NTIA-logo.0.JPGJackson Heights, New York, June 15, 2011 - The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) yesterday published a Further Notice of Inquiry (FNOI) concerning the process ICANN must follow in issuing new TLDs. The relevant paragraph for the .nyc TLD reads: 

Responsibility and Respect for Stakeholders — The Contractor shall, in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders for this function, develop a process for documenting the source of the policies and procedures and how it has applied the relevant policies and procedures, such as RFC 1591, to process requests associated with TLDs. In addition, the Contractor shall act in accordance with the relevant national laws of the jurisdiction which the TLD registry serves. For delegation requests for new generic TLDS (gTLDs), the Contractor shall include documentation to demonstrate how the proposed string has received consensus support from relevant stakeholders [highlights ours] and is supported by the global public interest.

The NTIA is accepting comments on the FNOI until July 29, with the full FNOI and the process and address for submitting comments available here.

Our initial thoughts are that it would be good to further define “relevant stakeholders.” And we will be submitting comments to NTIA by July 29 to add our support for the direction they are headed and to suggest some clarity.

But let’s presume for the moment that the final Statement of Work arising from this NTIA review goes through pretty mush as is. Several questions arise.

Who are the “relevant stakeholders” for the .nyc TLD? Internet users? Small businesses using websites? Small businesses planning to use websites? Residents? Residents using the Internet? Registered voters? Tourists? Former residents? Those who love and wish they lived in New York? The city’s big businesses? Businesses selling products in NYC and with a permanent presence? Big businesses selling products in NYC but without a presence? Wall Street? Civic groups? Community Boards? The city of New York? The city council? The Comptroller? The Public Advocate? The office of the mayor? The governor? The state legislature? The city university? Our private universities? Religious institutions? Charities? The homeless? School children? Future generations? And what of the region: do those living a stone’s throw across the Hudson and working in the city have a say? What about those living across the Hudson or in our reservoir supply region, not working in the city, but strongly influenced by city policies, should they have a say? What about the prospective contractors who will operate the computers that maintain the database of .nyc names, and the prospective retailers of these names? Our experience from attending hundreds or meetings and discussing .nyc with thousands of people over the past 10 years is that all of these have an interest in the development of the .nyc TLD and therefore have a stake in its development and continuation.

This raises another question: Should each group have equal weight in determining the consensus policy? Obviously resident views should have more weight than tourist or wannabe views, but coming up with a fair weighting process will be challenging. The experience of the commons community could be of great assistance here. And the multi-stakeholder model that governs the ICANN and the IGF provide other relevant experience.

Next: Who should determine the relevant .nyc TLD stakeholders and coordinate a review and consensus development? Our vote is the Internet Society, in consultation with the mayor and city council. Yesterday’s INET sponsored by the Internet Society and ISOC-NY attracted the top Federal and City government IT policy leaders, a father of the Internet, Vint Cerf, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web, and 250 others. It was masterfully organized, lived streamed globally, and demonstrated that ISOC knows the issues and has the wherewithal to undertake such a massive review. (Disclosure: our founder is a member of the ISOC-NY’s board of directors.)

Finally, how long will this review take and how is this convening of stakeholders to be financed? Deciding on the review organization(s) and structure, identifying members, securing a budget, preliminary research, on and off line public hearings, report preparation and distribution requires about two years. But no one’s going to snatch .nyc from the New York Community, so the key is to get this right. It’s a matter of careful preparation so that when the application for .nyc reaches ICANN, it details that a thoughtful evaluation process took place, leading to a consensus by all stakeholders. The Internet Society should provide a start up budget for the local chapter. ICANN should view this as model making for city-TLDs, make a financial contribution and assign staff to coordinate with its ongoing activities. The city should make a contribution, as should a foundation with an interest in New York City, perhaps the Sloan or Rockefeller Foundations. Each of the other organized stakeholder groups should kick in something, and a Kickstart should be initiated to facilitate public participation and civic awareness.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Pages

dotNYC-broken-logo.jpg Jackson Heights, New York, June 13, 2011 - At least one ICANN-accredited registrar, United Domains, is offering what it calls “Free nTLD pre-registration” with .nyc domain names included in the offer. So if you go to that offer page and indicate a desired .nyc domain name - news.nyc, sports.nyc, weather.nyc, etc. - you’ll be able to reserve that name within the United Domain’s database, and when .nyc names become available through a completed ICANN application process, the considerable resources of United will assist you in acquiring the entered name. Several thousand names have already been “reserved.” United estimates the availability of “some” top-level domains by October 2012.

