sustainable-dot-nyc-with-daisys.JPG­­ New York, June 27, 2010 - When the .nyc TLD arrives it will provide a seemingly endless set of domain names to draw upon. But while virtually unlimited in number, we’re mostly interested in good domain names - those that are short, descriptive, and me­morable - and those that serve the residents and their city. And the supply of these can diminish very rapidly if consumption oriented domain name distribution policies are adopted.

New York is a young city, founded 400 years ago. We need to take a “city view” of the .nyc TLD, planning for how it will serve the needs of residents 10, 20, and 100 years from now.  ­How do we plan and create policies that will assure that the .nyc TLD serves us for the life of the TLD? Doing so takes us into the realm of sustainability.

The desirability and necessity of creating sustainable cities and a sustainable planet are acknowledged by everyone these days. While we’ve given some thought to the role of a .city TLD in sustaining a city, we now need to think about how we might create a sustainable city TLD. The .com TLD, stretched to the breaking point, provides excellent examples of  “recycling” that enables limited name reuse via pricing (non-renewals), wait lists, auctions, and of course, the magic of the market.  But are these mechanisms adequate for a city view?

Join us as we begin a conversation about developing policies to assure .nyc effectively serves our city for the life of the DNS. (Image courtesy of Patti Lowenhaupt.)

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page

Scylla-and-Charybdis.JPG New York, June 24, 2010 - Within the next few years the Internet is going to change in a fundamental way - it is going to become more intuitive.

This will happen as the ICANN, the entity that issues new Top Level Domains such as .com, .org, and .gov finalizes the application process for new TLDs. There will initially be hundreds and then thousands of New  TLDs, with names such as .bank, .sport, and .news.

So the future holds Chase and Citibank moving from Chase.com and citibank.com to Chase.bank and city.bank. ESPN will move to ESPN.sports and the Wall Street Journal will find advantage in moving to WSJ.news.

With this transition people will come to see the Internet as far more intuitive than today and will begin entering their domain name requests directly. So for example, if you’re looking for a bank you might enter index.bank or directory.bank. Or if you’re looking for news you might try categories.news. And information about baseball might be best found from baseball.sports. It’s going to be a different Internet, one where our dependence of search engines will be diminished.

In addition to the forementioned .sport, .news, and .bank, there will be city TLDs such as .paris, .berlin, .tokyo and our favorite .nyc.

Let’s imagine the .nyc Top Level Domain name is fully functional in 5 years. And people have begun to recognize the benefit of directly entering domain names rather than always relying on Google. And people learn that it’s faster and more direct to enter mayor.nyc, citycouncil.nyc, firedepartment.nyc, and police.nyc.

The .nyc TLD’s name server (a specialized computer) will connect each of these queries to the appropriate website and create an entry in a Query Log. This Query Log will contain valuable information from a marketing, governance, and civic life perspective.

Let me give an example. Imagine in 1985 we had the intuitive Internet as I’ve described above, i.e., baseball.sports, police.nyc… And imagine the residents of Greenpoint, Brooklyn started entering inquiries into their search boxes such as:

  • Holeintree.nyc
  • Spottedbeetles.nyc
  • Dyingtreesingreenpoint.nyc

What happens to these queries? If they’re for an existing website, people will be directly connected to the site. (Let’s skip for the moment the privacy issues associated with that database of successful connections - the basis for the Sylla & Charybdis graphic.)

But imagine it’s a time like 1985 when the Asian Longhorn Beetle had just arrived on our shores. And residents of Greenpoint are entering intuitive inquiries like the above seeking information about the strange developments going on with their trees. And let’s assume that none of these intuitive inquiries had existing websites. What happens to these erroneous queries?

We advocate that this information go to an Error Query Log Database, and be made available to all for inspection. This will enable some clever researcher to begin exploring these entries and initiate a proper response. In 1985 that would have been to inform the Parks Department that something odd was going on with the trees in Greenpoint, and to dispatch an inspector to investigate. In reality, it took 10 years before that happened and America now faces the prospect of 1,200,000,000 trees being lost to the Asian Longhorn Beetle. ­

So what will the Error Query Log show in the future?

We don’t have that crystal ball, but it could be the central location for sensing change in our city, a twitteresque database controlled by the city. As such, we recommended in testimony before the city council Technology Committee on June 19, 2010 considering Intro. 29, OpenData, that the Error Query Log Database be made available to researchers and programmers on a minute by minute or minimally, hourly basis.

Read our testimony and help imagine the development of this twitteresque feature. (Commons image courtesy of Wikimedia.)

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page.

wikineighborhoods-logo-55.JPGNew York, June 19, 2010 - How do you make both historic and current neighborhood information available in New York City? How do you create that information? Who curates and maintains it? These are a few of the questions that will be answered by the WikiNeighborhoods project.

WikiNeighborhoods is a collaboration between Wikimedia New York City, The Internet Society of New York, and Connecting.nyc. It is an extension of our dotNeighborhoods initiative creating content for locally run websites for each of New York City’s neighborhoods. It will test the “wiki model”, as seen in Wikipedia/Wikimedia projects and a growing number of city wiki efforts.

WikiNeighborhoods will collaboratively document New York City’s neighborhoods and provide new avenues of civic cooperation and engagement for city residents. The project will initially develop  resources for 10 neighborhoods, 2 for each of the five boroughs. Project planning is taking place at Wikiversity with initial implementation using a .org domain, e.g., nyc-neighborhoods.org. Finally with .nyc’s activation, the dotNeighborhoods will move to their permanent sites - Astoria.nyc, BrooklynHeights.nyc, GreenwichVillage.nyc, Harlem,nyc. Jackson Heights.nyc, etc.

Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation project devoted to learning resources, learning projects, and research for use in all levels, types, and styles of education from pre-school to university, including professional training and informal learning. It invites teachers, students, and researchers to join in creating open educational resources and collaborative learning communities. 

The Internet Society-NY is the local branch of the global Internet Society, an independent international nonprofit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy around the world.

Develop a dotNeighborhood using the wiki method.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page.

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