Residents of New York City will soon have access to a brand new top level domain, something that’s bound to go down well with local businesses and travel sites given the city’s rather ‘pretentious’ reputation. Recently approved by ICANN, the Internet address regulatory body, webmasters residing in the Big Apple will soon be able to apply for a .nyc web address when the domain is officially launched later this year, although no one’s yet said how much one might cost.
Nonetheless, it seems that mayor Bloomberg is an enthusiastic supporter of the idea, as he made clear in the following tweet that broke the news:
NEWS: We’re one of the first cities in the world to get our own domain: .NYC. Find out more: http://t.co/SRqLgMb9DF
Also quick to praise the idea was mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn, who said that with its own top-level web domain, New York is no longer just the “greatest city in the world,” but it’ll soon be the “greatest city on the internet” as well.
Fair enough, but who exactly is going to want to use a .nyc domain? According to Bloomberg’s website, a top-level domain will be one of the most effective ways of leveraging “the power of the city’s name” to promote your business or whatever else it is you’re advertising on the web. It might be powerful, but whether or not anyone will actually go for it remains to be seen – and then again there’s a danger this could backfire on the city.
ICANN has made a habit of botching previous top level domain awards – witness the debacle over the top-level .xxx domain, which compelled numerous businesses across the world to buy up the resulting .xxx domains for their own trademarks out of fear these could be abused – many businesses later said that the practice amounted to “domain extortion”, and we have to wonder how New York City is planning to handle its own applications. While the rules state that you need to provide a NYC address to register for a .nyc domain, what’s to stop someone buying up “bigapple.nyc” or “statueofliberty.nyc”, or even something more obscure like “giants.nyc” that could later cause problems for that football team?
For now, Bloomberg and other officials have stayed tight lipped on whether or not they have plans in place to protect businesses from these kinds of tricks, with the only requirement being to have a “bona fide presence” in the Big Apple, without even explaining how that would be verified.
For more information on how to register for a .nyc domain, check out the city’s new website at www.mydotnyc.com.