Seoul-Thrush-Korean.jpgNew York, November 16, 2009 - The key accomplishment of the ICANN’s Seoul meeting was the approval of the Internationalized Domain Names ccTLD Fast Track application system that will, for the first time, enable non-English speakers across the globe to see Internet addresses completely in their own language - both before and after the dot. Access to the IDN ccTLD Fast Track online application system and all associated materials are now available here.

In the photo at right, Peter Dengate Thrush (left), ICANN Chair, and Inc.’s Thomas Lowenhaupt are shown holding a calligraphic presentation of potential Hangul (Korean) IDNs at the ICANN’s 36th Meeting Gala Event held at the National Museum of Korea on October 27, 2009. The top option says New York, the bottom says New York City. In addition to Korean, New York City can one day present itself in local markets around the world in Arabic, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and other scripts.


(Map from Google. Commons photos courtesy of   hr.icio )

October 10, 2008, New York - As part of our Civic Names Set-Aside effort we came across a potential conflict between the civic and culture sectors. The civic sector is represented by the Rugby neighborhood in Brooklyn’s Community District 17 - the area between Linden, Utica, Ditmas, and Nostrand Avenues. And with cultural sector by the sport of rugby.

How do we decide who gets the domain name, the neighborhood or sport? Is it a scrum that decides, or can we develop sensible guidelines?

This is not an unanticipated development, and we’ve been working with ICANN and other city TLD developers to create guidelines to help make important decisions of this type.  Our Domain Name Allocation Plan presents our thoughts and progress on questions of this sort. And our Resident Advisory Network provides an opportunity to get involved with questions of this type. See the discussion on Rugby vs. Rugby. (Updated 10/10/2008)

Learn about and contribute to The Campaign for .nyc on our wiki pages.

old-vs-new-2.JPG­September 25, 2008, New York - City TLDs are a “potentially” explosive media development. With the ICANN having approved a New gTLD policy this past June, global cities will soon be sporting sexy Internet names - .paris, .berlin, .ven, and my favorite .nyc. And new ideas about the role of the Internet “might” soon show themselves.

But note the troubling “potentially” and “might” earlier in the preceding  paragraph. We run the risk of this new medium being ineffective or appropriated and consolidated by the old, unless we can get lucky - good luck with that - or get organized to support the concept of a community controlled medium. This post is a beginning thought about why little attention is given to city-TLDs as a medium:

  • A Medium? - Most probably don’t imagine it as a medium. While it clearly meets the classic definition of a communications medium - store and transmit information - in its dominant .com form it has been perceived as merely part of a name.
  • Fighting The Last War - Too many of the really smart media critics have become dedicated, life-long, big media busters and are busy fighting the Industrial Media War, re-imagining and re-building its Maginot line.
  • TLDs are Old Hat - SEO-types think TLDs are old hat. SEO comes from Search Engine Optimization, a huge new business that will probably suck up a lot of the discarded brains from Wall Street. They try to figure out how to sell on the net focusing on the role of Google and its dwindling competitors. The SEO types say - “Who cares about TLDs, just use mini-urls.”
  • Doomed To Failure - At ICANN meetings you’ll find many who want to to see the Verisign Empire crushed, and feel any TLD that won’t dislodge the .com TLD from its dominant position is useless and a failure. 

You agree? (Commons photo courtesy of Erica Marshall.)

Learn and contribute to The Campaign for .nyc on our wiki pages.

Filed September 25th, 2008 under City-TLDs, Competition, Media Coverage, Rant, Presentation


August 9, 2008, New York - Several days ago in our “Update” post, I portrayed us as 95% of the way toward creating a landscape that will allow us to apply for the .nyc TLD. Last night I received an email from ICANN entitled “Updates to New gTLD Program Implementation” that leads me to think that last 5% might not be as easy to achieve as I’d expected.

The email linked to a paper prepared by ICANN and its “auction design consultant” and discusses the options for selecting TLD developers in situations where there’s more than one interested party. The paper, Economic Case for Auctions in New gTLDs, written by PowerAuctions LLC, an auction manager, purports to make the economic case for auctions as the preferred tie-breaking mechanism for resolving contention among identical or confusingly similar applications for new TLDs. I use the word “purports” because of the seeming self-interest of an auction company providing an “authoritative” paper on the efficacy of its core business. I’ve contacted ICANN to determine the status of the paper, whether there will be others reviewing such alternatives as comparative analysis and the lottery methodologies. See my Point of Information message to ICANN.

Whatever the status of this “Auctions” paper, this is an enormously important issue to us for two reasons: The first is the impact it might have on our ability to acquire the .nyc TLD. The paper begins with the premise that names should go to those who can generate the most income from their operation - more is better. And when there is a name dispute between Apple Computer, Apple Records, and the Apple Pie Bakers Association for the .apple TLD, perhaps more is better.

But with the basis for cities acquiring TLDs being their capacity to help deal with far deeper needs - including the social, economic and cultural life of the cities and their people - it becomes apparent that the Economic Case for Auctions’ fundamental premise does not apply in all instances. But we’ll withhold judgment until we hear from ICANN on our Point of Information request .

The second reason the issues discussed in the paper are important to us is that we too need to develop conflict solutions. In our case it’s about second level names: Who gets potentially important names such as astoria, finance, news, and sports .nyc?

We’ve placed resources for examining this issue on our Domain Name Allocation Plan page and look forward to hearing from New Yorkers on the issue. This Fall, as part of our Names for a Livable City project, we’ll be visiting the city’s community boards to gain a greater public perspective on this question. You’ll see a post on this here soon. (Commons photo courtesy of vernhart.)

Learn more about The Campaign on our wiki pages.

hotel-de-ville.jpg­June 25, 2008, Paris - When Deputy Mayor Jean-Louis Rissika announced at the Hôtel de ville de Paris (Paris’ City Hall) that the City of Lights was taking steps to reorganize itself for the digital age using the .PARIS TLD (like .com, .org, and .us, but just for Paris), the audience erupted in applause.

Among the 1,000+ participants that jammed themselves into the former bastion of Kings to celebrate the 32nd meeting of the ICANN (the organization that responsible for issuing names like .paris and .nyc) was Tom Lowenhaupt, founding director of CnI. Mr. Lowenhaupt congratulated Sebastien Bachollet, president of Internet Society France and initiator of the .paris effort.

As the celebrants enjoyed the delicious food and magnificent facility, Lowenhaupt continued a discussion with Amadeu Abril i Abril, former ICANN board member and initiator of the .cat TLD (serving the needs of the Catalonian culture), about ways global cities could coordinate the development of their TLDs.

Filed June 26th, 2008 under Competition, .paris
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