Saturday, January 21, 2012

Europe's "Ethnic" New gTLD Initiatives

Perhaps the new gTLD Initiative is Repartitioning Europe along ethnic lines?
An observation: A look at some of the expected community applications from Europe for new gTLDs suggest that populations with strongest national aspirations or endangered cultures or national pride in Europe are likely to apply for new gTLDs. The new gTLDs program is reviving "the tribe" in the European :), perhaps? The good thing is that it's also providing an opportunity for endangered languages and cultures to create lasting namespaces on the internet for preserving their cultures and creating unique content targeted at their communities.

Africa, with its over 3000 cultures and arbitrary borders that separate cultures into various administrative regions could have benefited hugely from the program, if only the application fee was $15,000 :) Anyway, Africa will still have a DotAfrica!

Otherwise, let's have a look at Europe's "ethnic new gTLD initiatives":

New gTLDs Initiatives from France:
.BZH(dotBZH)   For the Breton Language or Brittany North west France. The new Top Level Domain  is directed at Breton entrepreneurs, artists, volunteers and Internet users.
.BOURGOGNE(dotBourbgogne)  For the Burgundian Region and Culture. Perhaps the domain could also be used to market the fine wine from this region:)
.CHAMPAGNE(dotchampagne)  For the Champenois people in France. Champenois is a language spoken by a minority of people in Champagne in France and in Wallonia in Belgium. Also the name of one of our favorite wines:)
.CORSICA(dotCorsica) Napoleon was a Corsican. Corsica is an Island in the Mediterranean with a unique identity and one of the 27 regions of France

New gTLD Initiatives from the UK
.cymru(cymru): A proposed new Top Level Domain for the Welsh

.scot(dotScot): There's a both a geographic and community application for this new gTLD for Scotland or the Scottish people.
.eng: a proposed new Top Level Domain name for the English?
.ker Proposed Top Level Domain for Cornwall or for the Cornish people. A ‘.ker’ domain on the Internet would united the Cornish people, culture and language throughout the world and would contribute to and reflect the growing diversity on the Internet that is essential for inclusion in an ever changing electronic world.

New gTLD Initiatives from Belgium
Instead of partitioning the country along a physical lines, perhaps it's much easier to partition Belgium along virtual lines :) . I'm thinking dotFlemish and dotWallonia. Here are the new gTLD initiatives from Belgium:

.VL(dotVL I think they will have to add a third letter to make it a gTLD string or wait for independence of Flanders in order to acquire a two letter ISO 3166 code VL) This is the proposed new "gTLD" initiative for Flanders(The Dutch part of Belgium). I think it could be .VLX(dotVLX)

.gent(dotgent): Why not .Ghent? Perhaps Ghent is English? Proposed Top Level Domain name for the city of Ghent. Ghent is the capital of Flanders and this city new gTLD might also go "hand in hand" with .VLX for Flanders.
Any new gTLD initiatives from Wallonia?

New gTLD Initiatives from Germany
.berlin      Proposed Top Level Domain name for Berlin
.bayern    Proposed Top Level Domain name for the State of Bavaria
.hamburg Proposed Top Level Domain name for the city of Hamburg
.saarland  Proposed Top Level Domain name for Saarland
.nrw         Proposed Top Level Domain for the state of North Rhine Westphalia
Köln        Proposed Top Level Domain name for Köln

While these are new gTLDs for the various German states and cities, as a friends once told me, people in Germany are very patriotic to their states and even speak various dialects reflecting the states they come from. So you have a Bavarian versus Berliner and so on with their own "unique" cultures? I stand to be corrected but these could as well be new gTLDs reflecting old state loyalties in Germany? Pre-unification?

 New gTLDs Initiative from Spain
 .CAT(.Cat) : A gTLD for the Catalan community that by the way is already operational on the internet. It  was delegated in 2005.

.AND Proposed Top Level Domain name for the Andalusian Region and Community, estimated population of 17.5 million. Andalusia is the most populous and second largest of the autonomous communities of Spain. If you have seen the Spanish Bull fights or the flamenco music then those are cultural trademarks of the Andalusian community/region in Spain.

.BCN : Proposed Top Level Domain for Barcelona.

.VAL(dotVal or puntVal) : Proposed new Top Level Domain for the Valencian community. The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain whose capital is Valencia. 

.GAL(dotGal or puntoGal) : Proposed Top Level Domain name for the Galician Community which currently numbers about 4 million globally. The Galicians  are an ethnic group and nationality, whose historical homeland is Galicia in north-western Spain.

.madrid(dotMadrid) : Proposed new Top Level Domain for the city of Madrid and by extension, maybe the TLD for the Castile Region.

.EUS(dotEUS) : Proposed Top Level domain name for the Basque language and culture. The Basque Language is Euskara.

.LLI(dotLLI) Proposed Top Level Domain for the Leonese Language and Culture. The Leonese language is spoken by 25,000 people in the Spanish provinces of Leon, Zamora and the Portuguese district of Bragança. Leonese is recognised by the UN as "Seriously Endangered".

New gTLD Initiatives from Italy

New gTLD Initiatives from Hungary
 .SIC(dotSzékely); Proposed new Top Level Domain for the Székely, a subgroup of the Hungarian people living mostly in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania, Romania.

Top Level Domain name for the Kurdish people. Organization applying from Iraqi Kurdistan.

Finally on dotRoma: This could have been a worthy initiative if it was a new gTLD initiative for the Roma Community. The Roma will never have a country of their own, at least they should have one on the internet? Unfortunately for the Roma, the city of Rome will apply for .Roma. Who would have a more legitimate claim for .roma(dotRoma) new gTLD from the Applicant Guidebook? The Romani Community or Rome?

 Any other ethnic new gTLD initiatives that might have been left out? Please leave in comments and it will appear in the article.

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