If you are updating your website and have a great affinity with Scotland, now is a great time to register your own .Scot domain name and have your site stand out above the rest. With clans, Highland Games, Scottish brands and Scottish groups, all signing-up to promote their Scottish identity. Love Scotland – promote it with a .Scot domain.
DotScot Registry is a not-for-profit company who came up with the .scot domain name.
.scot is a top level domain (TLD) for Scotland and Scottish culture that became available to the public in September 2014. It gives people, organisations and businesses the opportunity to clearly identify themselves as Scottish, no matter where they are in the world.
The idea of a .scot domain had been lurking in the minds of many, but the idea primarily came from Scottish Government special adviser, Davie Hutchison. It was announced in 2005 that the body who regulates the internet’s top level domains, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), promised that it would soon be accepting new applications to join the ranks of .com and .org. This was the perfect opportunity to get the idea rolling, and when ICANN began accepting applications in 2012 everything began to move quickly.
Throughout the (many) years of waiting, we carried out extensive market research to find out what domain would best suit those looking to demonstrate their Scottish culture. After a lot of consideration (and realising that many two-letter domains that could be used to represent Scotland were already taken) we settled on .scot – which is now the only new TLD that rhymes!
We wanted the definition of ‘Scot’ to be as wide as a possible, which was something we needed to fight for due to ICANN’s restrictions. This kind of project and cultural representation also required numerous letters of support from influential Scottish figures. We were certainly not in short supply. They were provided by the Scottish Government (who use .scot widely across their websites), football authorities, Sir Sean Connery and a variety of other sources.
Finally, in September 2014, we launched. When asked why a .scot domain was so important, our Chief Director, Gavin McCutcheon, made it very clear:‘For Scottish businesses and citizens alike, the .scot domain is the opportunity to strengthen their web and email identity, optimise the way in which their websites are found and, importantly, leverage the enormously valuable brand that Scotland holds worldwide. We aim to make .scot domains as affordable as possible and our not-for-profit structure means we will be able to do so. We hope that our domain will become the first choice for the worldwide family of Scots, allowing them to demonstrate for the first time their affinity to Scotland and for Scottish societies and organisations wherever they are in the world to make .scot their home on the Internet.’
A .scot domain is not just for those living in Scotland. We can’t stress enough that our domain is not a geographical identifier- but a cultural one. There are between 40 and 50 million people with Scottish connections worldwide, creating the wider Scottish diaspora. You’ll find the bulk of these Scots in America and Canada, with America boasting around 9 million people of Scottish descent whilst Canada homes almost 5 million. Meanwhile, there are only approximately 5.3 million of us living in Scotland. Scots are spread far and wide across the globe, and so is Scottish culture and heritage. To create a geographical domain would needlessly exclude the majority of Scots and lovers of Scottish culture! We launched our #ScotsGoGlobal initiative to demonstrate this, which showcases the celebration of Scottish culture all over the world. If you have any kind of Scottish connection (or perhaps just an affinity for Scotland!) then .scot is suited for you, regardless of where you find yourself.
We also have a host of Global Ambassadors who help us spread the message to the diaspora scattered across the globe. These ambassadors already include Professor Liam McIlvanney, chair of Scottish Studies at the University of Otago; Gillian Davidson, head of mining and metals at the World Economic Forum; Alasdair Reid, Global Scot and advisor to the European Commission; Gus Noble, president of the Illinois St. Andrew Society; Theresa Mackay, owner of Larchgrove Marketing Group in British Columbia, Canada; and Dr Stewart Gill, principal of Emmanuel College at the University of Queensland.
We have over 12,000 .scot domains registered in 43 countries across the globe, and we’re only just two years old. From America to Germany, Canada to China, you’ll find those who wish to express their identity with a .scot domain. We’re also founding members of European Cultural and Linguistic Internet Domains, which reinstates our cultural stance.
So, where to next? Into the New Year we’ll be launching our .scot email address, meaning individuals can show their Scots heritage on the web even if they don’t have their own website. Making .scot accessible to as many people possible who wish to celebrate Scottish heritage and culture is of the utmost importance to us, and we will continue to reach out to the Scots diaspora to make this happen.
Image by: Chris Cairns