Launch of .PARIS - Circle ID
Launch of .PARIS:
Yesterday, hundreds of sweaty ICANN attendees put on their best clothes and braved the crush of the rush hour metro on a very hot day to crush together for the ICANN gala at the overwrought Hotel de Ville (city hall) in Paris.
Most of them missed an interesting announcement.
I arrived an hour late, but even so food and drink were not yet served (not even water), and everyone was in desperate need of provisioning. The dull roar of heat-induced complaining drowned out the dignitaries making speeches at the far end of the hall.
Anyone who has been to an ICANN meeting knows that it's free to attend, and all the events are free as well. If you're smart, you can get free food and booze most evenings, as well as nibbles during the coffee breaks (which makes up for the hotel bar prices: 12 Euros for two small bottles of Perrier, for example). ICANN is right to always profusely thank the hosts for footing the bill, and the Paris meeting, sponsored by AFNIC (the French registration authority) and the Mairie de Paris (city of Paris), among others, did a very good job for the most part.
So it seems the height of ingratitude to jabber while various luminaries, barely audible, heaped fulsome praise on one another. But jabber they did, and most probably missed the announcement that the mayor's office was supporting the launch of .PARIS, headed by Sebastian Bachollet of ISOC France, which will have technical assistance from AFNIC. (AFNIC's position on TLDs under its sway is baffling, but more on that in a later article.)
The inhabitants of Paris consider themselves a breed apart from the other denizens of France, and in this Parisians exactly resemble New Yorkers, Berliners, Londoners, and other citizens of their country's most prominent city. And, to my mind, that's the key to success for a geographically-based TLD—a feeling for the place (or language, or cultural identity) that makes people want to proudly display their affinity, and which will result in domain names that are actually used on the web, and not just filled up with annoying parking pages.
We will see many more…