It wasn’t the usual opening line I get in emails, but it was an opening line that got my attention: “You don’t know me, but I’m a follower of your blog. You’ll have to forgive me for stalking your domain to find your email address!”
It was mid-2013, and I was still blogging for Fairfax New Zealand with that other blog I used to do (I remember what it was but it’s ancient history now), and the email was from Tim Johnson, the then-Canada-based head of Dot Kiwi, a group founded to establish the .kiwi domain name – a domain name that Kiwis could be proud off and own themselves.
In his first email, Tim told me that “we’re eager to partner with various organisations and individuals who are influencers” to get momentum going in the .kiwi domain names. Being a journalist I guess I had a bit of an ego when it comes to how much what I write about influences people, so Tim classing me as an “influencer” boosted my ego immensely. How could I not want a piece of this when my ego had been flattered by classing me as an “influencer”?
Tim and I stayed in touch over the next few months and over the course of about 30-plus emails it’s finally got to this domain name: gamejunkie.kiwi – a truly New Zealand-flavoured domain name that I can call my own. And you can call it yours, too, if you want, I mean, gamejunkie.kiwi is as much mine as it is yours.
You can learn more about .kiwi here, where you can find out all about the .kiwi story, the people behind it and it’s where you can register your interest so that you’re kept in the loop about what’s going on. It’s currently in the Sunrise phase, which is where existing trademark holders can apply to have a .kiwi domain name that matches their brand name.
When you think about it, though, as Kiwis it makes sense to have our own unique domain name system, right?
New Zealand might be a small country at the bottom of the world but we’ve forged a pretty damn strong identity with the Kiwi brand name, an identifier known around the world. Up until now, we’ve been restricted to domain names like .com or .co.nz or others but .kiwi was never an option. Until now. Now it is. Surely having a .kiwi at the end of your brand name or company web address is really championing New Zealand and announcing to the world that, yes, I’m proud to be a Kiwi? I know I am.
As of today, March 10, the domain name gamejunkie.kiwi, which Dot Kiwi kindly gifted me, has been registered and is up and running. The process was pretty smooth, actually, and the only major change was that my WordPress basic account was upgraded to a Premium account so the new domain name could be attached to my WordPress account. You can now also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you like. Go on: I’d love to get an email from you.
In the scheme of things, nothing’s really changed: It’s the same content, the same person running it (me), the same irregular blog posts, except you can now get to this blog using gamejunkie.kiwi domain name.