• The .NYC Advisory Board Meeting #1 - May 2, 2013

last modified March 27, 2014 by tomlowenhaupt

A report on the May 2, 2013 meeting of the .NYC Community Advisory Board is presented here.


Board Responsibilities

The Board's role includes:

"Meet four times per year and communicate through email to exchange ideas. Board members are to serve for a one-year term and will work on the following responsibilities:

        • Quarterly Board Meetings

        • Provide feedback on the development of .nyc including strategies for using, delegating and marketing the top level domain

        • Discuss future uses of the domain including public utilities, smart city ideas and future planning uses such as email addresses for residents

        • Act as a community ambassador  to provide updates to your constituency or sector, and relay feedback to the group

        • Provide input into policy and content for community.nyc" 

Beyond these fundamentals, the founding documents provide that the board's scope is to be decided by its members.

Board Members

    The .NYC Governance Structure

    The following stakeholders are involved with the .nyc TLD. How do they relate and how do the Advisory Board's findings influence the TLD's development?

    • Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) - The city's contract administrator.
    • Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) - Through the Chief Digital Officer, facilitates government and public input to refining the contract.
    • NeuStar Inc. - Holds 5 year contract to operate and market .nyc TLD.
    • .NYC Advisory Board - See responsibilities above.
    • Connecting.nyc Inc. - In its role as an At-Large Structure, connects city residents and organizations with ICANN processes.
    • ICANN - Provides technical oversight of the .nyc registry.
    • Public - Expresses its desires through the above entities and their elected representatives.


      Initial Inquiries

      Prior to the meeting board members were asked for questions they would like to see addressed. We provided the following. Some were partially addressed during the meeting. Most remain to be addressed.

      Global Competitiveness

      • The Internet is the dominant enabling force of our time. How well our city utilizes this technology might well determine the quality of life for residents and its competitive place among global cities in the coming decade. How are we ensuring that .nyc maximizes benefits for our city as compared to other TLD cities? That is, how is .nyc better than .berlin, .paris, .barcelona, etc? (See TLD Cities map.)
      • How are we ensuring that .nyc is a sustainable TLD? That good names are reused and not hoarded? That they are available for our children and their children? (See sustainable.nyc.)
      • What processes are being implemented to tie city operations into the TLD? For example, assuring that domain names such as John-and-MaryDoe.marriage.license.nyc and  QueensPower.electric.license.nyc are made available.
      • Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid are following an allocation plan called Namespace Mandates. Does New York have something equivalent?
      • The fundamental question as to which TLD to apply for - .nyc or .newyork - was settled with .nyc TLD chosen. Has thought been given to applying for both as is being done in Barcelona?


      • What is the process by which reserved names are identified, selected, and allocated: police.nyc, mayor.nyc, TimesSquare.nyc, etc.? (See city’s initial list at sidebar here.)
      • What is the process by which premium names are selected and allocated: news.nyc, sports.nyc, search.nyc, hotels.nyc, etc.? What civic responsibilities come with the names, e.g., must sports.nyc present links to the city’s high school and college sports? Can News.nyc be just a global news report? Can hotels.nyc only report on Hilton hotels? Is wealth the sole factor in qualifying for a premium name?
      • The standard TLD metric is number of domain names sold. That is, the greater the number of domain names sold, the more profitable the endeavor and successful the TLD. What metric is appropriate for a city-TLD? We've opined that economic development and quality of life measures provide the appropriate metric.

      Economic Development

        • What plans are afoot to create TLD related jobs in the city - for registrars, for registries, etc?
        • What plans are there to encourage the offering of inexpensive third level domain names (e.g. see RedHook.nyc ) to civic groups, students, small businesses, etc.?
        • Can revenue generated by the .nyc TLD be dedicated for digital education, civic development, and divide issues rather than being put into the general fund?
        • Will an anonymized access to the DNS Data Log be provided to developers as open data?
        • What opportunities does leasing present?

        Name Allocation

        • How are existing entities going to select their “equivalent” domain names - thus Bob&Mary’sBoutique.nyc does not work with the DNS (the “&” and “ ‘ “ characters are not allowed)? Will they be provided with an opportunity to select a resolvable name, e.g., BobandMarysBoutique.nyc?
        • How are  sensitive issues of community concern to be addressed: sex.nyc, nigg*r.nyc, childporn.nyc, f*ck.nyc, etc.? As a government controlled resource, are there first amendment implications? Can insensitive names be escrowed?
        • What processes are being followed to assure that civic, institutional, and small business entities are appraised of the opportunity to select their domain names and have suitable time to respond? (See launch schedule timeline.)

