Why the .NYC TLD namespace has a solid foundation

I have always believed that geoTLDs (.nyc, .london, .paris, .boston) have the greatest potential of all new domain extensions especially when we look to metrics of potential other than registry profits.

GeoTLDs have a clear audience of individuals, organizations and businesses – many of whom focus their marketing and messages at the local community. Of course financial feasibility of running a TLD is important, and part of that correlates to the size of the city as well as the love and affinity people share for the city. .nyc therefore, seems to have it all.

Something else .nyc has, is a city government that is behind it as a partner with the registry (Neustar). The City of New York has both a financial incentive for the TLDs success (40% share in the profits, the rest to Neustar) and a moral obligation to nurture .NYC to be a safe space that innovates and provides economic opportunity.

While researching the beginnings of .NYC I came across the video below. Thankfully the Internet Society recorded this public workshop and information session and it shows that a good plan was in place. This wasn’t about making money, it was about adding value and opportunity and involving the public from the very beginning.

dotNYC Public Workshop and Info Session on .nyc, New York City’s Top-Level Domain, at Brooklyn Law School on Monday December 9 2013, hosted by NYC Digital.

With the historic launch of .nyc, the City of New York will become one of the first cities in the world with a top-level domain, creating new opportunities to support local businesses, organizations, and communities and establishing an unprecedented level of geographic authority in the digital sphere.

The meetup began with a presentation on .NYC by government and industry experts, followed by group breakout sessions. Topics included: what is a TLD, .NYC launch plans, what .NYC means for your business or nonprofit organization, how to apply for a .NYC domain, and more.

Internet Society Chapters Webcasting (YouTube video description/time marks)
  • 00:07 Welcome – Grace Cheung
  • 01:08 Opening remarks – Jonathan Askin
  • 03:59 ConnectNYC update – Kat Lau
  • 05:52 Presentation – Rachel Haot
  • 12:37 Presentation: – Jeff Neuman
  • 29:30 Q&A
  • 56:50 Breakout procedure – Noel Hidalgo
  • 59:26 dotNYC future
  • 1:03:14 Launching dotNYC
  • 1:07:12 Small businesses and dotNYC
  • 1:08:45 Closing remarks – Rachel Haot

.nyc is still young, not yet 5 years old and by many accounts it has thrived. Nexus requirements keeps registrations local, limits speculators and therefore is unhelpful to registration numbers which have stayed strong around 70,000 and usage across the city has boomed.

Examples of true success of a new geoTLD (focus on .nyc) include:

  • adoption (registrations and use)
  • registration trends (short term decline in renewals may be expected given overoptimistic speculators at launch, but trend reversal is necessary)
  • public awareness
  • sightings – bus, train, radio and local TV ads as well as folks investing in new business signage (.nyc on canopies, letterheads and business cards)
  • % of registrants opting for the .nyc only (even if the .com is available)
  • % of users with both a .nyc and .com choosing to forward the .com to the .nyc (and vice versa)
  • how steady the wholesale prices of the geoTLD have been
  • government agencies (schools, police, courts, housing, sanitation, labor and other departments) switching their primary TLD to a .nyc

I’ll be adding many more photos to the gallery soon but here are a few places we’ve seen people investing in signage to promote their affinity to the city.

What do you think of the progress of .NYC? Have you built a website on one? What do you think is next? Do you think the nexus restrictions have helped or hurt the domain space? Leave your comments below.

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