­social-network-graph.jpgAugust 8, 2008, New York - I attended a conference on social networks here in New York City yesterday. Social networks are the latest “can’t miss” technology flooding the Internet world with services such as Facebook, Flicker, MySpace, and Twitter the recent headliners. There are more than a hundred of these companies seeking ways to connect like-mined people. According to Wikipedia:

A social network service focuses on building online communities of people who share interests and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others.

So where does this fit with our mission? Here’s a summary of my presentation during a conference session entitled City-TLDs: Ripe for Social Networking? (Note: The meeting was held at the offices of Sun Microsystems, the “we power the internet” people. No Internet access was available ( ! ) so I had to ditch my planned presentation and wing it.)

By way of background I explained that city-TLDs will arrive in 2010 with their focus on the local. In our case, New York City has 1/10th of 1% of the world’s population living on 400 square miles of the good old earth. And while additional domain names, identity (”made in New York”), and the tourist portals are the obvious features the TLD will offer, the real advantages we hope to achieve will arrive with improved local communication. I backgounded on Connecting.nyc Inc.’s origin at a community board, revealed the sorry state of civic communication, and concluded my intro with, “What would fill the existing local communications gap is what people at this conference call social networks.”

I provided one simple example of a “social network” we here at Connecting.nyc Inc. (CnI) have been considering, the Voter Project. It begins by setting aside domain names for registered voters, e.g., using a name-set such as www.your-name.voter.nyc, and providing residents who choose to participate with tools to better locate one another so as to address opportunities and problems before the community.

At the conclusion I challenged participants to uncover the networking opportunities city-TLD’s will make available using neighborhood names (Astoria.nyc, Bensonhurst.nyc, SoHo.nyc) and issues (e.g., save-the-trees.nyc, help-us-reduce-traffic.nyc) as examples.

As my goal was to get people thinking about city-TLDs as mashable parts for creating social networks, I’d judge by the participants questions and enthusiasm that my presentation should be chalked up as a success. If you’re one of those who sat in on the session, do you agree? (Commons photo courtesy of greenem.)

See more on our social network efforts here.   Learn more about The Campaign on our wiki pages.

Filed August 8th, 2008 under City-TLDs, social network, Civics, Presentation, Education, Governance

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