The LinkNYC organization has begun installing advertising and communication kiosks on our neighborhood's sidewalks. These 9.5-foot tall (2.9 meters) kiosks have 55 inch screens on either side (see photo right) that broadcast computer controlled, illuminated advertisements to strollers and passing vehicles 24 hours per day. With this capacity LinkNYC has become our newest mass medium. Beyond the broadcast, it's said that using anonymous, aggregated information gathered from device IDs (e.g., cell phones), user profiles can be developed with messages delivered from individual kiosks to specific individuals or demographics. (See this page's Discussion to learn how the JacksonHeights.nyc Initiative imagines using this newest mass medium.)
LinkNYC ~ LinkJacksonHeights
The Jackson Heights neighborhood stands to benefit if local organizations are able to broadcast public interest announcements on the kiosk's 55 inch high definition monitors. This page presents options and processes for gaining advantage from our newest neighborhood mass medium. In November 2017 the JacksonHeights.nyc Initiative first utilized LinkNYC to invite local residents to "Help Build the digital neighborhood" - see this initial message in photo at right.
Gaining access to this newest mass medium will enable us to promote local culture; empowering local organizations such as The Jackson Heights Community Chorus, JacksonHeights.nyc, QCNI, the Pride Parade, etc. to reach out using this valuable neighborhood-building resource.
According to section 5.8.1 of the LinkNYC Franchise agreement with the city of New York (see below), 5% of the kiosk's ads are to be used for public interest purposes. 5% of each day's ads amounts to 72 minutes of display time on each terminal along our streets. As per the franchise agreement, access to this valuable public media is to be administered by NYC & Company or their designee.
Installation has begun completed on kiosks along Roosevelt and 37th Avenues. The 3 grey kiosks on 37th Avenue and 82nd street were the initial ones used to promote JacksonHeights.nyc.  40 local sites are being evaluated. See the siting criteria and "possible sites" map.
Putting Your Message on LinkNYC Kiosks
There are currently (November 2017) no published guidelines detailing the process for utilizing LinkNYC kiosks for neighborhood use. But judging from our experiences and a perusal of the city contract, these are the steps we'd recommend.
- Identify the kiosks you want too use. (See citywide map of kiosks here.)
- Contact the city council member's office for the area where the kiosk is located and request assistance with gaining accessto "your" kiosks.
- If the council member's office is unfamiliar with the process, suggest they contact Ruth Fasoldt, External Affairs Manager, LinkNYC, T: 929-241-1546, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, at Intersection, the kiosk operator.
- Upon agreement as to your eligibility, Intersection will send you a link by to a form for submitting the text of your message.
- The graphic options supporting the text message are limited. (See our various attempts to avoid the graphic constraints on this page's discussion page. Ultimately we conformed to their clip art standard.
- When the message is agreed upon, a short contract will be sent for your approval.
- Within 24 hours of its return your message should be activated.
Toward Institutionalizing Neighborhood Access To LinkNYC Kiosks
For several decades there have been advertising space set-asides on bus stop shelters and pay phone enclosures for neighborhood and not for profit use. However, awareness and a clear means of accessing them limited their utility.
To avoid a repetition with the LinkNYC kiosks, a new regiment should be established that puts these resources into the hands of local organizations. To facilitate access a responsible administrative entity must provide the following services:
- Designate an entity to administer the equitable sharing these resources, with the multiple stakeholders part of the administrative process
- Establish a guideline (e.g. a 50% x 50% split) for division of the advertising time between government (e.g., City Council, Community Boards, city government services) and local nonprofits
- Undertake routine awareness campaigns about the availability of the LinkNYC resources
- Inform local entities about message submission protocol and design standards
- Facilitate ad placement with the LinkNYC administrator (currently NYC & Company)
- Assure equitable allocation of prime time allocations from LinkNYC (i.e., no "crickets chirping" 3 AM time slots for the neighborhood's ads)
What We Don't Know
With the assistance of Councilmember Dromm and Intersection we've learned a good deal about the kiosks. But several questions remain.
- How often can we can change the ads?
- What's the process for submitting new ads?
- How many kiosks we can use? As mid-November 2017 there were approximately 40 live kiosks in Jackson Heights and our message was on 3 of them. How do we increase that number? Who decides?
- How do we explore the use of Bluetooth, video, the input tablet, and other technologies included in the kiosks? What's available and who will partner with us on this exploration?
LinkNYC Agreement: 5% of total value of the advertising space for public interest use
Section 5.8.1 of the LinkNYC Franchise agreement with NYC says the following:
5.8.1 NYC Program Advertising (NYCPA) as described in this Agreement will be administered on behalf of the City by NYC & Company or such other entity or agency as the City may from time to time direct (the NYCPA Manager). In each year of the Term, Franchisee shall provide advertising space to the NYCPA Manager for NYC Program Advertising (NYCPA) at no cost to the City or the NYCPA Manager consisting of 5% of the total value of the advertising space on the Structures then available to Franchisee under this Agreement. At the NYCPA Manager’s option, such space provided to the NYCPA Manager shall be comprised of an agreed-upon set of particular panels at agreed-upon locations. Alternatively, if agreeable to the NYCPA Manager, some or all of the NYCPA Advertising space may be allocated on a time-based fractional basis such that certain panels are used by the NYCPA Manager for NCCPA Advertising at certain times or during certain periods rather than set aside entirely for NYCPA Advertising.
Related Wiki Pages
- Wikipedia article for general info about Link.nyc and the kiosks
- Link.NYC, a product of Intersection
- Intersection, with the backing of Alphabet (Google), is the operator of the Link.nyc kiosks
- Sidewalk Labs is Alphabet's urban technology company, it oversees Intersection
- Map showing LinkNYC kiosk locations, both planned and active
- LinkNYC Open Data locations showing 20 fields of data on each kiosk.
- RethinkLink.nyc, a public interest organization exploring possible privacy violations resulting from data gathered by LinkNYC sensors.
- Funny Vimeo video about Links.