The Power of Place

At a recent Public Forum, Rachel Haot,
http://www.workbook.com/blog/13114
the Chief Digital Officer of the City of New York, unveiled .NYC a new top-level domain [TLD] which, as conceived, will “leverage the assets of New York City in a digital world.” 

“We want creative and meaningful uses of .NYC,” Haot urged.  “But the TLD must have geographic integrity. It must have ‘meaning.’ Those who apply for and own .NYC must have a physical address in New York City.”

That evening, I chose to engage in a break-out session titled:  “The Future of .NYC.”  Paradoxically, I was seated next to a bi-coastal Entertainment Promoter with roots in Los Angeles.  “I grew up in the LA area, business brings me to both Coasts but I am most comfortable here in New York,” she summarized, by way of an introduction.

“Welcome to New York,” I said, “I grew up here; lived in LA for about a year and have recently returned to New York.”  And so our geographic convergence and associated acquaintance began.

 Public Forums, like the one our respective geo-based integrities and interests convened, always guarantee a disparate audience of presumed stakeholders.   Normally, attendees absorb and extract what is most relevant to their interests; sometimes contributing to the at-large agenda and then depart, resuming their respective trajectories among many spheres of consequence, impact and importance.

But paradoxes invite reflection.  And when they derive so consequentially from individual topographic narratives and the abstract intentions of a city like New York, questions surface and assertions about space, place and meaning are born.

“What brought you to tonight’s meeting?” asked my LA / NYC acquaintance.  “As a New Yorker who has been in the tech space for 20 years, I am interested in the intersection of the digital world and the City’s tangible assets, its landmarks, neighborhoods or, as some say, its real-time experience.”  “You know,” she said, “without a targeted marketing plan, .NYC will be just another TLD, among the rest.”  “Yeah, especially since a physical address is required,” I said.

Unexpected lessons which deepen my awareness and understanding are my favorite kind, so I was very pleased to receive a link from my LA / NYC acquaintance about Los Angeles-famed  Dr. Pat Soon-Shiong 
whose company Nantworks, LLC aims to develop and deliver a diverse range of technologies that empowers the digital revolution of the 21st century.

NantWorks’ six entities include NantMobile.  Its core product, iD Browser, is a mobile recognition platform that allows people to browse the physical world around them, unlocking digital experiences, coupons, content and information from featured brands, media and retailers that they know, like and trust. The underlying platform of NantMobile is intended to be and is web-enabled.   The “assets” of the physical world are central to its adoption.

Rachel Haot will soon leave her current post to take a similar job in Governor Cuomo's administration. She will serve as deputy secretary for technology, a newly created position in the governor's office.  Haot will oversee the state's presence on the web, on mobile platforms and on social media.  With her new and expanded role, will physical addresses continue to matter?  Or, will her new sense of place awaken a new sense of space?


1 comment:

  1. Featured in my post is Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. Here is an interview which demonstrates his eloquence, understanding and Ethic where Medicine and Health Transformation are concerned. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_7Hc0urpC4

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