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Jackson Hts., New York, December 22, 2011 - With 21 days remaining before the ICANN’s filing window opens for new TLDs, authoritative city government sources report the following: the new deputy mayor with responsibility for the TLD’s oversight (Robert K. Steel) is being briefed about the opportunity; “everyone in the loop” is being consulted; the city has not decided what to do with the three proposals it received in December 2009 (we presume these are by Verisign, CORE, and a now merged Minds & Machines and NuStar application); the lead agency has yet to be determined; and the role of the public in the decision making process is unclear.

With mere days remaining for the application’s submission, we can’t fathom completing the comprehensive, ground-setting TLD design, planning, and development process, including public education and engagement, which we’ve advocated. With faith that the Bloomberg Administration can come up with a suitable zeitgeist vision waning, earlier this year we petitioned the city council to, minimally, set aside the neighborhood names as local civic and economic development resources.

But without a long-term vision and a strong commitment to using the TLD as digital infrastructure, we fear that our city’s TLD, and the neighborhood names, will be lost among the hundreds of helter-skelter TLDs ICANN is expected to authorize over the next few years. In the new TLD environment, a standard model city-TLD might be suitable for selling tourist tchotchkes, but without adequate planning, it will not serve as the infrastructure we need to enhance our digital future. 

Having worked and waited over 10 years for this opportunity to arise, we find ourselves compelled and saddened to make the following recommendation: Let’s begin now to undertake a comprehensive review of all that a TLD can do for our city. Let’s observe cities receiving TLDs in this first round and learn from their experience. And let’s prepare for ICANN’s next filing opportunity for city-TLDs, expected in perhaps three years - barely enough time to prepare a thoughtful and comprehensive plan.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page

isoc-ny-logo.jpg New York, December 6, 2011 - How does a city use a Top Level Domain? That question remains largely unanswered as the April 12 deadline for filing applications for new Top Level Domains, or TLDs, approaches. While ICANN, the global entity with responsibility for issuing TLDs, has initiated a new TLD program, it has not consulted with cities or provided any guidelines on their use. Beyond the (not inconsiderable) contributions of Connecting.nyc Inc., no academic study, funded research, or formal explorations of any sort on the effective and efficient use of city-TLDs have been undertaken.

New York’s Internet Society has stepped forward to help fill the expertise and planning gap by creating the Occupy NY wiki. Working in much the same manner as the popular Wikipedia, the Occupy Wiki presents a venue where the public can present their ideas, ask questions, communicate, and explore how this new digital infrastructure, might help address the multitude of social, political, and economic challenges that face our city on a daily basis. How it can help our small businesses and create a more livable city.

In creating the Occupy NY Wiki, New York’s Internet Society, (ISOC-NY), a chapter of the global Internet Society, has initiated an important step in the traditional bottom-up decision-making process upon which the Internet was built. In offering this resource, ISOC-NY hopes the contributions of New York’s residents and organizations will assist with the submission of an application to the ICANN for a city-TLD in early 2012.

We wonder though how the city can possibly discern the effective use of a TLD in the few days remaining before ICANN’s filing deadline. Having advocated for .nyc’s acquisition for over a decade, some might be shocked when we say: We think it prudent that New York’s Internet community begin now preparing for the next filing opportunity, with ISOC-NY’s Occupy Wiki an appropriate first step. Our broader plans for research and public engagement indicate further steps.

Properly preparing for a city-TLD’s arrival is equivalent to preparing a street grid, zoning plan, or subway line - something that takes years, not days. Our friend Constantine Roussos has invested 5 years and millions of dollars planning the .music TLD, one far less complex and with far less impact than a TLD for the world’s premier city.

But we applaud this initiative and responsible action by ISOC-NY on behalf of its home city. We encourage ISOC-NY to continue to advocate for research into the effective use of this critical Internet resource. Long term, city-TLDs offer a significant business opportunity for the city. With the United Nations in our back yard, as we learn then transfer our experiences globally, they promise to become an important new source of employment, providing good jobs for ISOC members and residents with expertise in a variety of fields.

Finally, we encourage our wiki team to visit the Occupy NY Wiki and do elves-work helping new users. (The isoc-ny logo is courtesy of the Internet Society-NY.)

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page

Commons-first-meeting-in-Atrium-OWS.jpgThe Atrium, 60 Wall Street, New York City, November 28, 2011 - At the first face to face meeting of Occupy Wall Street’s Campaign for the Commons working group, several suggestions were made. Noting that much of the activity of OWS was supportive of various commons - open source, Internet, civic engagement, and the use of public spaces - there was a suggestion that a broader understanding of the role the commons play in our society would benefit all, and that a teach-in might be an appropriate next step

Additionally, I brought up the prospect that “commonly” organized city-TLDs might serve as a goal of Occupy movements world-wide. 

Another meeting was scheduled for Monday, December 5, 2011, 5:30- 7:30 at the Atrium. See the detailed notice here.

About that “commons” sign in the photo, above: Our first attempt to hold a Commons meeting in the Atrium was met with locked doors, perhaps for fear that the November 17 Day of Action might mar the Public-Private facility. When we returned on the 28th, we were met with new rules posted on the wall, one of which was “no signs.” How were people to find us in the massive Atrium? Luckily I’d just started a new “Commons Man” line of clothing :). The first iteration of the clothing line is shown with the Commons logo on the back of my jacket. Hung on the chair, people found our table. (Commons photo courtesy of the Connecting.nyc Inc. library.)

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page

Filed December 3rd, 2011 under Common Pool Resource­­­­, City-TLDs

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