While United Domains pre-registration service is free and non-binding, the North American Regional At Large Organization, part of the ICANN governance ecology, is concerned that “the offer of such a service could create artificial demand…” Today it posted a comment for review on its wiki expressing concerns with the process. We concur with those concerns and today added our two cents on that ICANN site as follows:

In the instance of New York City, I can imagine pre-registrations becoming a matter of civic disruption. For example, imagine small businesses predicating their business plans on the availability of .nyc domain names as implied in these pre-registration offers. I start gearing up to offer weather.nyc. And my sister-in-law hears of this new opportunity and “reserves” crochet.nyc. And Andy at Pizza Boy hears us jabbering and says he has a new chain of local pizza shops planned and this would fit in perfectly with his city-wide delivery plan. And on and on into the thousands.

Next the city starts to take a serious look at the social, economic, cultural, and civic impact of .nyc and realizes that such a review will take some time. With cities acting in glacial time rather than Internet time, this could lead to many thousands of disappointed “pre-registrants.”

Now imagine a candidate for mayor, let’s say Anthony Weiner - an advanced Internet user - sees this disgruntled group of pre-registrants as a political resource that can become a plank in his campaign, “Elect me mayor and on the first day in office I’ll sign off on .nyc - NO DELAY!”

With the ICANN having offered zero, zip, nada, guidance for cities looking into this once-in-an-Internet opportunity, I can see this as the winning proposition. “There’s no evidence to show that city TLDs are other than revenue generating.” “Our small businesses need it NOW.” “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” “Other cities are going to get a jump on us.” Etc.

More thoughtful candidates will be left to argue for the benefits of infrastructure. ~ Mayor Weiner.

Thomas Lowenhaupt, Founding Director

Connecting.nyc Inc.

Having presented the broad advantages that can arise from a thoughtfully developed .nyc TLD for over 10 years, we are all too aware of the difficulty of selling .nyc as the city’s new digital infrastructure. (See our 159 wiki chapters.) And with ICANN preparing to approve the Application Guidebook for new TLDs at its Singapore meeting on June 20, immediate action is required.

Unless the city or ICANN act quickly to create a period of reflection and a planning process for .nyc (find our recommendations here), this one opportunity to weave this wonder of modernity to strengthen our 400 year old city will be lost. Our opportunity to create an intuitive city with a sustainable .nyc TLD will be lost. And what could be a force for thought, deliberation and uniting, and for establishing New York as a trustworthy center for digital commerce, as imagined in Queens Community Board 3’s April 2001 Internet Empowerment Resolution, will become a shattered dream.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Pages

Time-Warner-city-officials-Internet-Week-2011.0.jpgNew York, June 8, 2011 - Internet Week brought together top officials guiding the city’s the development of the .nyc TLD at the Time-Warner Center: Carole Post, Commissioner of DoITT, Seth Pincus, President of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, and Rachel Sterne, the city’s Chief Digital Officer. After 45 minutes of presentation, questions were taken, 2 dealing with the .nyc TLD. (See the event’s video here, with the below transcript beginning at 45 minutes into the 50 minute video.)

Question #1 – Hello my name is David Menchome, search marketing consultant for Yodel… A question for Carole. With ICANN set to approve the new TLD process… and assuming success in getting .nyc, can you share specifics on how you plan on leveraging that acquisition.

Carole Post – Like so many things we do this is a joint effort. EDC is a partner with us. We are anxiously awaiting ICANN’s publication of the Application Guidebook. We are ready when they do. We have done an extensive amount of preparation. We feel like we are uniquely positioned to capitalize on the .nyc cachet, and the visibility of New York City.

Seth Pincus - We think there is a huge opportunity to allow locally based companies to brand themselves and associate themselves with New York which helps the companies but also helps New York and promotes New York as a center of creativity, center of innovation, which is really what our long term goal is. Not just make New York the center of innovation but to make sure the world understands that New York is a center of innovation and this is one tool in our tool kit.

