­­­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.

Statue-of-Liberty-Paris.JPGNew York, December 13, 2009 - Connecting.nyc Inc. was a sponsor of the OpenNY Summit held at the offices of The Open Planning Project in New York City on December 11-12. One of OpenNY’s tracks focused on making city government’s raw digital information accessible to programmers. The benefits of making standards compliant data accessible became apparent after Washington D.C.’s experiment with mashups resulted in many helpful programs being developed for city residents and visitors.

Standards are a key element enabling the effective release of data and several Summit discussions touched on the issue. The standards discussion inspired Tom Lowenhaupt, Connecting.nyc Inc.’s founder, to present an impromptu talk on the opportunity standards offer for the efficient and effective development of city TLDs. There’s the 2 minute recording of the presentation on AOL Video.

Mr. Lowenhaupt became familiar with city TLD standards through his role as key drafter of the Paris Understanding, a document that would guide global cities in the direction of standards for the development and operation of city-TLDs. ­(Commons photo of Statue of Liberty being assembled in Paris from NYPL collection.)

Learn about .nyc on our wiki pages.

Filed December 14th, 2009 under Standards, Barcelona, City-TLDs, .paris, .berlin

Copenhagen-Climate-Conference-Logo.JPGNew York, December 8, 2009 - As President Obama packs his bags for the trip to Copenhagen and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, we’re taking the occasion to draw attention to one of the more important names that will arrive with the activation of the .nyc TLD - sustainable.nyc.

Take a look at our wiki page for this name and you’ll see that it, and its name cloud, can have a forceful identity and organizing impact on this vital issue. In a time when climate will gather an ever increasing share of our attention, it seems reasonable to set aside a name-set supportive of a sustainable city, around which we can exchange ideas and organize to improve our climate.

While we’re privileged to have Dr. Frans C. Verhagan on our Resident Advisory Network, providing insight guidance into these issues, the Toward a Sustainable City wiki page, and a mechanism for development and oversight of the sustainable.nyc name-set, have yet to be created. So we invite those who wish they could be in Copenhagen today to join here and contribute their thoughts to ways we might utilize the sustainable.nyc name-set in support of an improved climate. (Logo of Copenhagen host committee.) P.S. See Cap & Trade.

Learn about .nyc on our wiki pages.

Filed December 8th, 2009 under Innovation, Partner, Sustainable Cities, Governance

air-pollution.JPGNew York, December 1, 2009 - How we allocate and manage our digital infrastructure is perhaps the central question surrounding the development of the .nyc TLD. What is an effective, efficient, and equitable domain name distribution policy and how do we govern its implementation and oversight?

Our Governance Ecology page provides a number of thoughts on this and today we add two others - common pool resource and common pool regimes.   

Elinor Ostrom, an American political scientist and winner of the 2009 Noble Prize for economics, identifies eight “design principles” of stable local ­common pool resource (CPR) management. Typical common-pool resources include irrigation systems, fishing grounds, pastures, forests, water, and the atmosphere. A first reading of her work indicates many similarities between these resources and a TLD. What can we learn from these, her 8 principles?

  • Clea­rly defined boundaries (effective exclusion of external unentitled parties);
  • ­Rules regarding the appropriation and provision of common resources are adapted to local conditions;
  • Collective-choice arrangements allow most resource appropriators to participate in the decision-making process;
  • Effective monitoring by monitors who are part of or accountable to the appropriators;
  • There is a scale of graduated sanctions for resource appropriators who violate community rules;
  • Mechanisms of conflict resolution are cheap and of easy access;
  • The self-determination of the community is recognized by higher-level authorities;
  • In the case of larger common-pool resources: organization in the form of multiple layers of nested enterprises, with small local CPRs at the base level.­

­See our ­common pool resources wiki page for more on this “experience of the ages” addition to our governance considerations. (­Commons photo courtesy Sheila.)

Learn about .nyc on our wiki pages.