rod-bergstoms-scream.jpgUPDATE: See details on the city’s application for the .nyc TLD as submitted to ICANN and its contract with vendor NeuStar here.

Jackson Hts., New York, March 23, 2012 - Below are the rough notes from my visit to DoITT’s office yesterday, March 22, 2012. Apologies for the lack of detail, but I was not provided with a copy of the document and was forbidden by city officials from using any recording devices, e.g., taking a picture of the pages with my cell phone. See details on this here.

The city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) held a “public hearing” on the proposed contract today. See my written statement here.

[Note: The city’s “transparency period” ended on March 23 and City Hall’s door has slammed shut without any meaningful public engagement on the TLD development process. And the city’s application for the .nyc TLD will be submitted on April 12 without having received any meaningful public review. This sad situation is reflected in an imagined response of ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom upon learning of the lack of public review.]

Editors Note: This report was originally made by CnI’s director, Thomas Lowenhaupt, based on  a brief viewing of city documents. With the arrival of a copy of some of the documents, we’ve provided this link to a more complete report on the .nyc TLD documents.

(Image of  ICANN’s CEO Rod Beckstrom reacting to practices that enabled cities to enter the complex realm of the TLD sans guidance.)

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

JShift-Day-composit-b.jpgackson Hts., New York, January 17, 2011 - Recall February 2009 and the huge awareness campaign surrounding the transition from traditional analog TV to the new digital TV. Shift Day will celebrate the switch from the first generation .com Internet to the more local, organized, intuitive city-friendly .nyc Internet. 

In preparation for that transition process, New Yorkers will need to be informed about the utility of .nyc and the advantages that will arise from our working together to develop and protect our good name. 

With a thoughtfully introduced .nyc TLD, Shift Day will generate awareness, civic pride, and a willingness to cooperate for the common good. Help us plan it from our Shift Day wiki page. And while there, read the sidebar story from an 1889 Harper’s Weekly on squatting during the Oklahoma Gold Rush, pictured above.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Pages

accountability.JPGJackson Hts., New York, June 1, 2009 - I attended the 59th Sidney Hillman Foundation awards ceremony honoring journalists, writers, and public figures whose work fosters social and economic justice last Wednesday. It was a most exhilarating evening, with the recipients having made significant contributions to our awareness of the world around us.

Reflecting the times, Bruce Raynor, president of the Hillman Foundation and the evening’s moderator, at one point bemoaned the seeming demise of our nation’s daily newspapers and asked “How will those communities exist without the ongoing contributions of those fine journalists?”

Living with about 100,000 other residents in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of New York City, where we’ve never known the luxury of a daily newspaper (nor a TV or radio station) focused on our problems and the opportunities before us, I can provide at least a partial answer to Mr. Raynor:

  • All too often they’ll have to wait for a disaster to occur before anyone pays attention to a local problem.
  • Local communication will be very slow and incomplete, with word of mouth assuming a more important role.
  • Community memory will be short, incomplete, and inaccurate.
  • Election processes will be ineffective as they’ll have few mechanisms for reporting on activities, issues, and assessing accountability. 
  • Faith in government and the governance processes will diminish as will the quality of life.

With the rise of the Net and the broad demise of the traditional newspaper industry, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see a printed daily in Jackson Heights or in any of our city’s other neighborhoods. Perhaps there’s the germ of a new media in our  dotNeighborhoods and Issue-Communities efforts that might enable useful citizen reporting and accountability mechanisms. But for the moment, sans a new business model, the ability of either to conjure up quality journalism remains elusive.

However, Mr. Raynor did perhaps provide one part of the answer when he announced the Sidneys “a new monthly award for an outstanding piece of socially-conscious journalism from a newspaper, magazine, web site, or any broadcast outlet. The award citation will come with $500 and a bottle of union-made wine.”

We’ll be scheduling another meeting on dotNeighborhoods later this month where this issue will be on the agenda. (Commons photo courtesy johncarney.) 

Link to Inc.’s 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

new-york-times-logo-small.jpgJune 10, 2008 - The New York Times published an informative article about the campaign in yesterday’s paper. The article was partially based on writer Jenny 8. Lee’s attendance at Inc.’s May 13th public meeting. Be sure to read the 25+ comments posted about the article.

Filed June 10th, 2008 under Media Coverage, .paris, .berlin, ICANN, City Agency

June 5, 2008 - Great little story and link to the YouTube video from the May 21 presentation we made to the Internet Society. It’s entitled The Manhattan Grid of the Internet. GG’s focus is city news and policy.

Filed June 5th, 2008 under Media Coverage, Civics, Presentation