Rachel Sterne – Just to add to that also, as has been the process to date it will continue to be a collaborative process where we’re seeking community input, because there’s a lot of interest in something that’s such a huge milestone.

Question #2 – Hi. I’m Tom Lowenhaupt … I hear about collaboration and public input into processes. But it seems that the departments have already made decisions as to how the economic development aspect of the .nyc TLD will be done. But there’s been no public input. The entire process is secret to this point. I’m wondering how you’ll change that so we can all get involved with it? What plans are there to engage the public.

Seth Pincus – I think I would just correct the premise of the question. No decisions have been made. We’ve certainly had discussions as we’ve begun to think about this. But as Rachel mentioned we’re going to be looking to the public to help us as we roll this out. As with everything else we’ve talked about today we know there are a lot of good ideas that are out there, if we were to hear them they would help make it more effective. This will certainly be a collaborative process. As we get further down the road as it becomes clearer to how exactly the process will work we’ll be able to speak more specifically about how we will engage with the public on it.

So it would seem by the comments of our city officials that public engagement in .nyc’s development is assured. We hope such engagement is more transparent as we move forward than it has been to date. (Image from the Connecting.nyc Inc. collection.)  

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Pages

digital-roadmap.jpgJackson Heights, New York, May 31, 2011 - Let me begin by saying that a digital road map is welcome. And, considering the 90 day deadline and staffing support, this Road Map’s author, Rachel Sterne, did an excellent job surveying the communication channels used and available to the city. (See Road Map.)

About the .nyc TLD, the Road Map says:

The City of New York is currently pursuing the introduction of the .nyc top-level domain, a global milestone that will enable innovation and digital services for residents, and economic advantages for businesses. New York City could be one of the world’s first cities to operate its own top-level domain, presenting enormous opportunities. The .nyc domain will be administered by a private vendor (emphasis ours) to be selected by doitt. The City is currently reviewing vendor candidates that responded to the City’s initial Request for Proposals (rfp), (emphasis ours) and plans to submit its application for the .nyc top-level domain when the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (icann) opens the application process. icann’s timeline is expected to be finalized after its official June 21, 2011 meeting, and the City of New York plans to apply when the application period opens. Only the vendor selected by New York City government will have the legal right to administer the .nyc domain. (See Report).

Where the Road Map says .nyc will be “administered by a private vendor” we have problems; but then it refers to “the City’s initial Request for Proposals which left us with some hope, as explained below.

The .nyc domain will be administered by a private vendor”

I can best explain the problem with this statement by relating a chat I had with a fellow city TLD advocate (let’s call him Joe) shortly after the December 2010 ICANN meeting in Cartagena, Colombia. I spotted him dining in an ornate Cuban restaurant and stopped to say hello. Joe spoke a simple sentence that exemplified the broad divide between the traditional DNS industry, which holds great sway at ICANN, and the vision we hold of .nyc as a public interest resource. Our chat focused on the meeting’s progress toward issuing the long sought Application Guidebook that would set the path for cities to apply for their TLDs, and after a bit Joe concluded with:

  • “I can’t wait until they issue the Guidebook so we can start selling names.”

Our answer to the What’s to look forward to when city TLDs arrive question is an ocean apart:

  • “When the .nyc TLD arrives we can more effectively use the Net to address the needs of our city.”

So when the Road Map says that “The .nyc domain will be administered by a private vendor,” without indicating the public interest or public input into the TLD’s design, development, and operation, we see the city taking Joe’s “name sales” approach and chucking the public interest. And with the contractor selection process a secret one, we’ve little reason for optimism about the outcome.

Our contacts with prospective contractors confirmed that they hold the standard “more-names-is-better” industry perspective. With our long involvement and advocacy for a public interest TLDs, we were contacted by a few of the prospective “private vendors” about being a community partner to their .nyc proposals. But when we indicated our commitment to the Internet Empowerment Resolution and our determination to see the public interest served, they lost interest, with one saying “We don’t see a community application being compatible with our sales plan.” 

In short, from what we’ve been able to paste together from talks with city officials and likely vendors, those under consideration are firms such as NeuStar and Verisign that have their expertise and make their money by selling domain names, not building cities.

We advocate for the creation of a policy body that oversees the TLD’s sustainable operation and development as a public interest resource. This policy entity should foster a contract with a “private vendor” to oversee the plan’s technical requirements - not to maximize name sales. (Name sales will be a part of the plan, not its driving force.)

