory to assure that they are indeed city businesses.
  • That FASHION.NYC serve as a means to locate fashion resources beneficial to the city’s fashion industry – suppliers, manufacturers, designers, fashion houses, and students.
  • That a simple fill-in form providing a webpage for new entrants into the fashion industry, e.g.,, be made available.

The Committee for Open Fashion NYC is exploring FASHION.NYC’s content, business model, and governance structure. We have offered to assist the Committee with its explorations as part of our quest for models for other important city portals.

Learn more about at Open Fashion’s .nyc’s website or see our wiki page.

Filed October 31st, 2009 under Portal, Domain Name, Innovation

­ICANN-Seoul.1.JPGNew York, October 31, 2009 - On Wednesday I had breakfast on the 18th floor outdoor patio of the Eastgate Hotel, a bit cool, but it provided a great view of the city. However, the breakfast options lacked any Korean dishes and was not worth writing about.

I took a 7:30 PM Air Korea flight back to New York City on Wednesday and left for the airport at 3. The day’s session I was most interested in was “Role of GAC & Institutional evolution of ICANN in light of the AoC” but it was a closed meeting. Traditionally some GAC meetings have been closed to public purview, with the general presumption that those closed talks were about how to gain some leverage with the ICANN. But now, with their newly empower role under the AoC, such actions are totally unacceptable.

The saving grace news for the ICANN was the announcement of the availability of IDNs beginning in November. This achievement was recapped nicely in today’s New York Times

But from the perspective of those seeking new TLDs, this was just another meeting from which to bring home the ‘DELAYED AGAIN’ message.

When the 2rd draft of the Applicants Guidebook was issued in April, the promise was that applications would be accepted later this year. Now there will apparently be a 4th (and perhaps a 5th) draft before the process is finalized. There’s not even an estimated date for the issuance of the 4th Draft Guidebook. Those selling new TLD services were traumatized by the news as they’ve been burning through cash in anticipation of big paydays when ICANN begins accepting applications. Some won’t be at ICANN’s March meeting in Nairobi.

We took solace in the belief that a new track for city and cultural TLDs will now be established. But even in that case, ICANN will not be accepting our application anytime soon. However, there’s lots of work to be done preparing city residents and organizations for .nyc’s ultimate arrival, and we’ll be encouraging DoITT to follow through with the RFP (now with a December 7 due date).

Filed October 27th, 2009 under ICANN


ICANN-Seoul.1.JPG­Seoul, October 27­, 2009 - I awoke with the birdies today and took a run along the Cheonggyecheon, a stream that flows between the Eastgate and the Lotte. It was a delight. Yesterday I was reading in the Korean Times that the mayor of Seoul indicated he was going to run for another term and had promised to stay in office for the full 5 years. He said he wanted to do for the Han, the city’s main river,  what the previous mayor did for the Cheonggyecheon. The writer noted that the previous mayor had ridden that accomplishment to the nation’s presidency.

Seoul is just an amazing physical city. And the people are about 2/3 the width of Americans, i.e., I haven’t seen an obese person yet. My only negative observation is about the quality of the air, nothing you can smell, perhaps it’s smog, but it’s difficult to see the nearby mountains.­

As to ICANN meeting…  It was more doom and gloom for the timely issuance of TLDs. The first post AoC meeting of the GAC and the ALAC brought to mind one of the early ICANN meeting I’d attended remotely in the late 1990’s, in that every possible problem that might arise with the issuance of of additional TLDs was raised, largely by the ALAC. Some constructive thoughts were added by GAC participants but overall those looking for rapid issuance of a gTLD would have come away saddened. But there was much talk of specific categories of TLDs that might warrant rapid processing, city and cultural. However, even there some of the old, seemingly resolved issues, such as user confusion and TLD failure, were raised anew.

Perhaps an aside, but then again maybe the central point, yesterday the Committee for Open Fashion NYC issued a statement that the domain name “should present a complete and unbiased directory of the city’s fashion industry.” More on this soon.  

And then there was the Gala Event - the food, the museum, and the entertainment were fantastic. One of my favorite remembrances was a calligraphic rendering of “New York” and “NYC” in Korean. You’ll be amused. It will be the subject of a separate post. And making the Gala more gala, we learned that DoITT had extended the deadline for filing the .nyc RFP to December 7.

My view of Seoul as a perfect society was tainted somewhat when I entered the Metro last night to return from the Lotte to the Eastgate: dozens of homeless were setting up their boxes for a good night’s sleep. It was quite open and obviously “overlooked” by the Metro operators. Then again, this might be a more humane way of handling the homeless problem than the way we do it back in New York City. [Post 7:14 AM on the 28th - Seoul.]


