Resolution Hall Faltering

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mentalhealth.nycJackson Hts., New York, October 20, 2014 – The MentalHealth.nyc domain name was not reserved as a public interest resource in the review processes leading up to the activation of the .nyc TLD. As a result it was offered for sale during the Landrush period and two or more entities filed an application to use the domain name. A high-bid auction will begin on October 28 and select between the bidders. Development rights go to the winner. This will be a closed auction with the number and identity of the bidders remaining secret – unknown to the potential developers.

While other important public interest names were reserved, e.g., health.nyc, the city’s review process did not identify this name as worthy of special treatment. (See city’s reserved domain name list.) Wary of MentalHealth.nyc being squandered on a non public health use, (others have pointed out that the name could be fruitfully used to market a comedy club, a magic elixir of some sort…) Connecting.nyc Inc. mimicked the ICANN model for resolving name disputes and created a virtual meeting space, Resolution Hall. There the bidders might locate one another and discuss collaborations or in other ways amicably resolve development rights.

We’re now days away from the October 28 start of the auction and Resolution Hall remains empty. The likelihood seems to be that a high bid auction will assign the development rights for MentalHealth.nyc. How many other names might have slipped through the review process remains unknown. 1,000 other names with multiple bidders are headed to Landrush auctions. Crazy isn’t it.

With Resolution Hall faltering we urge city hall take the following steps with regard to the 1,000 Landrush domain names set to go to auction beginning October 23:

  • Promptly publish the list of Landrush names that are set to go to auction.
  • Invite and enable city departments, the city council, the .NYC Community Advisory Board, and the public, to identify domain names that should be set aside as public interest resources.
  • Remove the identified public interest names from the October 23 and subsequent Landrush auctions.
  • Establish a process (perhaps Resolution Hall-like space) that facilitates their being developed in the public interest.

With regard to MentalHealth.nyc: as an officer of a not-for-profit mental health facility that submitted an application for that domain name, I offer the following as a possible solution, (perhaps a prototype for other names):

  • Send an email to all the applicants for MentalHealth.nyc asking them to declare their intent to use the name as a public interest resource.
  • Put those entities with a declared public interest use in touch with one another to discuss possible collaborations.
  • If no compromise is reached by the various public interest applicants, a high-bid auction might be one method of resolving disagreement.
  • Organizations without a public interest goal for the names should be instructed to seek an alternative name.

The auctions begin on October 23 so action by city hall is needed within a few days.

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Find Fellow Landrush Name Applicants: Resolution Hall Opens

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Resolution HallGoing once… Going twice….

Landrush has ended. And in instances where more than one applicant submitted a request for a particular .nyc domain name, the official protocol calls for a high-bid auction to decide between the applicants. Many think auctions should be the last resort and suggest the following options be made available to the applicants:

  • An opportunity for private discussion and negotiations
  • An opportunity to use a simple coin toss or lottery to determine a winner
  • Formal mediation and
  • Arbitration

To create transparency and Landrush applicant’s ability to connect with one another and avail themselves of these options, we created Resolution Hall, a digital space where they might find one another. But Resolution Hall’s ability to aide applicants will be short lived, for should they not come to quick agreement, auctions will settle things commencing on October 23. Learn more about Resolution Hall.

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MentalHealth.nyc applicants, where are you?

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Jackson Hts., New York, October 6, 2014 – The Landrush for .nyc domain names ended at 11 AM this past Friday. A neighborhood not-for-profit mental health organization submitted an application for the MentalHealth.nyc domain name. Its intent was to provide general guidance on issues, treatments, and resources that might affect the mental health of city residents.

On Saturday afternoon the organization was notified that, since more than one applicant had applied for the MentalHealth.nyc, that it would soon be informed about a closed, high-bid auction to determine the “winner.” Being a “closed” auction means that the organization will not be privy to contacting the other entities that have bid for the name.

The closed nature of the auction seems contrary to the public interest. Wouldn’t it be better if the interested parties could discuss and discern which of them is best qualified for the task? Maybe a collaborative effort could be arranged with shared development costs. Or perhaps one party might forgo the name in deference to a superior plan.

But none of this is possible under a closed auction. Until now.

Who else is interested in MentalHealth.nyc? If your organization has also applied, please contact [email protected] and we’ll establish a connection between the interested parties.

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What’s At The Top Of The Mountain?

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Upper Greenwood Lake, September 28, 2014 – Hoping to convince Mayor de Blasio to stop the clock, take a fresh look, and initiate a thoughtful review of the opportunities the .nyc presents, I’ve sketched a Picassoesque view of what our city might look like with a fully developed, resident oriented, TLD.

