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.

Link: http://www.gsz.hu-berlin.de/dokumente/CfP_Place_Branding_Berlin_Dec_08.pdf

Georg-Sim­mel-Zen­trum für Metropolenforschung