ICANN-Seoul.1.JPG­Seoul, October 26, 2009 - While I’m a bit tired now, at 7:11 PM, I suspect it’s due to the busy day I had rather than to the 13 hour time shift. I awoke at 8 this morning after a decent night’s sleep, so I guess I’m “adjusted.” First thing I needed to do was change hotels. The new one, Eastgate Tower, is closer to the conference hotel - about 1.5 miles - and spanking new. It’s a bit odd though, and I suspect that it’s a hybrid hotel /condo of some sort. 

The walk to the Lotte from Eastgate was quite interesting as it passed through a light industrial / shopping area. Small shops lined the street with different classes of products - several lighting shops, then hardware stores, a slew of tape stores (the sticky kind), then it was the wall paper district… Many of the stores were also making the products they sold, or at least modifying them. Saws and hammers were seek regularly. This contrasted with New York City where little is manufactured and what is is rarely within view of the public.But I didn’t notice any foul odors or obvious signs of pollution.

I arrived at the ICANN conference at 11:30 and started talking to the trickle that was exiting the New TLD Program Overview session: sad faces all around - more delays - not even proposed submission dates - disbelief - too many loose ends… It seems the Draft Application Guide 3 is hardly worth reading.

But there was hope for .nyc being processed by ICANN within a reasonable time period. This was embodied in the “Airport Scenario,” proposed by Bertrand de La Chapelle, the French GAC representative, ans “Step by Step,” as the folks from CORE are calling the concept of facilitating a path for less controversial TLDs to proceed sooner. The cultural entities and cities are within this “easier to process” group. 

I also sat in on the debate on Registrar-Registry separation. Seemed like a no-brainer: keep the roles separate.

This evening I’m having dinner with representatives from Bangkok who are interested in the BKK TLD (an airport code). More later..

Filed October 26th, 2009 under City-TLDs, City Council, Domain Names, DoITT, ICANN, City Agency


ICANN-Seoul.1.JPG­Seoul, October 25, 2009 - I woke at 2:11 AM with my body thinking it was morning. First thing I did was to go out to round up some tea bags. A simple Tetley or the like was not available from several stores in the neighborhood. I’ve had a Sulloc Brown Rice Green Tea and am now brewing a Korean One Ginsing Granule Tea. Both had their charm. But change of habit is tough.

Today I’m focusing on the city’s RFP requirement that two proposals, one Open one Closed be submitted.

“The City is considering the options of having .nyc as either an Open TLD or a community-based (“Closed”) TLD. Therefore, we are asking proposers to submit two separate proposals: one (1) proposal for an Open TLD and one (1) proposal for a Closed TLD. An Open TLD permits individuals and entities to obtain a second-level domain (“SLD”) without showing a nexus to the City. A Closed TLD will require individuals and entities to prove a nexus to the City to be eligible to obtain an SLD.”

This poses a conundrum for us as Inc.’s basic reason to exist is to advance to concept of a community TLD, and when the RFP states “NOTE: Proposers must submit separate Proposed Approach sections for their Open TLD and Closed TLD proposals” I’m left perplexed. Making it especially difficult for us is the Basis for Contract Award which states “If a contract is awarded, it will be awarded to the responsible technically viable proposer in the competitive range offering the highest amount of revenue to the City.” (We’ve asked the city for clarification on this.)

So early this morning I’m thinking through the options available to us and trying to figure out how I can address them over the next few days here in Seoul. As I see it we have four options:

  • Submit only a Community (Closed) proposal?
  • Submit two identical community proposals labeling one Open and the other Community (Closed)?
  • Submit a Community (Closed) plan that presents those features that will serve the needs of city residents and a modified Open version that incorporates some subset of the community features?
  • Or do we look for a different position from which to accomplish our mission, for example, commenting on the quality of Community plans submitted by the various bidders?

If this is like a typical ICANN meeting, there will be 800 or so clever Internet bureaucrats, engineers, entrepreneurs, government officials, lawyers, and public interest advocates of different shades with which I can discuss these options. [Post 5:57 AM - Seoul.]

That RealTime heading should probably be removed on this post as It’s 27 hours later, but I thought I’d report on the big news from Sunday’s ICANN meetings. I attended two: ALAC and joint GAC/GNSO. (See ICANN Glossary.) ALAC was refreshing as they seem to have been far better organized than in previous years. At the GAC / GNSO meeting there was much talk of problems with the New TLD program by the GAC members. With the GAC’s role having risen with the recent AoC with the U.S. Government, observers came away thinking more of the usual - delay. But several GAC members spoke positively of the Airport Scenario presented by the French: As planes become ready let them take off, no need to wait for everyone (every detail) before the first starts down the runway. With several GAC members chiming in that this seemed an appropriate measure for the less controversial applicants - cities and cultural groups - there was a tad of positive news for .nyc.  

ICANN-Seoul.1.JPG­Seoul, October 24, 2009 - This is a new category of post for our blog. Where typically we take some measure of care in making blog posts - as contrasted with our wiki where free ideas and misspellings prevail - these updates from Seoul will keep our supporters appraised of our efforts here. As well, they willhave­ a bit of a personal time and distance travelogue flavor to it. I hope it helps people understand where we stand and what we need to make .nyc the digital infrastructure for the coming decades.