“the city’s initial Request for Proposals”

But we were pleased to see the Road Map refer to an “initial Request for Proposal” as we’ve advocated for a more expansive view of the planning process to include what we’ve nicknamed the CARPA Study, to be followed by ULURP-like public hearings. And in February, in a conversation with the Road Map’s author Rachel Sterne, she indicated she “absolutely hope(s) to engage the public as much as we can” in the review process - see here. We’ve got our fingers crossed.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Pages

Commissioners-Plan-of-1811-map-portion.jpgJackson Hts., New York, March 22, 2011 - Two hundred years ago today the “Commissioners of Streets and Roads” adopted what’s come to be known as the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811. By establishing the basis for Manhattan’s street grid, the Plan served the city well, providing a basis for the city’s safe, organized, and prosperous development. See this great New York Times article for a recounting of the real estate values and transportation and health benefits realized by investing in going through hills and swamps rather than around them.

Today, the .nyc TLD presents us with a decision of similar scope: Do we create a user-friendly city whose resources are available via a variety of intuitive digital pathways? Or do we sell off a key digital resource willy-nilly to satisfy short term interests?

How we resolve the issues surrounding the .nyc TLD’s division and allocation, its integration with traditional systems and resources, how we assure its sustainability (perhaps for generations), and its ongoing governance will determine the city’s capacity to effectively function as a economic and social engine for its residents. As well, our response to these questions will determine our competitive position with other global cities with which we increasingly compete.

Additionally, in deciding on the .nyc TLD’s scope we will be marking our borders. In both the digital and real worlds, strong borders make good neighbors. Should our digital borders be coterminous with existing ones, or do they demand a rethinking to a regional or perhaps a hybrid geovirtual configuration? Only when we’ve established those borders can we can begin to build a governance system within.

Will New York be Ready?

At its recent meeting in San Francisco, ICANN, the entity with primary responsibility for issuing new TLDs, took steps that bode well for the development of its long awaited New TLD Application Guidebook that will enable .nyc’s acquisition. It approved the .xxx TLD thereby unnerving some nation-states, and it confronted ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee, the body representing nation-state interests before ICANN, demanding clarity as to its concerns about the new TLD process. In doing so ICANN expressed its intent not to be subservient to the existing nation-state system. (Indeed, its CEO has expressed a desire to see ICANN recognized as a new nation-state with U.N. membership.) As a result, it now seems that 2012 might see ICANN finalizing its Guidebook and receiving applications for city TLDs. Is New York prepared?

Since the city council tacitly passed oversight to the mayor’s office in February 2009, the administration has taken two steps. In March 2009 it issued a Request for Information, or RFI, seeking ideas on the utility and operation of a city-TLD. It sent the RFI to the Old Boys Network of businesses that made their fortunes by operating organic TLDs such as .com and .org. It didn’t invite the public to imagine the TLDs role in creating a digital city. Not did it invite civic organizations, planning entities, libraries, or our computer science, engineering, and business schools to chime in. Our origin, arising from Queens Community Board 3’s April 2001 Internet Empowerment Resolution, did result in a copy of an RFI coming our way, with our RFI response available here.

Based on the RFI responses, in October 2009 the city issued a Request for Proposals for an entity to assist it with the TLD’s acquisition. In it, the city described the Old Boys Network as the qualified proposers, with their ability to run computers that efficiently sell domain names apparently qualifying them as the city’s architects for a digital era.

Today it is believed that a handful of RFP responses sit at the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication (DoITT). Last month we asked DoITT’s Commissioner Carol Post if the city had made a fundamental decision as to the TLD’s operation: Does the city see .nyc operating as a Standard TLD such as .com and .org, or as a planned, community TLD as we’ve proposed? Or putting the question in 1811 terms: does the city propose going around the hills, gullies, and swamps or through them?  As per Commissioner Post, no decision has been made, but there’s been “much discussion” at DoITT. (See the video of that Q&A here.)

Toward A New Commissioners’ Plan

But DoITT’s decision is being made without any public participation, with city hall apparently ready to forgo the messiness of a democratic discussion. This is understandable as a city TLD is a new issue with little home grown expertise and much misunderstanding ahead. But it we’re to have a world class city-TLD, we’ll need the engagement of all to plan and support its development. 

