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What’s a tech domain name worth? NYC is about to find out.

What would it be worth for a New York City-based company to snag the cloud.nyc or wireless.nyc domain? We’ll soon see.

On April 4, the city announced it would auction off 26 technology themed-web addresses, including apps.nyc, cloud.nyc, computers.nyc, geek.nyc, gps.nyc and wireless.nyc.

In the last .nyc auction, bids up to $37,000 were offered for Fashion.nyc and Shop.nyc. The bid prices for this round start at just $500 so that small businesses and individuals from every borough can participate in the auction process, officials said.

After the number of top-level domains expanded in 2012, New York City tapped Neustar to handle the its new .nyc domain, which the city planned to use to provide residents with easier access to city services, promote tourism and generate revenue. Under the arrangement with Neustar, the New York City government gets 40 percent of the total revenues generated from the registration of .nyc top-level domain names, with the estimated minimum income for the first five years coming to $3.6 million, according to a 2012 New York Times blog.

Since then, the city has also auctioned off what it calls “high-value .nyc premium domains” – generic names the city reserved in a number of high-profile NYC industries, such as fashion and real estate. These domain names, officials said, give “New York developers, designers, brands, marketers, entrepreneurs, startups and businesses access to some of the most in-demand digital real estate in the world.”

Now it’s ready to auction off its tech-themed domains.

“As New York City’s burgeoning technology industry continues to grow, job opportunities increase and economic activity rises, access to these tech-specific domain names will give our founders, startups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to build an even stronger connection with the iconic New York City brand,” said Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York.

Besides reserving domain names for industry themes, the city held onto 400 neighborhood-related domain names, which it made available in 2015 through the Neighborhoods.nyc program.  The names from across the five boroughs (Bloomfield.nyc, Downtown.nyc and Fordham.nyc, for example) were intended for templated online hubs that promote civic engagement, online organizing, economic development and information sharing. The sites display local, real-time information in a clear, easy-to-use interface that is consistent across all the neighborhood.nyc sites.

The sites are populated by data-driven modules and look-up tools that pull information from the most popular city-affiliated open data feeds, such as 311 service requests, street closures, transit delays and emergency notifications, as well as lookup finders for polling places, schools and green markets.

Today, .nyc has become the largest of all city-affiliated domains, officials said. Besides the fashion, real estate and tech domains, the city plans to auction domains for food-related businesses, the arts and creative industry, as well as domains related to nightlife and transportation. 

The tech auction will run from May 2 to 18 and will take place entirely online. Interested parties must register and comply with all rules to participate. All of the auction details can be found at Auctions.nyc.

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.

Miller has a BA from West Chester University and an MA in English from the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at smiller@gcn.com or @sjaymiller.

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