apple-and-orange.jpgJackson Hts., New York, September 14, 2012 - With the 2013 election for mayor and city council 14 months away, civic watchdogs have started identifying issues that will help voters decide those candidate names worth a click (e.g.).

To date the .nyc TLD has been viewed as arcane, complex, and difficult to grasp, with benefits that could be achieved by other means. But with 38 other cities having submitted TLD application this past June, and the probability that all global cities will acquire their TLDs in the coming years, it’s becoming increasingly clear that New York no longer competes with Jersey City and Stanford; and that in a global marketplace, and in a digital age, how we use our TLD could be a defining factor in our city’s future. 

So here we offer 10 reasons the .nyc Top Level Domain’s development should be a factor in making those 2013 election clicks. The first several contrast effective and weak uses of city TLDs, making clear .nyc’s importance in enabling New York to remain a leading global city. So…

  • imagine .Paris optimizes its premier domain names, for example, creating a that guides visitors to that city’s fashion sector. And that New York City sells to the highest bidder, say Macy’s. Which city has the Fashion advantage? Or,
  • imagine visiting .Istanbul and entering english.Istambul and finding a curated guide to everything you need. And that takes you to a hookah in Astoria. Which is a more visitor friendly city? Next,
  • imagine .Paris issues domain names for city street to entities that are required to provide several layers of information. So for example, when someone enters Champs-Elysees into a search engine, or directly type in, a page with a map linked to retail and other establishments on that boulevard is presented. And that in New York remains undeveloped with a message saying “Want to buy this page?” And,
  • imagine .Milano institutes a thorough Internet of Things protocol, giving a domain name to every place and object in the city (in addition to people, ideas, and organizations). And that the resulting digital infrastructure provide operational efficiencies for city government; and they enable programmers to use these digital shortcuts for new media ventures. So imagine a developer dragging all the parking.milano domain names into an app that facilitates shopping. But that New York has sold off its library of “directory names” without civic content and accessibility responsibilities. Then,
  • imagine as a curated collaborative resource that provides residents and visitors with accurate and timely information about that city. And that is owned by Microsoft and subject to the competitive forces of the search market. Finally,
  • imagine that 20 years down the road we’ve run out of good .nyc domain names - those that are short, descriptive, and memorable. That pricing policy dictating minimal annual renewal fees encourages the inefficient use of these limited resources. But that .Amsterdam has high renewal fees dedicated to Net education; that these higher fees encourage resource optimization, with a turnover in names that empowers future generations, and thereby creating a sustainable .Amsterdam TLD. Woe be to us.

And beyond these global considerations, a thoughtfully planned and equitably developed TLD will impact residents’ quality of life.

  • Imagine that neighborhood domain names are allocated under terms that require that they be used to serve the residents of their respective neighborhoods. Assuring that the address serves the civic, resident, and business needs of that neighborhood’s 55,000 residents, rather than those of the global beer conglomerate.
  • Imagine as as place where money doesn’t matter. Where candidates for public office present their case for office, robust discussion takes place, and our city’s Netizens vote candidate ideas up or down.
  • Imagine a regional city unencumbered by today’s plethora of governance structures - 800 within the 90 mile radius of the Empire State Building - simplifying and reducing institutional barriers to business and the cost of government.
  • Finally,  when dog owners are issued their domain name along with their dog license, New York City will have disproved the adage “no one knows you’re a dog on the Internet,” optimized the .nyc TLD, and secured our transition into a digital era.  :)

So if we’re talking about our city’s competitive position amongst global cities, and a digital infrastructure capable of providing an increasingly livable city, how we develop our TLD is an important issue for the 2013 election. And candidates for office should declare  their vision for the .nyc TLD in name allocation, pricing, governance, and access. (Creative Commons image courtesy of

Filed September 17th, 2012 under Infrastructure, Internet of Things, City-TLDs, Sustainable Cities

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