MIT.jpgCambridge, Massachusetts, April 8, 2011 - Thomas Lowenhaupt, Connecting.nyc Inc.’s founding director, presented a paper at the April 8, 2011 UrbanTech Conference at MIT. The conference was sponsored by the Department of Urban Studies as Planning (DUSP). The paper, City Top Level Domains as Urban Infrastructure, reviewed the ways a thoughtfully developed city-TLD can be instituted as digital infrastructure. See the presentation report.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Pages

dotNYC-CB-3-Presentation-1-20-11-Tom-Lowenhaupt.jpgEast Elmhurst, New York, January 21, 2011 - Connecting.nyc Inc.’s director Tom Lowenhaupt last night provided a progress report to Queens Community Board 3 on its Internet Empowerment Resolution. He touched on highlights from the ten years since the Board adopted the Resolution on April 19, 2001: the early progress, the 9/11 down years, the formation of the not-for-profit he leads, ICANN’s adoption of a New TLD Policy that included cities, and city government’s partial acceptance of the board’s recommendation for .nyc’s operation as a public interest resource.

Mr. Lowenhaupt explained that his organization’s focus today is on gaining the city administration’s full support for treating the .nyc TLD as the city’s digital infrastructure, and for its development in the public interest. To highlight the benefits from this approach, his organization recently entered into a collaboration with Wikimedia-NY and the Internet Society-NY on a NYCwiki.org website that will highlight the possibilities by developing the neighborhoods name-set. “By demonstrating the benefits of this one name-set we expect the full utility of our approach will become apparent” he stated. 

The NYCwiki.org site’s goal is the creation of a neighborhood information resource through crowdsourcing, wherein residents contribute their memories and hopes for their neighborhoods to a Wikipedia-like site. Later, when the .nyc TLD becomes active, this information will be moved to its permanent website: Corona.nyc, EastElmhurst.nyc, and JacksonHeights.nyc. Calling it a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” he concluded the update stating that “together with communication, outreach, decision-making, and organization layers, these sites offer the promise of providing good local communications to our neighborhoods for the first time ever.” 

After the update Mr. Lowenhaupt introduced Richard Knipel, President of Wikimedia-NY, the local affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation, the people that bring us Wikipedia. Richard invited experienced wiki editors to begin updating their local neighborhood sites now - see Corona, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights - and invited those desiring training to sign up for free NYCwiki.org page editing sessions to be held at the Langston Hughes Library beginning in February. To sign up for training sessions, email info@connectingnyc.org.

Pictured are Tom Lowenhaupt (standing left) and Richard Knipel, with Board Chair Grace Lawrence seated. (Photo by Eugene Atkins.)

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Pages

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We’re sponsoring a general meeting about the .nyc TLD on Wednesday, October 27, 7 PM. Three items are on the agenda.

  • An intro to NYCwiki.org, our collaboration with Wikimedia NYC and the Internet Society-NY  to prepare for that glorious day when .nyc goes live and the dotNeighborhood names are activated, i.e., Astoria.nyc, BrooklynHeights.nyc, Chelsea.nyc, Douglaston.nyc… and 350 others.  Hear Richard Knipel, president of Wikimedia NYC talk about the development and progress of the wiki neighborhoods collaboration.

  • Next, Tom Lowenhaupt, Connecting.nyc Inc.’s director, will provide an update on the .nyc TLD’s status, including a report on the City-TLD Governance and Best Practices workshop he moderated in Vilnius, Lithuania on September 17th. The workshop was part of the U.N.’s 5th meeting the Internet Governance Forum and points the way toward global collaboration between dotCities.
  • Finally, Jack Eichenbaum, the new Queens Historian, will provide insight into the nature of city neighborhoods.

That’s Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 7 PM at the Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street. RSVP to tom@connectingnyc.org. See the meeting report.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page

­­­­­­­­­­­Appland, May 12, 2010 - The jumble at left represents a ­Word Cloud­ view of this blog in May 2010. On the right is the same from May 2009. The size of each word indicates the frequency with which it is used. Click on a cloud for a larger view and see how our emphasis changed over a year.

blog-wordle-may-2010.JPG<   2010                              2009   >­The Connecting.nyc Blog - May 2009

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Filed May 9th, 2009 under games, Presentation

Look at what the world is saying about us.

