Für die Konferenz „Marketing Cities: Place Branding in Perspective“ habe ich heute nachfolgenden Abstract im Rahmen des Calls for Papers eingereicht:
Regional Top-Level-Domains – A powerful Place Branding Tool?
have the need to find „unique destination propositions” to safeguard their places competitiveness in a globalised rivalry in the fields of politics, culture, tourism, investment, export, and population.
With new top-level-domains with a regional focus like .berlin, .nyc or .sco (so-called GeoTLDs) intuitive domain names like www.hotel.berlin, www.museums.nyc or www.culture.sco will become reality within the next years. The United Nations Internet Governance Forum dedicated a workshop solely on this topic at its annual meeting in November 2007. It is expected that these localised addresses will enhance communication, ease interaction, and make the places resources more readily accessible for people around the world.
Additionally, the GeoTLDs open up profitable opportunities not only for the digital place branding as touristic destination, business location, and habitat. They also fit into the pattern of creating uniqueness and modern image for a place.
As they will be used for domain names or in email addresses by inhabitants, companies and administration, the GeoTLDs have the potential to generate long-term, growing and sustainable attention and a positive attitude for the respective place name globally. Contacts with the place name could easily reach some astonishing billions each year.
This makes GeoTLDs a powerful place branding and public diplomacy tool. Being used as a part of the places’ internal branding strategy a GeoTLD is expected to create and support local identity for enterprises, institutions, and individuals and may lead to a stronger sense of community.
It is imaginable that the places’ external marketing strategy and the creation of a maximum branding value can be substantially supported by communication activities which include domain names like www.be.berlin or www.i‑love.nyc.
In the context of public diplomacy a GeoTLD may be used to emphasise and sustain political aims in foreign publics by an own identity and voice on the Internet. Governments could support their local community’s goals by communicating digital leadership, economic prosperity or cultural and linguistic ideas and ideals within a globalised world.
The paper will describe and weight opportunities and risks of the upcoming GeoTLDs and will summarise how GeoTLDs will shape the (digital) face of places in 10 theses.
Georg-Simmel-Zentrum für Metropolenforschung