As John mentioned in a previous blog entry, we’re all very excited about the launch of new gTLDs in the Domainmonster office, and I am by far the most excited about .scot. As a Scot myself, I think it’s about time we were identifiable online – as Alex Salmond put it – ‘The time is ripe for the worldwide family of Scots to have their own domain, reflecting an online community defined by a shared commitment to Scottish identity, culture and economic promotion.’
As new TLDs have already started being released into their Sunrise periods, this is an exciting time not only for Scotland, but many other countries and indeed cities that are releasing geographic gTLDs over the next four years. For example, .wales .quebec and .catalonia are just a few countries set to be getting involved in this exciting change to the internet, while cities such as .rio and .paris lined up to be released alongside .london. But what does this mean for countries that will now be able to carve out a larger name for themselves online, such as Scotland?
The idea for a Scottish TLD was first developed back in 2007/08, with director Gavin McCutcheon first becoming involved about four years ago to help push the idea forward. On getting involved with DotScot, Gavin said the decision was an easy one to make because he really does believe in the idea of being able to express one’s identity on-line and this is a great way of doing it.
Personally, I think that the idea of owning a geographic TLD is a great one. Although, of course – the TLD .scot is self-restricting as many new geographic gTLDs are set to be, director Gavin has told us that it’s intended to be as widely used as possible – ‘It’s intended for people and organisations with a connections or affinity to Scotland – however this will be used in all walks of life and for many different reasons – people, businesses, arts and cultural groups, charities, civic bodies – the list goes on!’
Scotland has a vibrant and diverse culture from music, languages, dress, food, art, business, not to mention six domestic languages and dialects including English, Scots, Gaelic, Doric, Shetlandic and Orcadian. Having a TLD specifically identifying our heritage on-line will mean that all of this cultural uniqueness and diversity has a natural home. This will be the same for many geographic TLDs. .London has been spoken about avidly as the next step for large and small businesses in the city, as well as giving cultural identity online. Even if you already own your perfect .com domain, having a geographic TLD alongside this will put you on the map – excuse the pun.
.Scot, along with all applicants in the new TLD programme had to start the ICANN application a long time ago in order to be in the line-up of over 1,000 new TLDs set to be released over the next 4 years. The procedure is a long one as ICANN must make sure that each gTLD that is approved can and will address the needs of its customer base, and .scot was no different. .Scot in particular adopted a collaborative approach with their partners when drawing up the application which Gavin says made the process a lot more enjoyable!
When asked what new TLDs in general will mean for the internet, Gavin answers that he thinks it’s going to be a revolution – “I have heard the argument that no-one cares about what comes after the dot because we just Google stuff but I don’t buy into that argument. I can’t speak for the .brands and their like but cultural and linguistic bids like us are all about building communities. I think we will start to see more and more internet users using the new gTLDs as a means of associating themselves with a culture, music, language or other community. There are about 5 million people in Scotland but the world-wide family of scots extends to something like 100 million and being able to use .scot will provide a new way for them to associate themselves or their business or interests with like-minded others.”
.Scot have had tremendous support from all walks of life, receiving letters of support from businesses big and small as well as from Scottish organisations world-wide; New Zealand, Canada, America, Australia and elsewhere. They have support from sports including football and rugby, language organisations, Universities, local authorities, government, religious bodies, clan organisations, music groups and much more besides. When talking about this, Gavin says – “We were bowled over by the level of support and good will for our bid and are extremely grateful for it.” With support so high and so much interest being taken already, .scot looks set to be a great success within the release of over 1,000 new gTLDs!
Although there is currently no set release date for .scot, the current estimate is early 2015. Pricing is set to be as inexpensive as possible however of course more information and finalised pricing will be available on this nearer the time of release. You can find out more information by going to dotscot.net or following them on Twitter, as well as registering interest for .scot alongside many other nTLDs with us at gtld.domainmonster.com or letting us know what your plans are for .scot or any other geographic TLD on Facebook or Twitter.