Auf dem Internetgipfel der Vereinten Nationen, dem Internet Governance Forum (IGF), waren wir als dotBERLIN nach Vinius (Litauen) eingeladen. Unsere Erfahrungen bei .berlin haben wir dort mit Regierungsvertretern sowie anderen Interessenvertretern geteilt. Sie kamen aus Ländern wie den USA, China, Japan, Frankreich und Portugal.
Im Workshop „City-TLD Governance and Best Practices” diskutierte Dirk Krischenowski mit anderen Internetexperten über die bevorstehende Einführung von Stadt-Top-Level-Domains. Ein weiteres Thema waren die Multi-Stakeholder-Modelle für das Management von cityTLDs. Die von uns aufgestellten Thesen wurden dabei von mehreren Regierungsvertretern ebenfalls in ihren Beiträgen als wichtiger Aspekt der neuen Namensräume aufgegriffen. Als dotBERLIN konnten wir damit einmal unsere Vorreiterstellung in diesem Themengebiet unterstreichen. Initiert hatte den Workshop mit Unterstützung der Stadt .nyc-Gründer Tom Lowenhaupt.
Dirk Krischenowski sagte beim Internet Governance Forum IGF Vilnius 2010:
My name is Dirk Krischenowski and I’m founder and CEO of dotBERLIN, the initiative for the .BERLIN name space. We are also consulting other European capitals and cities on this topic. I am happy to share and discuss our experience with you today.
This is my 3rd IGF and the 3rd IGF-Panel I am invited to speak about aspects in city- and Geo TLDs. Today I will not speak in detail about the .berlin top-level domain; I will focus on aspects how cities will benefit from their own name spaces.
The idea of city top-level domains is generic. Already in the history of the DNS (Domain Name System) Jon Postel considered spaces not only for countries but also for cities and regions. Mid of the 90’s he got requests to add .Caribbean, .England and the .USA as string to the root.
First attempts for a cityTLD had been made in 2000 when parties tried to get .NYC and .DUBAI approved by ICANN. They failed for various reasons, for instance lacking a concept for operating a cityTLD. The first person I know that had a good ideas on how cityTLDs could be managed and governed at the same time was Tom Lowenhaupt.
We at dotBERLIN learned from this and went in 2005 to ICANN with a clear-cut concept and multi-stakeholder approach and asked ICANN to open an application window for .BERLIN.
Since then the topic of cityTLDs became visible globally and fertilized more than a dozen initiatives in metropolises like Paris, Tokyo or Sydney. We are all waiting now that ICANN approves our cityTLDs.
But let’s focus on a future where cityTLDs are already in place. There are many areas of benefits on which I could talk today, but my since my speaking time is limited I would like to focus on a single interesting aspect.
Within our dotBERLIN multi-stakeholder outreach in politics, business, culture and among citizens we especially inspired city marketing & branding people and city and city mayor organizations on this hot new topic.
At the moment I am preparing a paper for the 2nd International Placebranding Conference in Bogota in Jan 2011. And I would like to share some of the thesis from this paper for discussion with you today.
- The digital branding will become ore important in the future in the city’s marketing strategy. Digital branding will become a more relevant competition factor when it comes to attract to capital, people and general interest. In this sense a cityTLD may be come a unique destination proposition comparable to an USP.
- City branding by top-level domains will unleash the potential of a whole city society to market their destination. Not only the city government and institutions are in lead here. Each city domain name, let’s say www.olivier.paris, will contribute as individual ambassador of it’s own city.
- CityTLDs have the potential to become the all-over most important contact point with the name of the city worldwide. Especially, since the name or abbreviation of the city will be used billionfold a year in email and for websites. Also, cityTLDs will increase search engine rankings of cities. This all together is a striking point in the city marketing & branding.
I hope I showed with these points an important dimension of cityTLDs. They make it even more important to plan the management and governance of a cityTLD with all affected parties, especially the city government.