2014 is a very exciting year for New York City and the Internet. This is the year that .NYC will be rolled out as a domain name. Currently, .COM, .NET and .ORG are among the most well-known domains, however, .NYC will be added to this list of popular domains by autumn of this year.

If you’d like to understand how to get a .NYC domain and how to use it once you have it – read on or listen to our podcast replay. During our live-streamed podcast session of Internet Law Talk this morning, we lead a discussion to share news and information about the .NYC domain initiative. Joining us were Jeff Neuman, VP at Neustar and Lori Anne Wardi, VP of .NYC.

Listen to the replay of our podcast with the .NYC domain team.

Online Legal Radio at Blog Talk Radio with Internet Law Talk on BlogTalkRadio

As a hands-on contributor to the .CO domain launch, Wardi had first hand experience regarding the immense value in creating new domain names. She highlighted that this is “an opportunity for the overall community, bloggers, charities and so on to brand themselves as true New Yorkers.” Wardi also noted that .NYC is another way that New York City is establishing its thought leadership as one of the very first cities in the world to launch its own domain. Wardi noted that New York City started thinking about the .NYC domain almost 10 ten years ago.

The City Council and both the Bloomberg and DeBlasio administrations have supported the .NYC domain. Wardi and Neuman explained that the .NYC domain is part of New York City’s formal “digital roadmap” and its continuous work to get more Small to Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) online and thereby boost the local economy.

What about search results? This is a critical question for every business that has an online presence – will Google find the new .NYC domains? Will Bing? Could a new domain improve or diminish your search standing? Wardi explained that the same concerns were raised when .CO first launched. The .CO domains that have good content and legitimate businesses using them are ranked the same as the .COM and .NET domains. Thus, a business making the switch to a .NYC domain should not be penalized in search rankings for having a new domain.

On the positive side, Wardi and Neuman noted that a .NYC domain could boost a local business as a New York City-based company, as well as take advantage of local search in the main search engines. For global brands, they view the opportunity to register new .NYC domains as a unique opportunity to hone branding in the NYC region – think of the possibilities of Starbucks owning www.coffee.nyc or Macy’s owning www.shop.nyc.

In order to create as much awareness as possible for the official launch of .NYC, the group has created the NYC Founders Program. The program will highlight NYC-based businesses that are effectively using the new domain, backed with marketing money. This is a high-profile way for local companies to take advantage of the new .NYC domain launch. As part of the program, only a few select companies, individuals and organizations will be approved to be ambassadors for .NYC. The chosen domains will be broadcast to the world and marketed in partnership as the first .NYC domains. Apply by June 13th to get your domain in the mix: NYC Founders Program.

Below is an outline of the other key phases and time frames for the .NYC domain rollout plan:

PHASE 1 (May 2014): Trademarks Sunrise (45 days) Businesses with registered trademarks can apply for first access to the new .NYC domain during the Sunrise period. DomainSkate is a registered Trademark Clearinghouse Agent and can help you apply.

PHASE 2 (June/July 2014): City Government-Affiliated Reserve List (30 days) / Sunrise Auctions During the City-Affiliated phase, City government and government-affiliated organizations will be able to register .NYC domains.

PHASE 3 (August/September 2014): Landrush (60 days) The Landrush period is when all businesses, organizations and residents with a physical address in New York City will have the opportunity to register their .NYC domains. A slightly higher fee will be incurred to register a domain during this time. More details on Nic.NYC

PHASE 4 (October 2014): General Availability As of October 3rd, all businesses, organizations and residents with a physical address in New York City can register for a .NYC domain on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Overall it was an interesting and lively discussion and we will be watching the .NYC domain closely over the Summer as we move closer to formal launch in October 2014. You visit the official .NYC domain website and learn more. If any of these items are confusing, reach out to us at DomainSkate – we’re here to help you understand all the new domains – and to protect your brand, business, url and trademarks in this new Internet expansion phase.

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