        TLD Governance

        • What outreach channels are being made available for the .NYC Advisory Board to connect with the public? Digital and otherwise?
        • What is the long term plan for governance of the TLD? The .NYC Advisory Board membership is for one year, what’s next?
        • What is the relationship of the .NYC Advisory Board with the contractor, DoITT and other TLD related entities?
        • Where does the TLD fit within the planning of the Roadmap?
        • What is the governance structure and process within which the .NYC Advisory Board operates? (See preliminary thoughts in Organization Structure sidebar.) 





        The meeting began at 10 AM in City Hall's Brooklyn Room. The below report was prepared from the notes of Thomas Lowenhaupt, a member of the .NYC Advisory Board.

        Meeting Report

        • Introductions - Member introductions were brief (see Board Members sidebar). Others in attendance were Rachel Haot, the city's Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Christina Cioffe, an associate, Nick Sbordone, public affairs director for the city's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, and Jack Goldman public affairs for the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment.

        • Overview of .NYC Advisory Board Responsibilities - The board's responsibilities (see sidebar) were reviewed by Ms. Haot. She indicated that civic enhancement was dominant force for .nyc with revenue from the TLD a mere "drop in the bucket" for the city. She noted that the Advisory Board would be looked to for content of the community.nyc site, and that this was a conceptual domain name for the city's public facing "community" site.

        • Timeline Review - As Ms. Haot described the potential timeline associated with the proposed launch schedule, a number clarifications were offered and questions raised by board members. Some were answered immediately, others will be researched.

          • In discussing the status of the reserved names list - names that would be set aside for use by city agencies, e.g., policerecruits.nyc - the following questions and suggestions were made:
            • city agency names - All city agencies had been contacted with 4,000+ domain names reserved for city agency use at this point. The preliminary list will be shared with the board.
            • zip codes - A member asked if all possible zip codes were being reserved, noting that the Williamsburg neighborhood was recently issued an additional code. Ms. Haot indicated the possible zip codes name-set will be checked with adjustments made as appropriate.
            • political subdivisions - It was suggested that names of all political subdivisions be reserved, not just city districts.
            • data mining of 311 - It was suggest that the 311 database be examined for common "needs terminology" from which we might identify domain names in need of special attention, e.g., noisecomplaints.nyc.
            • exact matches - The Phase 1 Launch of the timeline states that "exact match" will be required for domain names. A member noted that a not-for-profit he was affiliated with had 52 characters in its official name - not a good domain name (a good name is typically described as short, descriptive, and memorable). He asked if that organization would be allowed to select a good name, perhaps an abbreviated version. Rachel noted that similar problems arise with BIDS and she expected that they will be able to select good domain names.
            • exact matches - A board member noted that entities with ampersand (e.g., B&HPhoto) and some other characters would not resolve in the DNS. He asked how entities with names of that type would be handled. He suggested that a process be established to enable reasonable substitutions.
            • geographic domains - Members discussed the expected allocation of Borough names and those of neighborhoods. Borough names will be reserved and neighborhood names - at this time - will not.
            • geographic domains - Members also discussed out-of-city geographic domain names such as hoboken.nyc and stanford.nyc. As currently imagined these names will become available during Launch Phase 2b, The Landrush, and be available to the interested party with the fastest fingers. Jeff Ferzoco suggested that an name such as stanford.nyc might play a role in facilitating communication between the two cities.
            • transportation - Questions were asked about transportation names: bus routes, schedules, terminals, stations, and the like. Rachel will reach out to the MTA and Port Authority to assure that these have been included.
            • difficult names - Other than the "seven dirty words" these is little control the city has to limit name allocation. DoITT's Sbordone noted that the need for free speech rights becomes apparent when one considers political names, e.g., the mayorsucks.nyc. But names of office holders and seekers will be the responsibility of the relevant parties.
            • economic development - Plans for encouraging the development of Internet resources in the city was raised, e.g., local registrars. Today most registration money flows out of the city, to the likes of Godaddy. A member asked "Wouldn't it good if small web shops and law firms could offer their customers domain name services?" 
            • Made In New York - Rachel noted that companies registered with Made in New York will be provided with Phase 1 launch access to domain names. There is no fee for registering with the program and it is not limited to technology firms.
          • A copy of the Digital Roadmap was distributed and mention made of a planned revision that is to include information on .nyc. The timing and path for that revision was not discussed.
          • Rachel Noted that "For now" the city is not considering moving nyc.gov to the .nyc TLD, presumably as gov.nyc.
          • Co-inventing the Wheel - Thomas Lowenhaupt noted that 37 other cities around the world (see map) are or might be engaged in an analysis similar to that of the .NYC Advisory Board, i.e., how best to develop their city TLDs. He suggested that a shared platform for sharing planning, standardization, and best practices would prove beneficial. All agreed that we should reach out to other TLD cities to see how they were approaching the task. Thomas suggested that Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris might offer the best design models and Rachel agreed to do an outreach effort. (Note: The ICANN is developing metrics on evaluating TLDs and Connecting.nyc Inc. is collaborating on developing a set of metrics for measuring the success of TLDs.) See Questions for City-TLD Overseers for questions that might be addressed to the co-inventor cities.
          • mydotnyc.com - A public facing informational website was recently activated by the contractor, NeuStar, to provide detail about the TLD's launch. It was suggested by Ms. Haot that this might be one sight where the Advisory Board can communicate with the public.
        • Follow Up - Additional activities suggested prior to or at the meeting:
          • Board member Esther Dyson expressed her hope that another meeting would be scheduled soon.
          • A briefing by the contractor, NeuStar Inc. is to be arranged. 
          • Contact will be made with other cities developing their TLDs.
          • The next regular quarterly meeting of the board should be about August 2.

