The Ultimate New York City Web Addresses
HEXONET's blog posts often feature and focus on a specific TLD (top level domain) or ccTLD (country-code top level domain). In this post, we would like to take a look at the new gTLDs, in particular dotNYC.
As many of our readers are well aware, ICANN is in the midst of approving the release of many new gTLDs over the next couple of years. This expansion is unprecedented and will open up many opportunities for businesses and individuals alike. So while we wait with great anticipation to see which new gTLDs are formally approved and launched, HEXONET will try to bring to our readers in-depth interviews and information about some of the more interesting new gTLD registry applicants.
To kick things off, this post is an interview with the applicant dotNYC (one of the first cities in the world to pursue its own geographic top-level domain). Last June, the City of New York, selected Neustar as the registry service provider to manage their application process and to also operate the dotNYC registry. We would like to thank the Neustar team for taking the time to share their insights on the dotNYC new gTLD.
Questions and Answers:
1) Can you please highlight the mission of dotNYC
Increasingly, the Internet is not only about what you are, but where you are. When searching, users are often looking for businesses or organizations nearby.
A .nyc web address tells New Yorkers or visitors to NYC that their businesses are located in NYC or that their products and services are for New Yorkers. .nyc also provides a way to express NYC pride and creativity online.
2) What will be the key benefits to registrants, Internet users and others?
Using a .nyc web address will enable global brands to create landing pages to tell NYC customers where their products and services are available in New York City, what events they are hosting, what promotions are currently available to New Yorkers and to feature their community and civic engagement projects.
.nyc provides local businesses and organizations a short memorable domain name that communicates what they offer and where they are, making it easier for potential NYC customers and those seeking services or information, to find them.
3) Will there be specific restrictions in order to register a dotNYC?
The initial phases of the .nyc launch will require organizations and businesses to have a physical address within the five boroughs of NYC. In addition, when General Availability begins, individuals with a primary residence in NYC, and any organization/businesses that offer products and services to New Yorkers will also be able to register.
4) Several of the proposed geographic / city new gTLD applicants indicate that search engines will likely give ranking preference to their TLD compared to other TLDs. What are your thoughts on this?
Search is not only about "what" a business is, but also "where" they are located. Local NYC businesses and major brands will use their .nyc to let users know they are located in New York City. While exact match names will continue to carry some weight with the search engines, they will continue to show what they determine to be the most relevant, engaging, interesting and fresh content they are able to find. The best combination to reach New Yorkers will be content that meets search engine ranking criteria, and a .nyc domain name.
5) Other applicants have mentioned that they intend on offering comprehensive 'directory services.' Do you plan on offering this and if so, can you please elaborate.
A number of value added services, including directory services, could potentially be offered with a .nyc domain name. However, no plans have been announced at this time.
6) How do you plan on effectively differentiating your geographic / city gTLD to stand out against the other geographic / city new gTLDs?
Since .nyc is for NYC businesses, organizations and residents, as well as those offering products and services to New Yorkers, we are not competing with other geographic or city gTLDs. A .nyc domain name will be a logical choice for those who wish to associate their brand, service or product with the City of New York, or for those who live in NYC.
Significant registry marketing activities are planned to raise the awareness of .nyc. Our recently launched informational website is just the beginning www.mydotnyc.com .
7) The number of Internet users that continue to access the Internet via mobile devices continues to explode. How do you intend to leverage this trend?
Mobile share of search is increasing rapidly, and much of this growth is being driven by local. In fact, analysts are predicting that by 2014 more searches will be performed from mobile devices than from desktops or laptops. NYC is no exception to this trend.
We expect that local NYC businesses, major brands attempting to reach NYC customers and organizations serving the needs of New Yorkers, will want a .nyc domain to make it easier for New Yorkers to easily identify them when performing local searches on their mobile devices.
8) Hundreds of new gTLDS will be launched in the months to come. They will of course be vying for digital 'shelf space' with various domain registrars. How do you plan on embracing the registrar community?
The feedback we've received from the registrars we've met with (and we've met with many) has been VERY positive. Not only are they planning to carry .nyc,but most are planning to feature and actively promote .nyc. They generally agree that .nyc is compelling, especially for businesses and organizations with locations in NYC, or for companies offering goods and services to New Yorkers. We've also seen interest in the offering .nyc domains to residents when General Availability begins, both for personal blogs and for personalized email addresses.
9) If your TLD is launched, what are the key challenges / obstacles you foresee in the short term?
We are very confident in our technology, process and support; we also believe .nyc is compelling. The challenge; therefore, is getting the word out. We have big marketing plans, an experienced team, support from the NYC government, and a significant budget to make it happen.
Of course, there is the ICANN process. There is only one applicant for .nyc, so there is no "contention" to resolve. The "priority number" for .nyc is also very favorable (465). We fully expect .nyc to be one of the earliest gTLDs to come to market.