By way of background, I’ve been pursuing the .nyc Top Level domain for about a decade and have come to Seoul at a point when the city of New York has issued a Request for Proposals for an entity to assist it with the acquisition and development of the .nyc TLD. I’m here to work out the details of our response to the RFP, due November 12.

The RFP calls for the submission of two proposals, an Open and a Closed plan. Think of an Open .nyc as operating somewhat similar to the way .com is operated - do with the names as you please, first-come-first-served, little to no oversight or order. Closed is more community oriented with a thoughtful planning process going into the initial allocation of names. The Closed is the model that we’ve been after from day one (see our May 26 RFI to city), but apparently we’ve not succeeded in convincing the city that it’s the best way to go, thus they are demanding both Open and Closed responses to their RFP. With city-TLDs new animals, i.e., there is no  decent experience to draw upon, it’s a reasonable direction for the city to take. Also, with New York City serving in a leadership position amongst global cities, many will be watching its direction for lessons on how best to develop their city-TLDs.

So I’m here in Seoul - arrived yesterday at 4 AM - and the sky is lightening at 6:41 AM. It’s 54 degrees and my body thinks it’s still in NYC. [Post 6:43 AM - Seoul.]

 I’m off to breakfast in a few minutes and then to depart for the conference hotel at about 8. I’m told it’s about three miles away. (Took the subway “Metro” from the airport yesterday and will  continue to use it. It’s huge, perhaps larger than ours, clean, and crowded, like ours. I was amused that when waiting for the train the people would lineup one behind another in two orderly lines on either side the the doors. But when when the train arrived it was much like the scramble back home. Also, for fare I bought a CityPass+, which is like a Metrocard on steroids. More on that later as I experience it.)  There are several conference sessions today with the full schedule starting on Monday. The schedule. [Post 7:10 AM - Seoul.]  

Just returned from  a delightful breakfast where I had the pleasure of meeting Amadeu Abril i Abril, former member of the ICANN board of directors and founder of the .cat TLD, which is serving for Catalonians somewhat in the role we hope .nyc will for New Yorkers. It’s always a delight to see Amadeu, but he did say we are further from the conference hotel than I thought. So the next time I post it will be from there. [Post 8:24 AM - Seoul.]  

What I hope to accomplish here is to solidify our partnerships for the November 12 filing deadline, learn more about the ICANN newest draft Guidebook - instructions on how to acquire a new TLD, and to learn more about the ICANN’s new, more independent position vis a vis the U.S. government and the global community, and to learn from this about how we might better govern the .nyc TLD. (That “we” is the regal we of the residents of New York City. See our Governance Ecology pages for more on this.)  [Post 9:32 AM - Seoul.]  

It’s 10:03 AM and I’m still at the hotel having worked to add the list of reserved domain names from DoITT’s RFP to our Domain Name Allocation Page - see the right sidebar. We will course be adding to this in our submission and invite residents to chime in with their suggestions.  [Post 10:07 AM - Seoul.]  

Arrived at the opulent Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul. Very little overt ICANN activity with the few meetings dealing with electing officers to newly formed “Houses” to the Domain Name Support Organization. I’m outside the room where the Non-Contractual House is electing officers. The Contracted House met earlier.  [Post 11:50 AM - Seoul.]  This is all tied into an incredibly complex ICANN governance process, which recently changed. I’ll try to update this soon.

It’s now 6:21 PM here in Seoul and I just returned to my hotel. Ate and crashed.

Filed October 23rd, 2009 under RealTime Update, City-TLDs, Civics, DoITT

Hunter-College.JPGNew York, October 20, 2009 - When,,,,, and 300 other neighborhood names become available upon the activation of the .nyc TLD, how will traditional civic practices be affected? What impact will their activation have on existing digital communication channels? How can we develop policies that assure that these names are used to serve resident needs? What local content should be made available to each dotNeighborhood? What technology should deliver it? Who should publish them? What’s the agreement that assures accountability?

We began focusing on these and related questions on our dotNeighborhood pages earlier this year and have sponsored several public meetings to generate interest and thought on the possibilities.

To further the knowledge base on dotNeighborhoods, Inc. recently contracted with the Urban Development Workshop at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Under the able eye of Prof. Jill Simone Gross, Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, a research team of Jennifer Dong, Barry Kogan, Matt Leiderman, and Melanie Reyes will detail the digital resources that currently exist within several identified neighborhoods and present the potential benefits that .nyc might offer. Entitled “A Case Study - Neighborhoods in a Digital Era” the report will be completed by year’s end.

Filed October 21st, 2009 under Partner, Neighborhoods, City-TLDs, GIS, Education, Civics, Governance