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

Beau Brendler beaubrendler at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 16 04:10:57 UTC 2011

Thomas, you wrote:

"...Your suggestion then that we harmonize between cities was a good 
one. And at last years IGF I organized a workshop on City TLD Governance 
and Best Practices 
Lots more work to do on that. Might some NARLO support be forthcoming?"

I can see how it might be beneficial, since the NARALO is committed to the public interest, to help develop best-practice guidelines for efforts such as yours and others.

That said, it is difficult for me to see how to prioritize such assistance, since the responses on this list have been, to be polite, lukewarm to the .nyc effort.

You have asked for examples. I have only two: About three years ago, while working for Consumers Union in Yonkers, NY, I got a call from NY mayor Bloomberg's office, asking if I knew why there was any good reason the city government should support the .nyc effort. I told that person the only benefits I could see would be if the availability of .nyc might help the city create URLs for its public information resources that might make them easier to find by consumers (such as "evacuationplan.nyc"), or if there was currently a lot of squatting on .com URLs with NY city content. I never heard back from them. In fact, when I tried to explain aspects of the domain name system and the cases of other cities around the world such as .berlin, I was (not particularly politely) rushed off the phone, and I wasn't the one who intiated the call.

If the people of New York City were clamoring for .nyc, I doubt the mayor's office would have called me for an opinion about whether they should care about it or not.

The second example is when I brought up the possibility of the .NYC domain to senior staff at Consumer Reports. Their reaction was overwhelmingly negative, as they thought it meant they would have to rush out and defensively register all their existing .com URLs with .NYC suffixes to protect the IP of their content.

Empirically I just can't get enthusiastic about .NYC and until there's some demonstrated public demand (or public interest demand), I think there are far more pressing issues competing for NARALO's attention and resources.

>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Thomas Lowenhaupt <toml at communisphere.com>
>>Sent: Jun 15, 2011 9:25 PM
>>To: Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org>
>>Cc: ICANN At-Large Staff <staff at atlarge.icann.org>, Seth Greene <Seth.Greene at icann.org>, NA Discuss <na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
>>Subject: Re: [NA-Discuss] Statement on Pre-Registration: Draft for discussion
>>On 6/15/2011 6:23 PM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:
>>> Hi Thomas,
>>> On 15 June 2011 16:32, Thomas Lowenhaupt <toml at communisphere.com 
>>> <mailto: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.
>> > So names such as restaurants.nyc, clothing.nyc, autos.nyc are useful. 
>>> 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.
>>Try, try, try again is my motto, especially when the returns can be so 
>>great. And with the experience of less-than-useful TLDs, how do we 
>>develop a better one. Don't give up. Things can get better.
>>>     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.
>>> http://atlarge-lists.icann.org/pipermail/na-discuss/2008-March/001806.html
>>Indeed. Your suggestion then that we harmonize between cities was a good 
>>one. And at last years IGF I organizeda workshop on City TLD Governance 
>>and Best Practices 
>>Lots more work to do on that. Might some NARLO support be forthcoming?
>>> 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.
>>I have been here, and being somewhat sensitive, it was and is a painful 
>>experience. But I grew up with 5 brothers and am on a mission, so I've 
>>returned to possibly face more ridicule, in the hope of making an 
>>important tool available to my city.  I do think that a more positive 
>>approach to things would attract more active participants.
>>>     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
>>> "weather.nyc"
>>> except that the former already exists and can't be monopolized by 
>>> speculators or poor quality content.
>>You do trust search more than I.
>>> ditto "sports nyc" or any other '[generic word].nyc"
>>You've totally given up all hope.
>>>     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 
>>> <http://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!
>>With some help from organizations such as NARLO we could possibly (no 
>>not definitely) make the neighborhood names quite useful - as part of a 
>>broad introduction and development of the .nyc TLD. You've seemingly 
>>thrown up your hands, decided it's impossible, and are willing to let 
>>the .nyc TLD go to speculators, after which you'll say "See. I told you 
>>so." Is that what I'm hearing?
>>>     Same with small business, government, tourism, education,
>>>     community and civic organization names, etc.
>>> Yup.
>>>     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).
>>Perhaps there's a saving here. For it's not a "mere TLD" that I'm 
>>talking about. I'm suggesting that with support from organizations like 
>>yours, we could apply the capabilities of the DNS to support existing 
>>functions.  For example, 34th Street exists. I'm not suggesting creating 
>>another 34th Street. Our goal is to put the TLD to use making the 
>>existing structures function better. If we don't do that, 34thStreet.nyc 
>>will go to a speculator with little regard for reality.
>>> I don't think you've made your case.
>>And what is your suggestion for .nyc? A one time fund raiser? 
>>Competition for .com? I suspect you'd prefer no new TLDs. But if they 
>>come, what next?
>>I'm curious if others on this list have similar thoughts. Is the list 
>>totally convinced that there's no utility, no possible benefit that 
>>might arise from a thoughtfully developed city-TLD? That there's no 
>>experience from 25 years of DNS operations that might be drawn upon?
>>> - Evan
>>Tom Lowenhaupt
>>NA-Discuss mailing list
>>NA-Discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org
>>Visit the NARALO online at http://www.naralo.org

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