Councilmember Gale Brewer has advocated modifying the city charter to move oversight of digital resources in line with that of land use, modeled perhaps on the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure or ULURP. We applaud that agenda and note that a TLD, access to a fast and inexpensive Net, and appropriate training are all critical to creating a prosperous and livable city in a digital era. In exploring those Charter enhancements we urge that note be taken of the democratic potentials offered by the Net, including our voters.nyc.

Today’s 200th anniversary of the Commissioners’ Plan offers a propitious moment to begin a multistakeholder exploration by city government, academia, civic organizations, industry, and the public to plan the architecture of our digital city. In early 2009 we had the basis for such an exploration with CUNY and other institutions set to join. But DoITT’s issuance of an RFI convinced those interested that things were moving too fast for reasoned thought. That was two years ago. Each day it becomes clearer that our future will be determined by the availability of critical resources such as domain names, fast and ubiquitous access to the Net, and an aware and trained populace. It’s not too late to begin a thoughtful examination of our digital future. Let’s begin today.

Comment below, email your thoughts to Tom@connectingnyc.org, or help write the study’s charter on our DARPA to CARPA wiki page where we’ve begun to lay out the scope of a reasoned study.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Pages

dotNYC-at-Paley-Center-Carol-Rachel-Seth-with.0.jpgThe Paley Center, New York, February 11, 2011 - Asked by Connecting.nyc Inc.’s Tom Lowenhaupt about progress on selecting the fundamental model for the development of the .nyc TLD - i.e., will the city follow a Standard TLD model like .com or .org, or one that facilitates a sustainable TLD and engages the public in local decision making processes, the Community Model - New York City’s IT Commissioner Carole Post stated that no decision has been made.

Ms. Post’s response was made at an Open Government and The Transformation of New York City’s Digital Environment panel, part of Social Media Week. The panel discussed “the City’s use of social media and technology to better serve its customers and promote economic development.” On the dais with Ms. Post were Seth W. Pinsky, New York City Economic Development Corporation President and Rachel Sterne, New York City Chief Digital Officer.

The panel provided an introduction to Rachel Sterne, the City’s first Chief Digital Officer who assumed the role just three weeks ago. She described her challenge as improving the interface between the public and city government using social media.

With the “no decision” report from Commissioner Post, Mr. Lowenhaupt suggested that Ms. Sterne take the .nyc TLD under her wings and facilitate crowdsourcing and other participative technologies in the analysis and decision making process regarding the design of the city’s new digital infrastructure. The CDO responded “absolutely hope to engage the public as much as we can.” See the Post / Sterne  Q&A video.

Background: On December 23, 2009 the city received responses to its Request for Proposals seeking a firm to assist its acquisition of the .nyc TLD. There was no public participation in scoping the RFP, and there has been no city council hearing or other public engagement in the evaluation and decision making process. (Image from the Connecting.nyc Collection.)

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Pages


New York, May 26, 2010 - On October 3, 2009 the NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) issued a Request for Proposals for “services to obtain, manage, administer, maintain and market the geographic Top Domain name .nyc”.

The New York Chapter of the Internet Society has followed the .nyc TLD acquisition process for several years and on May 8, 2010 hosted a seminar “dot nyc – How are we doing?” The symposium was held at NYU and moderated by Joly MacFie, Secretary of the New York Chapter.

NYC Council Member Gale Brewer delivered the keynote and then took questions. In her opening remarks CM Brewer made several points including the following:

  • There’s a public process at ICANN and there’s a public process, we would like to say, before it goes to ICANN.
  • What we are interested in at the city council is what does the city of New York get out of it. We are desperate for revenue. And we are interested in what public input goes into an ICANN proposal. And certainly we would like to have at the very least a public-private partnership, not just a private.­
  • And the other advantage to doing a public process with a sign off and resolution from the city council is that it makes it a stronger application at ICANN. That makes a huge difference.

After her comments CM Brewer took several questions.

Q. Joly MacFie - ICANN has said that you are going to have to show that you have to show support from the community and this means that you have to have a resolution from the council. Obviously the mayor is the administrator, he’s got to present that to the council.

A. CM Brewer - Absolutely. I think that would be the time to figure out what the city gets out of it. What the public gets out of it.

