Jackson Hts., New York, January 18, 2015 – One of the unheralded achievements of the de Blasio administration’s first year was saving the neighborhood domain names – Astoria.nyc, Bensonhurst.nyc, Chelsea.nyc, etc. from the auction block. Under Bloomberg, these historic names were slotted to be sold off during the Landrush period to whoever had the biggest bank account. But under the guidance of Mayor de Blasio’s Sr. Adviser Jeff Merritt, the names were reserved:
The City of New York has reserved roughly 400 neighborhood names for use by community groups to develop new online hubs for civic engagement, online organizing and information-sharing. Neighborhood names will be available beginning in Fall 2014 and will be licensed to community groups through a competitive application process.
In order to be eligible for a .nyc neighborhood name, the lead organization must meet the following minimum qualifications: (a) registered as a not-for-profit, public benefit corporation or local development corporation, and (b) located within the neighborhood for which a .nyc domain name is sought.
Neighborhoods have been a long-time focus of ours. (See our dotNeighborhood wiki pages.) We’ve imagined vast unrealized social and civic potential, hamstrung by inadequate communication. Our most noticeable involvements with them was a collaboration with the New York Internet Society and Wikimedia-NY that explored the potential of neighborhood wikis. (See NYCwiki.org). So we were delighted by this development.
Over the next year a considerable part of our efforts will focus on making the most of these dotNeighborhoods. We hope to achieve the following:
- Engage local residents and organizations to support the venture, perhaps with Jackson Heights.nyc (our home neighborhood) the pilot. Particularly, determining training needs and integration of existing entities – digital and otherwise.
- Create a system with five components:
- Centrally gathered neighborhood data – maps, demographics, economic info, government programs and grant information.
- A wiki where everyone can collaborate to record and publish a neighborhood memory.
- Support for discussion, decision making, and organizing.
- An app for engagement while roaming the streets, with 311, reviews, and peer connections.
- A business model.
- Establish a process for sharing ideas with other neighborhoods.
We invite the many who’ve indicated supported for our dotNeighborhoods initiative to limber up their minds and/or fingers and get ready for a most exciting year. Those who do not receive our dotNeighborhood notices should sign-up using the form at the lower left below.