­­­google-in-parade.JPGNew York, December 29, 2009 - Adam Raff’s recent  New York Times Op-Ed Search, But You May Not Find paralleled an issue we have been concerned about for some time - search transparency. While Adam focused on the damage from corporate shenanigans, our concerns have centered more on the impact the Google search engine’s lack of transparency might have on civic affairs. For example, we’re likely to see Google confronting city zoning regula­tions for a variance to build inspirational office space for its expanding enterprises: How would Google rank the activities of organizations leading the opposition? Would individual opponents be able to locate the opposition? Or would the opposition be custom coded to screen land on page 13? Transparency = trust.

And imagine if Google “winner$” begin running for public office, how are we to trust its opaque search algorithm during the rough and tumble of an election campaign? Then we’d clearly see the relationship between link and ballot voting.

Transparent search - a far easier metric than Raff’s search neutrality - is vital to our city’s having level commercial and civic playing fields. We’re looking for resources that foster the creation and assessment of transparent search engines for the .nyc TLD. Follow developments on this via our Transparent Search wiki page. ­ ­(Commons photo courtesy of http://aiblsuki.blog122.fc2.com/blog-entry-95.html.)

Learn about .nyc on our wiki pages.

  1. Hi Thomas,

    Great blog! One example that I can point you to is www.google.la. For almost seven years, LA Names Corporation has been operating as the registry for DOT-LA. As you know, DOT-LA was leased from the Country of Laos for use by residents and businesses of LA. Google no doubt is aware of this arrangement, yet, it has continued to operate www.google.la for Laos. I believe this is an attempt to create confusion in the market place that, in turn, would help to derail, or prolong, the adoption of the DOT-City tld concept. I’ve made several attempts to contact Google regarding this issue, but, I have not received any response.

    Comment by Ray Marshall on December 31, 2009 at 3:13 pm

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