As we’ve noted elsewhere, the launch of new TLDs is giving cultural and linguistic communities their own space online.
From early this morning the launch has been garnering quite a bit of mainstream media:
The domain names themselves will “go live” this evening starting from 1800 UK time.
Here’s the full release:
Today, the first .cymru and .wales websites will go live when Wales’ First Minister and the National Assembly’s Presiding Officer officially switch over the first tranche of websites to their new internet domains, marking a historic day in Wales’ digital history.
Those wanting to express their Welsh identity online will be able to do so through two new .cymru and .wales domain names. One of the first to go live will be the National Assembly for Wales, who were amongst the first to declare their support for the new internet domains and today they will officially adopt their new assembly.wales and cynulliad.cymru web addresses.
Commenting on this historic event, Ieuan Evans MBE, Chair of Nominet’s Wales Advisory Group said, “Today heralds a new era for Wales in the digital world. The first group of websites going live today marks only the beginning of this new and innovative venture for Wales. In the next phase of the project, this opportunity will be extended to all businesses and individuals. We can’t wait to share these new domains with everyone in Wales.”
Joining the National Assembly in making the switch will be Media Wales, with their online outlets Wales Online and Daily Post switching over to the new domains, the Welsh Rugby Union, the Millenium Stadium, Golwg360, Bloc, Gwalia, Atlantic PLC, Orchard and Portmeirion. Welcoming the new domain names, Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM said “Brand recognition is essential for organisations and businesses to successfully promote their work and interests. A .wales /.cymru brand will be an enormous help to Welsh organisations as they strive to make their voice heard around the world.”
“This is an exciting and positive development for Wales. I am pleased that the National Assembly for Wales has taken a leading role in this initiative, by agreeing to be one of the ‘early adopters’ of the new domain names.”
“I encourage everyone who has an online presence in or about Wales to consider adopting the new .cymru / .wales, as part of their future.”
From November the window will open for all businesses trading in Wales to get their new domains ahead of wider availability for the public in March 2015. With over 8,000 new businesses set up in Wales annually, the new domain names provide the perfect opportunity for them to demonstrate their Welsh credentials online and show they’re proud to be part of Wales’ growing online community.
Baroness Rennie Fritchie, Chair of Nominet UK, the company behind .cymru and .wales, said: “After 25 years of the world wide web, Wales is making history by getting its own home online. We are proud to be part of the .cymru/.wales project, excited by the interest it’s generated, and look forward to seeing the Welsh community develop and grow online.”