        The Board Lives

        Notice of the board's formation was published on the city's website and initial meeting noted on the CDO's Twitter site.

        Further Activities

        (See here for an update on Further Activities.)

        The introductions, background report, and a bevy of questions from board members left little time in the hour for planning the board's communications strategy. The following presents some channels that might aide board members in communicating with one another and reaching city residents and organizations.

        • Communication Channels for the .NYC Advisory Board

          These and other channels might be used for actions such as:

            • Public Hearings
            • on speculative uses of domain names
            • leasing vs selling
          • Crowdcrafting - To engage public in decision making process. See draft project.
          • Member To Member - To plan and undertake its activities the board must open communication channels between members. Email has already been used. A repository of some sort, a wiki or google doc or community page might also assist.
          • Outreach Channels - To reach the general public about the opportunities presented by the .NYC TLD the board might best benefit by using these channels.
              • Public Access Channels - Each of the 5 boroughs has public access cable channels.
              • NY Tech Meetup - 30,000+ members,
              • New York Technology Council 
              • Public Hearings 
              • BigApps
              • City Digital Channels
            • Feedback
              • Blog
              • Wiki - Should we use a city resource (Rachel mentioned a city wiki) or open our own?
              • Twitter - Use the #dotNYC or start another?
              • Facebook
              • Google+ 
              • City digital Channels 
            • Decision Aids

          Background Documents

          Documents discussed during the meeting that will be forwarded to board members:

          • Reserved names list
          • Premium names list

                Evening Tea & City-TLDs

                At 5 PM on May 2, Connecting.nyc organized a Google Hangout to facilitate greater awareness of the meeting. The participants were Thomas Lowenhaupt, Robbert Pollard, David Anderson, Eric Brunner-Williams. See the Hangout.

                Among the points made were the following:

                • It would be good to create some competition to get a name on the reserved list. 
                • Where do the candidates for mayor stand on the Digital Road Map? (Robert)
                • The advantage that having a .nyc name will provide to being found on search engines. (Tom)
                • Name registration needs to be tied into a social process. Facebook began this way. Start with city infrastructure, neighborhoods, local businesses, and build out. (David) @40 minutes
                • If the TLD is to reflect the living city we must find ways to bring all organizations into the fold, whether they are formal or not, e.g., Making Worlds exists but not in any formal capacity. 
                • As New York is the Big Apple, what of the apple.nyc name? Perhaps a public referendum. (David @52)
                • Have a referendum on Corona.nyc (Tom @53)
                • Discussion on Digital Roadmap and public engagement. (Robert @55)
                • Non-exact name matches must be addressed (Tom @57)
                • Internet Governance Forum (IGF) for Cities (Tom @58)
                • Eric joined hangout @59. Eric wrote CORE's application for .nyc. Formerly CORE's CTO.
                • 3 kinds of city-TLD applications, and all but one are short term revenue maximizing - cyber squatters and domainers as significant sources of revenue. (Eric @1:05)
                • Need to protect brand by thoughtful development of TLD. A broadcast network-like structure amongst cities was a proposed idea. League of Cities is important to engage with. (Eric @107)
                • Local licensing authorities will be the target of domainers and cyber squatters in all cities. These are naming rights beyond trademarks. (Eric @1:09)
                • Conventions on what to name fire depart or where in namespace to fit museums and co-op housing as co-ops or housing, can be shared by cities.  
                • There is no economic incentive for NeuStar to modify its registration software to meet our policy requirements. A $6 registration is not enough to assure good policy and its enforcement. (Eric @1:13)
                • Registrars can be on every corner - accountants, lawyers - and handle our local needs.
                • Create more sunrise phases, with higher revenue per name for extant businesses. (Eric @1:22)
                • On swaying contractor toward long term support of city operations. (Eric @1:23)
                • 12 steps for making TLDs central to everyday existence in city proposal. (Eric @1:24)
                • City proposal evolved from work on Africa registry proposal - keeping revenue local. (Eric @1:27)

                  Related Pages

                  Key .nyc Links