Q. Joly MacFie - I think before then there should be process. DoITT should say we have a bunch of proposals, they are all very interesting, there are these issues, have a public hearing on those issues, it might be Council Member Garodnick’s Telecommunications committee, and from that make a secondary call for proposals, a second sound of things, before we go ahead.

A. CM Brewer - I would agree, and then you have a second round of criteria. Based on the public input.

Q. Tom Lowenhaupt (Director, Connecting.nyc Inc.) - The ICANN requires a letter of support from the local governing authority. I’ve always thought the city council served that role…

A. CM Brewer - I don’t know the answer to that question. We’ll have to have that researched. This is something that will be extremely controversial if it’s not done with some public input. I think politically, I don’t know about legally, that would count as the city council and the administration. Politically from DoITT’s perspective, this is not something that will affect just the administration. This will have huge impact on business, on nonprofits and everybody in New York. Everyone. So I would assume they would want to have public hearings on it, politically.  It would be crazy to have something go to ICANN without public input. I think they’ll see it that way.

Q. Tom Lowenhaupt - Do you think at this point the Technology Committee is the more appropriate one?

A. CM Brewer - Technology, Small Business, there are a lot of joint hearings at this point, trying to get more participation. At least two committees will have hearings. I will attend all of them. I will write a letter to DoITT after today’s hearing asking for updates and send you all copies, asking for public hearings on whatever committees that need to be part of this. The new commissioner Carol Post comes from the mayor’s office of operations. She’s very open. She understands that it’s very important to get public input. She’s very close to the administration, so she’s not afraid of bucking them.

Q. Joly MacFie - It seems like there is some type of process that if we got a proposal together and brought it to the Community Boards to say we like this idea.

­A. CM Brewer - Yes. I think Community Boards would be very interested in a community .nyc because they want to highlight the businesses in the neighborhood. Absolutely.

After Council Member Brewer concluded the Q&A, Eric Brunner-Williams of CORE Internet Council of Registrars, the only vendor to participate in the day’s events, presented details of CORE’s proposal. 

Finally, there was a discussion “What’s it for?” about possible applications – civic, community, commercial, and “outside the box” for a city-TLD. Speakers included Tom Lowenhaupt of Connecting.nyc Inc. (CNI) and Richard Knipel of Wikimedia NYC.

Lowenhaupt spoke of his long involvement with .nyc leading to the creation of Connecting.nyc in 2006. He presented his vision of governance for the TLD based on the model of the city’s cable TV public access channels, and described two recent efforts: The Flushing Community and dotNeighborhoods that point the way toward .nyc operating as a community TLD. After describing the dotNeighborhoods project, he introduced Richard Knipel who described a research project Wikimedia NYC will be undertaking in support of dotNeighborhoods this summer.

For more on the Symposium, including a video and stills, see this Internet Society page.

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


air-pollution.JPGNew York, December 1, 2009 - How we allocate and manage our digital infrastructure is perhaps the central question surrounding the development of the .nyc TLD. What is an effective, efficient, and equitable domain name distribution policy and how do we govern its implementation and oversight?

Our Governance Ecology page provides a number of thoughts on this and today we add two others - common pool resource and common pool regimes.   

Elinor Ostrom, an American political scientist and winner of the 2009 Noble Prize for economics, identifies eight “design principles” of stable local ­common pool resource (CPR) management. Typical common-pool resources include irrigation systems, fishing grounds, pastures, forests, water, and the atmosphere. A first reading of her work indicates many similarities between these resources and a TLD. What can we learn from these, her 8 principles?

  • Clea­rly defined boundaries (effective exclusion of external unentitled parties);
  • ­Rules regarding the appropriation and provision of common resources are adapted to local conditions;
  • Collective-choice arrangements allow most resource appropriators to participate in the decision-making process;
  • Effective monitoring by monitors who are part of or accountable to the appropriators;
  • There is a scale of graduated sanctions for resource appropriators who violate community rules;
  • Mechanisms of conflict resolution are cheap and of easy access;
  • The self-determination of the community is recognized by higher-level authorities;
  • In the case of larger common-pool resources: organization in the form of multiple layers of nested enterprises, with small local CPRs at the base level.­

­See our ­common pool resources wiki page for more on this “experience of the ages” addition to our governance considerations. (­Commons photo courtesy Sheila.)