  • It’s a city where you can readily find most everything. Most certainly every “thing” in the public realm: streets, streetlights, traffic lighRed treets, street signs, parks, squares, monuments, fire hydrants, transportation stations, taxis, buses, schools, stores, businesses, and public facilities of all types. And less tangible things like laws, folklore, events, and history.
  • It’s a city where details on every “thing” can easily be found on a Wikipedia-like page with an intuitive name. Each page summarizes the considered opinions of the population, all of whom have a guaranteed right to participate in its development.
  • It’s a city where residents are provided with Internet media training and access which enables them to shape these pages. As well, the access enables them to participate in municipal governance.
  • It’s a city where people feel secure in conducting their digital activities, knowing that their city is committed to protecting their digital security, privacy, and transactions.
  • It’s a city where transparency laws insure that residents know how their security and privacy are protected and by whom; and where governance and data transparency are considered an art and a science.
  • It’s a city where digital public spaces facilitate democratic participation and practices and digital tools facilitate organizing and management of local issues and initiatives.
  • It’s a city where government gathered data is available to all, with each resident capable of drawing upon it to form their opinions on public policy and governance.
  • It’s a city where residents know their future depends on the quality of their TLD’s operation, aware that the world judges their city on the thoroughness and character of that oversight.
  • It’s a city that connects people, ideas, and resources through thoughtfully developed and maintained digital markets.
  • It’s a city that facilitates neighborhood development, with local data and knowledge made available to residents, enabling them to address opportunities and concerns.
  • It’s a city where knowledge and conversations – online and face to face – are woven together to facilitate consensus building.
  • It’s a city where students are taught how to use and find our city’s resources from the earliest grades.
  • It’s a city of trust where people from around the globe feel safe conducting business.
  • It’s a city I’d like to live in.

As an initial step toward achieving these visions, .nyc domain names must be issued in a thoughtful and equitable manner.

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Bloomberg BNA reviews our “City-TLD Landrush Models” post

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Jackson Hts., New York, September 24, 2014 – Writing Money Talks in the Big Apple in Bloomberg BNA, Thomas O’Toole reviewed the our City-TLD Landrush Models post. While I agree with much of Thomas’ review, I added these comments:

First, if the city chose a business-friendly approach like they’ve developed for the .london TLD, a lot of the anticipated auctions could be avoided. (If we followed the London model, the owner of Rickys Cafe would upload his city business license to establish his right to the name. If another bidder was unable to match it, good old Ricky gets the RickysCafe.nyc domain name.)

Far more important is what the city’s squatter-friendly name allocation processes do to the prospect for an intuitive city. That is, if residents are unable to type in traditional busi

ness, street, project, event, school, civic, building, and media names, one of the key city-friendly features of our TLD will be lost. And we’ll remain dependent on search engines to find the Internet address of the diner across the street.

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City-TLD Landrush Models

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Jackson Hts., New York, September 20, 2014 – With the October 3rd end of the city’s Landrush period 13 days away, we are sill headed toward a bad ending for this initial roll-out of our city’s TLD, with multiple modifications over many years required to bring our city’s TLD into alignment with its potential. We’re working on a “impending disaster” post detailing the lost opportunities the current “Bloomberg Contract” will inflict on our city’s operational effectiveness, livability, and its competitive position globally.

In the interim we wanted to publish this City-TLD Landrush Model graphic depicting one of the blatant problems with the extant Landrush process.

Click for larger image.

We’re not yet fully satisfied with the graphic as it still requires explanation. One needs to read The .nyc Landrush: Adding Injury to Insult post to understand how the Bloomberg Contract will turn small business into roadkill. One need also understand the difference afforded historic property rights under the .london and .nyc TLDs, as described in the New York Landrush Period Priority Rules. We’re looking for a venue to publish the full story as a long-form article (suggestions appreciated), but thought it wise to publish this “Roadkill” alert now.

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Big Data for a Big City

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big dataJackson Hts., New York, September 9, 2014 – Big Data smells Orwellian. And we might come to hate it some day. But today it’s everywhere. Sensing power and profits corporations and governments corralled the smartest graduates to figure out ways to extract value from the data ocean that’s become available through cheap technology and social media.

With .nyc’s activation another big data layer is becoming available from 2 data logs created by user searches. One is a Data Query Log that records successful searches of the .nyc TLD. Perhaps more interesting is the Error Log, which records unsuccessful inquiries. With an increasingly intuitive web, we can expect more people to take a risk and directly type-in desired domain names, rather than relying on Google search for their every need. Type-ins not reaching an existing website will end up in the Error Log. We’ve provided some thoughts on possible uses of the DNS search data, e.g., imagine creating a “City Pulse” comprised of 311, tweet, and the DNS Data Logs. We’ve elaborated on these prospects on our DNS Data Query Log wiki page.

One traditional problem with releasing this type of data relates to data mining, called front running in the domain name industry. Some see an unfair advantage arising from someone searching the Error Log for insights into domain names worth purchasing. Indeed, some might make a career of watching the error logs and registering names. But with an effective nexus policy, we look forward to the local jobs created by a frontrunner marketplace.

The city has yet to decide on a policy for releasing this data. We’ve advocated for its release within a framework of data privacy standards and clear and effective controls. (Commons image courtesy of Thierry Gregorius.)

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