[NA-Discuss] Statement on Pre-Registration: Draft for discussion

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Wed Jun 15 22:23:51 UTC 2011

Hi Thomas,

On 15 June 2011 16:32, Thomas Lowenhaupt <toml at communisphere.com> wrote:

>  Please accept my apologies as I must have been unclear in my earlier
> email.
And you'll have to accept my apologies as well, for the two of us are
speaking in different realities.

To me a domain is an identifier, an alias, a pointer that is not so much
content itself as a pointer to content. It's this generation's Yellow Pages.

You see domains as an agent of social change.

I think I have empirical evidence on my side and that your case is more
wishful thinking than anything else. Obviously you see otherwise.

But there was a larger error in assuming that all NARLO members would be
> aware of the utility of a TLD for a large global city like New York. Had I
> been a more active participant in NARLO over the years, I'd have had the
> opportunity to make that case.

Actually, you've been here before -- about three years ago -- and met with
similar levels of doubt.


It's unfortunate that you forgot about that experience, let alone that it
had no effect on your efforts. But at very least the reaction here should
not be surprising to you sincve you *have* been through it before.

> Be that as it may, I am a bit surprised to find you think so little about
> the role of a TLD in city life.

Or corporate life. Or national-government life. Or any life for that matter.

Not only are domains just pointers, they're pointers that are decreasing in
value as search engines continue to evolve. Now Google Chrome uses a single
window in which to type both search words and domain names, so that for
many, typing

"weather nyc"
typed into Chrome (or most mobile phone browsers) may give results as
satisfying as

except that the former already exists and can't be monopolized by
speculators or poor quality content.

ditto "sports nyc" or any other '[generic word].nyc"

But as you object to my use of the word "disruption" to describe the impact
> of using the Standard vs. Community Model, I see I must elaborate. A few of
> the differences I see from the two models include equitable vs. inequitable
> distribution of domain names. For example, I've heard it suggested that
> Rupert Murdock, who has been buying up local community newspapers, is
> interested in the 352 neighborhood names <http://NYCwiki.org/>. With our
> civic histories and lives tied into these names, would it be disruptive if
> those names went to Newscorp?

Nope. Because alternates already exist. Search engines already exist. It's
the CONTENT, not the bloody pointer to it, that matters. If quality content
about those neighbourhoods exists, it already has a domain name that people
will find. At this level having an obvious "[neighbourhood].nyc" is nice and
convenient, but almost the same could be accomplished with "[neighbourhood].
nycneighbors.com" (or something like that. Not only wouldn't you need .nyc
for that, you wouldn't have to buy more than ONE domain from ICANN!

Same with small business, government, tourism, education, community and
> civic organization names, etc.


> It's tough to say no having improved civic community is disruptive.
You say it's tough. I say it's pointless (to believe that a mere TLD will
improve anything to do with civic action or activity that couldn't be done
with the current regime).

I don't think you've made your case.

- Evan

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