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Jackson Hts., New York, June 30, 2011 - I split my out-of-office advocacy efforts for .nyc between civic and tech events. Generally I receive a positive reception at civic oriented meetings and a “why bother” at tech events. Last night it was an East Village Tech meetup at d.b.a., a beer garden at 41 1st Avenue. It was a loud space with about 10 picnic style tables with our group of perhaps 25 occupying three of them.

I went to test the salience of the “secrecy story” as a recruitment tool: that is, that inadequate transparency on .nyc’s development precludes sufficient public engagement and endangers the resource’s optimization. Or more viscerally, will residents become enraged upon learning that the .nyc TLD is being divvied up behind closed doors at City Hall?

The first fellow I spoke with was student working for a firm that had just made a bundle selling Tweet Deck, a Twitter add-on. His listened attentively but as I answered a question from another 20ish fellow next to me, moved to another table, either not having understood me or not interested. That second fellow worked for a tech advertising firm. He told me that he’d not entered a domain name in three years and doubted their value, (typical of those under 30). With the event being a geographic East Village tech meeting, I tried drawing upon his civic pride, “Wouldn’t you want to have a role in managing the EastVillage.nyc domain?” He responded with confidence that only corporations could guide the development of a successful digital product. I was about to mention our dotNeighborhood governance approach, the success of Wikipedia and open source when he asked the fellow across the table what he thought, presenting the secrecy aspect with cogency. That fellow responded that corporations are going to get what they want anyhow, so why bother to even try. My neighbor nodded his acquiescence, and so went the evening. 

On a more positive note, I conversed with someone frustrated with the banking system who wanted to create a collaborative financial guidance tool, perhaps a wiki. I thought this was a great idea and agreed to make a connection with the Wikimedia folks. And finally, d.b.a. had a great Brooklyn East India Pale Ale which made the evening a joy. (Ice Cream photo courtesy of Free Photo.)

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Pages

tern-the-bird.png New York, September 2, 2010 - As the school year opens in this part of the world, my thoughts turn to the returning students, and I dream of reaching those few who might collaborate on our work.

If time allowed, I’d trek up to Columbia University and see if I could recruit a student in the School of International and Public Affairs to look into the impact of city-TLDs on commerce and governance, starting with lessons from the Greek city-states and Hanseatic League. (There’s a PhD thesis in there.)

And I should really head over to Hunter College and see if I can get the Graduate School of Urban Affairs to do a follow-up on the great dotNeighborhoods report they did last year. Or get to NYU’s ITP for someone to imagine the role of a TLD in a location based world (or redo our web presence).

Or perhaps I could send a posting to London to have a student at the School of Economics check my fantasy of a trusted TLD making .nyc a preferred shopping space on the net. Or of the role of a city-TLD as a common pool resource

Locally, I really must get to the local schools and have them begin putting OpenStreetMap.org projects on their agenda, data that will fit nicely on NYCwiki.org

But it’s 95 degrees (35 Celsius) here in NYC and I’m closing shop for the day. A final note: we are very receptive to student proposals of an independent nature.  See ((Intern Opportunities)) for current openings. (CRESTED TERN courtesy of Wikipedia.)

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intrepid-intern.bmpJackson Hs., New York - Ready to help rethink the Internet as a civic tool to create a better New York City for its residents and organizations?

As the new semester approaches, we invite those with a feel for the future, the ability to imagine a better city, and capable of working with a good deal of independence to join our campaign to acquire and develop the .nyc TLD.

A few of the areas where we can use help are governance (TLD oversight, not-for-profit board structuring ), marketing (strategic plan, materials design), media creation ( web design, video, database, newsletter), law (Internet, NYS, NTIA, contracts, domain name allocation plan, dispute resolution policy), finance, community organizing, and network design. Send indications of interest to Thomas Lowenhaupt. (Creative Commons picture courtesy of Jeff Lerner.)

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Filed December 17th, 2007 under Interns, Volunteers, Education

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New York - On Friday, November 30, 2007 Connecting.nyc Inc.’s founder Thomas Lowenhaupt returned to his alma mater, NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, to present the case for the .nyc TLD.

He first reviewed the basics of city governance and top level domains (TLDs) then detailed the negative impacts that have resulted from cities having been omitted from the Internet’s domain name system (DNS).

After reviewing the “easy” ways a .nyc TLD could favorably impact the city - good names, a directory, and a more intuitive city - he discussed the economic and quality of life improvements that can be achieved using community networking tools. He invited the audience to imagine a more connected city, where local opportunities and concerns are identified, solutions considered, decisions made, and solutions implemented using networking features offered within a .nyc TLD.

He urged everyone to explore these opportunities in the project wiki’s Development and Identity sections, and invited volunteers or interns to join and support the Campaign for .nyc.

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Filed December 3rd, 2007 under ITP, Interns, Volunteers, Presentation

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