Learn about .nyc on our wiki pages.


ICANN-Seoul.1.JPG­Seoul, October 27­, 2009 - I awoke with the birdies today and took a run along the Cheonggyecheon, a stream that flows between the Eastgate and the Lotte. It was a delight. Yesterday I was reading in the Korean Times that the mayor of Seoul indicated he was going to run for another term and had promised to stay in office for the full 5 years. He said he wanted to do for the Han, the city’s main river,  what the previous mayor did for the Cheonggyecheon. The writer noted that the previous mayor had ridden that accomplishment to the nation’s presidency.

Seoul is just an amazing physical city. And the people are about 2/3 the width of Americans, i.e., I haven’t seen an obese person yet. My only negative observation is about the quality of the air, nothing you can smell, perhaps it’s smog, but it’s difficult to see the nearby mountains.­

As to ICANN meeting…  It was more doom and gloom for the timely issuance of TLDs. The first post AoC meeting of the GAC and the ALAC brought to mind one of the early ICANN meeting I’d attended remotely in the late 1990’s, in that every possible problem that might arise with the issuance of of additional TLDs was raised, largely by the ALAC. Some constructive thoughts were added by GAC participants but overall those looking for rapid issuance of a gTLD would have come away saddened. But there was much talk of specific categories of TLDs that might warrant rapid processing, city and cultural. However, even there some of the old, seemingly resolved issues, such as user confusion and TLD failure, were raised anew.

Perhaps an aside, but then again maybe the central point, yesterday the Committee for Open Fashion NYC issued a statement that the fashion.nyc domain name “should present a complete and unbiased directory of the city’s fashion industry.” More on this soon.  

And then there was the Gala Event - the food, the museum, and the entertainment were fantastic. One of my favorite remembrances was a calligraphic rendering of “New York” and “NYC” in Korean. You’ll be amused. It will be the subject of a separate post. And making the Gala more gala, we learned that DoITT had extended the deadline for filing the .nyc RFP to December 7.

My view of Seoul as a perfect society was tainted somewhat when I entered the Metro last night to return from the Lotte to the Eastgate: dozens of homeless were setting up their boxes for a good night’s sleep. It was quite open and obviously “overlooked” by the Metro operators. Then again, this might be a more humane way of handling the homeless problem than the way we do it back in New York City. [Post 7:14 AM on the 28th - Seoul.]


ICANN-Seoul.1.JPG­Seoul, October 26, 2009 - While I’m a bit tired now, at 7:11 PM, I suspect it’s due to the busy day I had rather than to the 13 hour time shift. I awoke at 8 this morning after a decent night’s sleep, so I guess I’m “adjusted.” First thing I needed to do was change hotels. The new one, Eastgate Tower, is closer to the conference hotel - about 1.5 miles - and spanking new. It’s a bit odd though, and I suspect that it’s a hybrid hotel /condo of some sort. 

The walk to the Lotte from Eastgate was quite interesting as it passed through a light industrial / shopping area. Small shops lined the street with different classes of products - several lighting shops, then hardware stores, a slew of tape stores (the sticky kind), then it was the wall paper district… Many of the stores were also making the products they sold, or at least modifying them. Saws and hammers were seek regularly. This contrasted with New York City where little is manufactured and what is is rarely within view of the public.But I didn’t notice any foul odors or obvious signs of pollution.

I arrived at the ICANN conference at 11:30 and started talking to the trickle that was exiting the New TLD Program Overview session: sad faces all around - more delays - not even proposed submission dates - disbelief - too many loose ends… It seems the Draft Application Guide 3 is hardly worth reading.

But there was hope for .nyc being processed by ICANN within a reasonable time period. This was embodied in the “Airport Scenario,” proposed by Bertrand de La Chapelle, the French GAC representative, ans “Step by Step,” as the folks from CORE are calling the concept of facilitating a path for less controversial TLDs to proceed sooner. The cultural entities and cities are within this “easier to process” group. 

I also sat in on the debate on Registrar-Registry separation. Seemed like a no-brainer: keep the roles separate.

This evening I’m having dinner with representatives from Bangkok who are interested in the BKK TLD (an airport code). More later..

Filed October 26th, 2009 under City-TLDs, City Council, Domain Names, DoITT, ICANN, City Agency
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