Things I Want For My

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neighborhood cartoon picturesNovember 30, 2015, Jackson Hts., NYC – My neighborhood is the place where most all my needs are me. It’s where I live, I eat, I work, I sleep, and I play. Not all the time – my work and vacations draw me away, and Manhattan’s wonders tempt me all too often – but most of the time. And as I’m getting up there in years, I’m beginning to think (hope?) that it’s the place where I’ll end my days (more on this below).

Next to my health and my family, my neighborhood is probably the most important thing in my life. And I’m blessed to live in a wonderful one – Jackson Heights.

In two days I’m heading to a meeting at Queens Borough Hall to discuss what could be an important addition to my neighborhood, and the vast potential it offers. It’s something I’ve thought about for 15 yeas, and now its just around the corner. Here’s what “I want” to happen to my neighborhood as a result of the development of the neighborhood domain name.

  • I want to add more community to my neighborhood. (For background, a neighborhood is a geographic area and a community is connections, friendships, shared interests, and support. It can be local or global.)
  • I want “adding more community” to be a priority requirement for any entity that’s given the license to run
  • I want to help create a more collaborative and caring neighborhood – on and offline.
  • I want it to expose and highlight needs.
  • I want it to facilitate the creation of caring communities that focus on the needy.
  • I want it to highlight opportunities.
  • I want it to facilitate collaborations.
  • I want it to offer a great decision-making tool, one that helps form a majority without crushing minorities.
  • I want a that’s organized and governed as a commons, with collaborative decision making by all the neighborhood’s stakeholders.
  • I want to help existing organizations (for and nonprofits) achieve their missions.
  • I want to pay its way and create a local job or two.
  • I want to be the first choice for local businesses online advertising dollars.
  • I want to be the place where residents turn for recommendations from their neighbors for dentists, doctors, electricians, plumbers, restaurants…
  • I want to be the first place people turn to learn about what goes on in the neighborhood – a neighborhood calendar to plan you life around.
  • I want a to be a local as we want it to be, with the calendar having a check box that allows me to say “Invite the world” or “Just for the neighborhood.”
  • I want it to show all the 311 and 911 calls. (Respecting privacy of course.)
  • I want it to help organize residents to resolve issues raised by 311 and 911 calls.
  • I want to
  • I want to present all the information about the neighborhood that I or any visitor might want. This is information that we all know collectively and should be presented by wiki-style.
  • I want the operator of to serve desktops, phones, tablets, etc.
  • I want all the software used on to be open source.
  • I want to share its riches with other city neighborhoods.
  • And I want our neighborhood to train its residents on using in schools and senior centers.

The city’s extensive and well thought out application for the neighborhood domain names leads me to think the administration shares these thoughts. But it will surely take the engagement and support of many to make then a reality. I hope many of you will be in Borough Hall, Room 200 on Wednesday morning at 9:30 (see invite post here) to add your Wants to this list.


Tom Lowenhaupt

0 @ Queens Borough Hall

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From our friends at Coalition For Queens…

Hi all,

We wanted to extend an invitation for nonprofits and local development corporations to attend a Neighborhoods.NYC info session on Wednesday, Dec. 2 from 9:30-11AM at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens, NY, Room 200. You can register here. The session will provide information for organizations interested in applying to license and operate a specific neighborhood domain name (e.g., The City of New York has reserved nearly 400 neighborhood names across the five boroughs on the .nyc top-level domain, and these neighborhood domains will be new online hubs for civic engagement, online organizing, economic development, and information-sharing. A beta site is currently live for you to explore the platform.

To be eligible for a .nyc neighborhood name, the lead organization must be:

  • registered as a not-for-profit, public benefit corporation, or local development corporation
  • located within the neighborhood for which a .nyc domain name is sought

If your organization is interested in applying, please RSVP for the info session next Wednesday Dec. 2. The RSVP deadline is Nov. 30. Download this flyer (.5MB, PDF) for more details, and you can reach out to [email protected] with any questions.>
Thanks and have a wonderful holiday!


For some background on see here.

Hope to see you there.



Expiring .nyc Domain Names

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October 6, 2015, New York – With the first year registrations of .nyc domain names beginning to expire, we were curious about the process for identifying now unwanted domain names. So we asked the city and received the following response from its contractor:

The process for expiring and deleted names for .nyc domain names is consistent with the process for other gTLDs. Neustar booth at London ICANN - small

Essentially, domain names that are not renewed go through 2 distinct phases. 

Phase 1: The Suspension/Expiration Phase takes place for 1-45 days after the suspension or expiration date. During this phase, .nyc domain names are still renewable by Registrants and Registrars will attempt to encourage their customers to renew their domain names. If Registrants choose not to renew the domain name, then Registrars will delete the name to avoid being automatically charged the renewal fee from the .nyc Registry. 

Phase 2: Once the name is deleted by the Registrar it enters into the “Redemption Grace Period” for 35 days. During this phase the domain name is still restorable by Registrants for an additional fee for 30 days.  During the last 5 days of the RGP the domain name is non-restorable and the domain name will drop.  

Some registrars do have policies in place that allow them to seek out another Registrant during the RGP, through vehicles like auctions. If they are successful in finding another Registrant, it means that instead of dropping the domain name they will have a “new create” and renew the domain name on behalf of the new Registrant. In this case, the new Registrant would be subject to address validation by Neustar. 

