Grassroot Effort Started To Give New York City Its Own Domain Name (.NYC)
Is it time for the big city to start cornering a piece of the Internet?
A growing grassroots movement says yes, and is trying to create a ".nyc" domain name to go alongside the dot coms and dot orgs of the World Wide Web.
"When Ford introduced their first car 100 years ago, no one thoughtto start building roads for it," said Tom Lowenhaupt, an interactive marketing consultant who heads Connecting.nyc, a group he formed to lead the effort.
"So we ended up having to tear down miles of the Bronx to build freeways to start accommodating them all. It's the same thing now. We have the opportunity now to plan for the future and start organizing ourselves and our resources in a responsible way."
Backers say that a dot NYC Web address will allow the city's small businesses to distinguish themselves in the crowded online marketplace and foster better community cohesion and social activism.
"The Internet is great at global things but it isn't very good at local things," Lowenhaupt said. "There are 60 million dot com names out there. When all six billion of us are on the Internet New York is going to be forgotten."
To get a top-level domain, or TLD, interested parties must apply to ICANN, short for the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers. Last year, the agency notoriously declined the domain name dot XXX, fearing that it would lead to increased pornography.
Next year's meeting will be the first time that cities are able to apply for domain names, and efforts to reserve spots are well under way in Berlin, London, and Buenos Aires.
Craig Schwartz, the chief TLD liaison at the agency, declined to speculate on Connecting.nyc's chances for success. But he did say that organizers must rally community support, in addition to displaying technical know-how.
"If I were a potential applicant I would want the city to know why I think this is valuable, why this should exist," he said. "There is a certain political element and socialization element that shows you have support."
The effort has attracted the attention of Councilwoman Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan), who heads the City Council's Technology Committee. She plans to meet next month with representatives from the city's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications.
Experts say the effectiveness of a dot nyc address will depend on how the it gets implemented on the Web.
"Ideally, this will enable people to use the Internet more effectively and bring citizens together," said David Johnson, a cyberlaw professor at New York Law School. "It's an untested theory, but what's the harm in trying."
PickyDomains.com is world's first risk-free naming service. We can come up with a great domain, name or slogan for you (like we already did for 1500+ clients) for $50 and the best part - you pay ONLY if you like our work, so there is no risk involved.