Beginning today, New Yorkers can be masters of their own domain.
This is the first day that the .nyc domain is available to the public, and to get the five boroughs fired up about applying, PR events and campaigns are taking place around the city to generate buzz.
Neustar, the registry services company supporting the domain, along with the city itself, is hosting an event outside Madison Square Park in the Flatiron District this afternoon to promote the launch. Singer Bridget Kelly and the Musical Theatre Factory will be performing – both of who were "founders" of the .nyc domain, meaning they received the .nyc domain this summer in exchange for having their sites up and running by early September.
In total there are about 50 founders representing a diverse group of people and organizations across the city. In August a "landrush" period began, where businesses and residents had the opportunity to register for a .nyc domain while paying a higher fee. More than 10,000 people signed up during this period, which ended at the beginning of this month.
"We think it has done fantastic compared to a lot of domains that have recently launched," said Jeff Neuman, VP-registry services at Neustar. New York City marks the biggest launch of a city's exclusive domain name.
As part of the promotion, five taxis, one for each borough, will be driving around representing one of the many registrars offering the .nyc domain name. "There will be an iPad in every cab," said Mr. Neuman, where riders can learn more about the domain and have the chance to register.
Name.com, a Denver-based registrar, got the taxi in Queens. "Cab fares will be on us for the day," said Ashley Forker, manager-marketing at name.com. Jared Ewy, social-media specialist at name.com, will be riding around in the cab to educate users, generate excitement, and provide on-site registrations.
GoDaddy, the largest international registrar, is hosting an independent campaign to promote the launch of the .nyc domain. A giant billboard on the back of a barge will float up and down the Hudson today with the words, ".NYC Domains At GoDaddy, Shhh – Don't Tell New Jersey" written across it. For the past week, kiosks, coffee sleeves, and subway signage have also displayed the message.
"We think people are going to notice and have a good time with it," said Will Sliger, VP-brand management at GoDaddy. He also said people who might already have established websites with different domain names could still benefit from registering with a .nyc one as well. "The more that you can do to own your name online, including multiple domains, the better chance you have of getting found," he said.
Mr. Neuman said that while roughly 400 domain names have launched in the past year and 1,000 more are expected in the future, New York's domain has already seen tremendous success. "With .nyc you don't have to explain it. People just get it. It's a brand in and of itself," he said.
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CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said more than 100,000 people signed up for a .nyc domain. More than 10,000 people signed up.