Within both of these phases, the domain name is placed on a “PendingDelete-Restorable” status with the .nyc Registry and the domain name can still be renewed for a fee. Each Registrar sets its own policies and associated fees for renewing and restoring domain names during these phases. 

As always, the .nyc Registry will uphold all nexus policies.  There are also mechanisms in place for people to make nexus complaints in the event necessary. 

As for communicating with New Yorkers, all Registrars communicate regularly with Registrants to ensure reminders are sent about renewals.  To the extent a domain name drops, all interested New Yorkers have access to the WHOIS and can check the status of any domain name in PendingDelete-Restorable status.  At the end of phase 2, assuming a domain name is not restored or renewed — the name will drop and be added to the pool of generally available .nyc domains. 

We’ve asked for some clarification and will report them as they arrive. If you have questions, please let us know. (The graphic of the city’s contractor Neustar’s booth at the 2014 London ICANN meeting. It is provided courtesy of Inc.)


What’s Hot and Not On .nyc?

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url graphicNew York, October 2, 2015 – Would you like to know what .nyc websites are popular? The ones that are getting more popular? And less? Newbies?

One way to find out would be to have access to something called the .nyc DNS Data Log. It’s a list of all the URLs that are requested for sites using .nyc domain names. Every time a .nyc URL is sent to a machine called the Domain Name Server, a log entry is made. If we had access to this DNS Data Log we could find out things like what’s hot and not.

Today we submitted a proposal to the Knight Foundation for funds to explore this idea.  We think it’s worthwhile, but there are technical issues and privacy concerns, and some fresh eyes would be appreciated. It’s called Pulse: Making The Invisible Visible, see it here. (Commons graphic of URL courtesy of Wikipedia.)


On Becoming An NGO

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New York, September 10, 2015 – In early 2014 we submitted an application to the United Nations requesting that our organization be granted Special Consultative Status. A tad over a year later, on April 20, 2015, we received a message from the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations saying “your organization’s application for consultative status by the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will take place during its 2015 Resumed Session in New York, scheduled for 26 May – 3 June 2015.”

UN Resumed Session May 2015The email went on to say “Your presence is not mandatory and will not in any way affect the consideration of your application” and that “given the large volume of new and deferred applications for the Committee’s consideration, it is not possible to determine the exact date at which your application will be reviewed during the session.”

Despite the indefinite review date, we thought that, being located in New York, I’d attend the meeting just in case I might be available to contribute to the review process. Minimally I’d get to spend a day at the UN which always inspires me.

But I could not attend for the full 7 day session and wrote the NGO Committee that I’d be there for the afternoon session on May 28. Everything worked out well on the 28th, and we’re now an NGO. But a friend thought the story of my experience on that day amusing and suggested I share it. Here goes.

At about noon on the 28th, as I was preparing to depart for the UN, an email arrived from the NGO Committee inquiring about the response we’d submitted to question 11, asking if Inc. was an international organization. I added some clarifying detail to my original response and headed out to the UN.

At the UN I found the Committee meeting in Conference Room 4, a very impressive room (pictured above). Near the entrance I found an official and explained my situation. She checked her computer and, noting that my response to question 11 had already made its way through the review process and was available for the members consideration. I asked if there was  anything further I could do to aide my application. She asked if I would be available for the Q&A beginning at 5 PM. Not clear what that was, but eager to please, I said sure. She concluded with “5 PM no earlier.”

There was another meeting nearby that interested me and I left Conference Room 4 for about 1/2 an hour. Returning a bit early, at 20 of 5, I took a seat at the rear. Seconds after settling into my seat the chair, speaking Spanish, said something that seemed to conclude with “”. Startled, I slowly stood, tried to imagine what he might have said, and listened intently a few seconds later when he repeated the statement and clearly said “” at the end.

Unclear as to what to do, I looked around for guidance. The woman at the entry desk motioned to say “Yes it is related to you” and urged me to move toward a desk closer to the front. As I approached that desk the fellow there waved me on, to continue toward the front. Looking ahead I saw another desk just to the right of the dais. But as I reached that desk the two occupants motioned me forward. With no desks ahead I stood motionless. Then a woman just behind the dais whispered that I was to “sit there” and motioned to the rightmost chair on the dais.

So within 30 seconds of hearing “” I found myself sitting on the dais. And wondering what was next.

Shortly the chair stated, in English, that I had 10 minuted to address the 19 members of the Committee. With nothing prepared I spoke for a few minutes about our general goals and about my response to question 11. I was then asked by the representative form Nicaragua how we expected to deliver our services to the member states. After answering the question I awaited another. The chair spoke in Spanish (“Any more questions?” I presumed.) With no response he motioned me to leave my seat.

As I turned to depart the woman who had directed me to sit on the dais said “Congratulations”. I must have looked perplexed, and she followed with “You’ve been approved.” And indeed, the Committee had recommended granting special consultative status to the organization. (Several weeks later Economic and Social Council formalized the approval.)

As I walked back to my seat in the rear two people stopped me to offer their congratulations and I began to realize what a remarkable few minutes I’d spent in Conference Room 4.

In July we received official confirmation of our acceptance as an NGO with special consultative status.

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