General-Update-b.pngNovember 23, 2013

Hello All,

First, note that next week’s regular Thursday meeting falls on Thanksgiving and is cancelled. December 5th is our next Open Board Meeting.  (For those of you who’ve not been following closely, our weekly meetings are Google Hangouts.)

Good news arrived in author and activist David Bollier’s post The Silent Giveaway of New York City’s Internet Domain: Will De Blasio  Step Up? summarizing the many commons features of the .nyc TLD and urging Mayor-elect de Blasio to examine the possibilities. Here’s a sample:

It is unclear if Mayor De Blasio cares enough about this issue (or understands its implications sufficiently) to intervene.  Does he understand how this seemingly arcane technical matter will have enormous, far-reaching implications for the future of the city?  Does he and his staff appreciate how the .nyc TLD could be a rich tool for empowering the City’s 352 neighborhoods and helping people around the world to interact more intelligibly with the City’s people and resources?

Then, if you missed it, take a look at our Hope.nyc? post (below). It discusses the status of the .nyc TLD application before ICANN. It’s a somewhat bleak report. But several other recent developments might be of interest and cumulatively are good news (in an algebraic, two minuses equal a plus kind of way.)

  • Ken Hanson, the contractor’s lead employee for .nyc, has departed NeuStar for sunnier grounds. The .NYC Advisory Board heard from Ken at its second meeting. He is temporarily being replaced with his boss, Jeff Neuman. I’ve met Jeff on several occasions and he’s competent fellow. But he runs NeuStar’s Registry Team that is managing 300+ TLD applications - one of which is ours. It would be good if Ken’s replacement was a New Yorker, familiar with the needs of our city. (Maybe there’s a job there for a departing Bloomberger or one of our supporters. Contact Jeff Neuman if interested.)
  • At our second meeting Ken reported on a Collision Report about names that are used multiple times within the DNS (domain name system) and may not be used until cleared via an ICANN review. The report listed 17,539 .nyc domain names. While the vast majority of these are of little consequence, some are important to the effective operation of our city, for example, mayor.nyc, council.nyc, youth.nyc, and restaurants.nyc.
  • Because of the Rights Protection Mechanism - developed to protect the rights of Trademark holders - the city will need an “Approved Launch Program” prior to activating .nyc. This program will need to explain that our use of mayor.nyc is vital to our city’s operation, and that we will not use the domain name to sell cigars (the trademark holder for “mayor” is a cigar company). Same for the Corona neighborhood vs. Corona the beer. And on and on. Perhaps a hackathon and/or some social collaboration software might have a role here. Ideas welcome.
  • But there’s good news too. I’ve met with fellow .NYC Advisory Board member Seth Taylor and we’re working toward a “clean” list of domain names for the 100 or so businesses within the 82nd Street Partnership, the BID where Seth’s serves as Executive Director. We’ll look to address problems such as ineligible characters, e.g., spaces and &, and corporate vs. trade names. We hope to work this pilot list through the .nyc/ICANN review processes and spread the experience to the city’s other 80+ BIDs.

Have a great Thanksgiving and hope to see you at our December 5th Hangout. (Oh yes, and apologies for the Generally lame joke.)

Tom Lowenhaupt, Director

Learn more about the opportunities provided by the .nyc TLD on our wiki pages.

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

­­­New York, January 24, 2009 - How will the arrival of the .nyc TLD change civic communication and the governance structure in New York City? Since 1975 our official “divisioning” has been steady: 1 city, 5 boroughs, 51 council districts, and 59 community districts. To date, the Net has not had an impact. Will it? If so, how and when?

With Connecting.nyc Inc.’s .nyc initiative having evolved from Queens Community Board 3’s 2001 Internet Empowerment Resolution, thinking about the TLD’s role and impact on civic affairs city-by-numbers.0.JPGhas been a constant. Over the past few months, as the probability of the TLDs arrival has grown larger, we’ve begun to focus on the .nyc TLD’s impact on this now 35 year old structure.

Neighborhood domain names have always been seen as valuable civic resources, enabling those amorphous entities to better provide local identify, communication, and broker the effective sharing of local responsibilities and opportunities. We recently created a Traditional Neighborhood Names page to discuss the possibilities and ways we might allocate names such as astoria.nyc, bushwick.nyc, and greenwich-village.nyc, and how we might assure their operation in the interest of local residents.

In early November we submitted an application to the Knight Foundation outlining an entirely new civic structure, something we called Issue-Communities. Using mapping software and social networking tools, Issue-Communities will empower city residents to create narrow communities of interest - “Issue-Communities” - reflecting their concerns. These Issue-Communities can address longstanding local communications deficits and serve as organizing force to focus local concerns.

Recently we began seeing overlaps and parallels in the Traditional Neighborhoods and Issue-Communities projects, and today created a wiki page for thinking through the development of such New Civic Governance Layers. Join us.

Learn more about The Campaign for .nyc on our wiki pages.

­­My-Issue-Communities-Map.JPGNovember 25, 2008, New York - We received a positive response to our grant application to the Knight Foundation as follows:

“We have completed our review of your application to the Knight News Challenge for Issue-Communities. Congratulations! You have been selected to complete a full proposal.”

Over 2,000 submissions were sent to Knight for part of their hefty News Challenge Grant fund. Of those, 275 remain in contention. In previous years Knight issued about 10 grants, so our chances remain slim, particularly as many of the other submissions are quite good.

We’ve created  a wiki page describing the Issue-Communities concept. If you have any thoughts, send them our way. Knight will not be making a decision on this until the summer, giving others the chance to develop the Issue-Communities independently - with our best wishes - or to join us in making it happen.

Regrettably, there won’t be a public comment opportunity at the Knight website for the second round applications where we had hoped for additional comments on the concept. But our enhanced application (better organized, more details, and with answers to several additional questions) is available on our wiki - see our Issue-Communities page. Let us know what you think.

(Revised December 20, 2008.) (Commons photo courtesy of Geoffrey Rockwell.)  

Learn more about The Campaign for .nyc on our wiki pages.

­complaints.JPGNovember 2, 2008, New York - Last night we responded to a Knight Foundation request for proposals on ways to improve community communication. We responded with a proposal entitled Issue-Communities.

We’ve created  a wiki page describing the Issue-Communities concept and invite your thoughts. Should you find it  a reasonable idea, click on that page’s link to the Knight Foundation and indicate your level of approval - from 1 to 5 stars.

2,100 proposals were submitted and the Foundation is relying on user generated reviews - that’s you - to help make the cream rise to the top. An esteemed panel will pick the 50 top proposals which will be asked to detail their idea. But they can’t read all 2,100 submissions. So they need your help.

Our proposal ends with “We are entering an era when a comment such as, ‘I read about this travesty…’ will naturally be followed by ‘And what did you do about?’ With the assortment of tools available to address the issue, a response of ‘nothing’ will be unacceptable. Within an issue-community environment just bitching will become socially unacceptable.” 

There’s a $5,000,000 grant pool to be shared by the winners. See our Issue-Communities page. (Commons photo courtesy of Geoffrey Rockwell.)  

Learn more about The Campaign for .nyc on our wiki pages.

Filed November 3rd, 2008 under Grant Application, Civics, Education

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