news-sports-weather-nyc-c.jpgJackson Hts., New York, January 1, 2011 - This first post of 2011 proposes a process for distributing key .nyc names such as news.nyc, weather.nyc, and sports.nyc. But for insight into the experience behind the suggested process, let me tell a story about how a neighborhood school got built.

In June 1992 I was part of a civic campaign advocating that a new school be built in our neighborhood. There was a clear path to success: our schools were massively overcrowded, a local teacher cohort had developed an innovative curriculum for a new school, and best of all, the city had created a fund for new innovative schools.

But the neighborhood was completely built, without a single vacant parcel of land. And when the teacher cohort began looking outside the neighborhood for a school venue, parents became frantic. Desperate, local parents focused on a seemingly underutilized department store in the center of the neighborhood’s commercial strip. But soon after advancing the venue we learned that the owner had refused an offer from the Board of Education.

To advance our cause, a group of parents met with the building owner to inform him of the many benefits the school would provide for both he and the neighborhood and to ask his support. We detailed the advantages of improved education, how it would increase the value of his nearby properties, and even how we’d advocate having the school named in his honor. But after listening politely Carlo became agitated, and after a deep breadth told us how the Board of Education had the temerity to offer him a measly $6 a square foot for his prime space. He was obviously insulted by the offer and stated that he would “not take a nickel less than $9.”

Thereafter we rallied the parents, pressured our elected representatives, and generally raised cane demanding that the city up its offer, condemn the property, do whatever it took to acquire the site. With the neighborhood in the dark as to the occasionally rumored “privileged negotiation,” a poisoned situation arose that had the neighborhood, in effect, working on behalf of the landlord, to the detriment of our school budget.

After a year an a half of rabble rousing the deal was sealed - for $21 a square foot! And two years later the Renaissance School opened to spectacular results. Today we have a wonderful school and a very happy landlord.

There are lessons from this experience that can be applied to the allocation of Primary Intuitive Names such as news.nyc, weather.nyc, and sports.nyc. Before detailing them, let me present a few axioms about them: 

  • Primary Intuitive Names have no obvious owner. Everyone would like to own them, but there are no actionable links for anyone. Perhaps they might be considered part of a common pool.
  • Primary Intuitive Names  are vital to the success of the .nyc TLD. They are the TLDs book covers, domain names people will visit first for a sample or preview. (Standard Portal Names and Navigation Names are also vital resources, but subjects for later posts.)
  • Primary Intuitive Names must be operational and provide a slick and effective information backbone from day one (Shift Day). If those entering a domain name such as news.nyc receive an advert or stale news, they will develop a negative view of the entire .nyc TLD.

Given these, how are we to allocate Primary Intuitive Names?

We can’t risk a simplistic high bid auction that might enable a speculator to acquire the name for resale a few years hence. Or put it into the hands of someone seeking to protect a competitive domain. And given the prospect that, thoughtfully developed, several Primary Intuitive Names can fund the entire .nyc TLD’s start-up budget and significant public education and access efforts, we must make the most of them. 

    So here’s a New Year’s proposal based on that Renaissance School experience. Let’s rouse the public, pressure our elected representatives, and raise cane to demand that we1  create a competitive field that maximizes advantage from these public resources through this four step project: 

      1. Create an open and transparent process for guiding the identification and distribution of the Primary Intuitive Names.
      2. Begin an awareness campaign providing all those interested in developing these names with the opportunity to get their eggs in a row, initially via communication through relevant trade press. Consider this post an initial step.
      3. Develop minimum standards about content requirements within each Primary Intuitive Name with crowdsourced input used to reward excellence of concept.
      4. Advocate for a Shift Day that begins only when the Primary Intuitive Names are fully functional. 

          How much “prosperity” might be raised from using our Renaissance experience to up the value of the Primary names? More than enough to finance the .nyc TLD’s planning and start-up, and to advance local control of this public interest resource. But its real potency lies in its ability to empower us all, providing for the all important Happy and Healthy referred to at top. But I’ve gone on too long here and will address these soon in a recommendation on ways we might use the initial and continuing .nyc TLD revenue streams. 

          Learn more about the Primary Intuitive Names and our Domain Name Allocation Plan which deals with all .nyc names. (Commons photo courtesy of Stock Photo.)

          Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Pages

          1. By “we” I refer to the residents and organizations of New York City.^

          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 Connecting.nyc 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.

          3-in-front-of-city-hall.jpgJune 9, 2008, New York - What caused the record breaking temperature on this blistering June day? While some will undoubtedly point to global warming, we think it was the exhaust left by our energetic team (at right in City Hall Park) as they deftly distributed our Names for a Livable City flyers at the civic center this morning dressed in their souped-up Fedders AC2008XO air conditioned .nyc t-shirts.

          Matt, Tom, and Jeffrey positioned themselves at the front of the Municipal Building and as flyers flew, with city employees grabbing at them like Häagen-Dazs freebies, our cool crew clouded the downtown air with the exhaust from their high tech t’s.

          The results from the effort were not yet available as our team headed off to Coney Island for a dip in the 63 degree Atlantic with a promise to return when the heat subsides. When completed the results will be included in in our Domain Name Allocation Plan.

          Link to Connecting.nyc Inc.’s wiki pages.

          Filed June 9th, 2008 under Marketing Tip, Civics, Education, City Agency

          ­­Here’s the basic presentation we provide to community groups these days, courtesy of a great slideshare.net service. VIEW it here!

          Note: The presentation will soon show in this window. And we’re looking to add audio and video. If you can help out with either, email toml@communisphere.com.

          ­

          Filed January 31st, 2008 under Marketing Tip, Presentation

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