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

Filed April 13th, 2009 under Presentation

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

­social-network-graph.jpgAugust 8, 2008, New York - I attended a conference on social networks here in New York City yesterday. Social networks are the latest “can’t miss” technology flooding the Internet world with services such as Facebook, Flicker, MySpace, and Twitter the recent headliners. There are more than a hundred of these companies seeking ways to connect like-mined people. According to Wikipedia:

A social network service focuses on building online communities of people who share interests and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others.

So where does this fit with our mission? Here’s a summary of my presentation during a conference session entitled City-TLDs: Ripe for Social Networking? (Note: The meeting was held at the offices of Sun Microsystems, the “we power the internet” people. No Internet access was available ( ! ) so I had to ditch my planned presentation and wing it.)

By way of background I explained that city-TLDs will arrive in 2010 with their focus on the local. In our case, New York City has 1/10th of 1% of the world’s population living on 400 square miles of the good old earth. And while additional domain names, identity (”made in New York”), and the tourist portals are the obvious features the TLD will offer, the real advantages we hope to achieve will arrive with improved local communication. I backgounded on Connecting.nyc Inc.’s origin at a community board, revealed the sorry state of civic communication, and concluded my intro with, “What would fill the existing local communications gap is what people at this conference call social networks.”

I provided one simple example of a “social network” we here at Connecting.nyc Inc. (CnI) have been considering, the Voter Project. It begins by setting aside domain names for registered voters, e.g., using a name-set such as www.your-name.voter.nyc, and providing residents who choose to participate with tools to better locate one another so as to address opportunities and problems before the community.

At the conclusion I challenged participants to uncover the networking opportunities city-TLD’s will make available using neighborhood names (Astoria.nyc, Bensonhurst.nyc, SoHo.nyc) and issues (e.g., save-the-trees.nyc, help-us-reduce-traffic.nyc) as examples.

As my goal was to get people thinking about city-TLDs as mashable parts for creating social networks, I’d judge by the participants questions and enthusiasm that my presentation should be chalked up as a success. If you’re one of those who sat in on the session, do you agree? (Commons photo courtesy of greenem.)

See more on our social network efforts here.   Learn more about The Campaign on our wiki pages.

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

calendar.jpg­June 2, 2008 - June promises to be a busy month. We have long planned our participation in the ICANN’s Paris meeting, June 21-26. These are complex meetings with multiple concurrent sessions. CnI’s director, Tom Lowenhaupt, will be presenting the cause for city TLDs and .nyc at the event. See the agenda here.

Also long planned is our participation in the EGENI conference. On Friday, June 20, we’re to participate in the conference’s New TLD Catwalk. We’re not quite sure what this will entail. But the EGENI conference itself is packed with Internet and governance luminaries. See conference info.

And just recently we were invited to participate in the Global Internet Governance Workshop on Monday, June 23 at the Sorbonne. It’s going to be a busy week in Paris.

Prior to Paris we’re going to be participating in New York City’s Internet Week. We’re still finalizing our plans, but are hoping to get noticed. We could use some help covering some of the events. (Commons photo courtest of Spinstah.)

Filed June 2nd, 2008 under Presentation

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June 1, 2008 - We were delighted to have the opportunity to present the case for city TLDs and .nyc to the New York chapter of the Internet Society on Wednesday, May 21. The presentation was made at the historic Jefferson Market Library branch of the New York Public Library. Mr. Lowenhaupt was introduced by David Solomanoff, president of the New York chapter.

The slide presentation laster about 35 minutes with several attendees questions answered afterward. A video of the event lasting a little over an hour was prepared by Joly MacFie. See it here. The 125 slides used in the presentation are also available on that page.

Thanks once again to the Internet Society, the New York Public Library, David Solomanoff for arranging the event, and to Joly MacFie for shooting the video.

Filed June 1st, 2008 under Civics, Presentation, Education, ICANN, Governance
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