Who Should Operate The Search.NYC Domain Name?

nycConnectingNYC.org wrote an article about who should operate the Search.nyc domain name.

At the time the domain name Search.nyc is reserved by the registry but it is not registered and not resolving. It should at least be pointing to the .NYC registry website.

Rightfully New York City doesn’t want Google or any other commercial search engine running the Search.nyc search engine. But building a good and fair search engine from scratch is not too easy.

Here is what the article says about Search.nyc:

The good news is that the city has put the name into a reserved status, with officials looking for a business model to support its activation.

The thing is that New York City is already too late building search.nyc.

Based on Epstein’s research, it’s clear that if voters are to trust the results, city government can’t be writing the algorithms. The same goes for Google and the other leading operators of search engines: If they won’t reveal the algorithms that guide their operation, how can we trust the fairness of the results?

We see search.nyc as a key component of the civic common. Designed with impartiality and transparency in mind, it can help foster fair and trusted elections. As well, a trusted search engine can provide a level playing field for businesses and incorporate recommendations of city residents in determining results.

What should Mayor de Blasio and New York City do?

Mayor de Blasio should announce that New York City will be establishing a global standard for a city search engine. The city should issue a Request For Proposals to identify a responsible operator of this important piece of the city’s digital commons. An independent funding stream is needed and a governance process enabling all the stakeholders to participate in its development and oversight. With .london, .paris, .tokyo and 30 other cities needing similar search tools, he should strive for a collaborative development process.

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About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

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