Dot Kiwi’s Landrush Period opens today allowing all Kiwis across the globe to apply for .kiwi domain names.
From personal email addresses to corporate websites, .kiwi domain names are about to become commonplace.
Approximately one thousand domain names have already been sold during the pre-registration period for trademark holders and through early reservation programmes.
These domain names are starting to go live and include brands such as www.lotto.kiwi, through to sports celebrities like Bevan Docherty’s www.docherty.kiwi.
Research indicates there is significant demand and excitement about the .kiwi domain name. To date Dot Kiwi has received registrations of interest for 3,000 domains, not including the number of pre-registrations domain name resellers around the globe have received.
To ensure that all New Zealanders have a fair opportunity to purchase the domain name they want, Dot Kiwi is not operating on a first-come, first-served basis for its initial public launch phase.
The Landrush Period runs until the 30th of April, during this time Dot Kiwi will be taking applications for .kiwi domain names. Domain names with only one applicant will be immediately registered on the 1st of May. If there are multiple applications for the same domain name all parties will be invited to bid for the domain name in an online auction.
“Now that Dot Kiwi’s pre-registration period is closed the door is open for all Kiwis to pick the .kiwi domain names they want," says Tim Johnson, CEO, Dot Kiwi.
"All they need to do is visit our website or most leading domain name resellers, and tell us what they are interested in.”
One organisation that has partnered with Dot Kiwi to help raise global awareness is Kea New Zealand, the global network of New Zealand expats.
“We’ve got hundreds of thousands of members across the globe, many who want a closer link to their Kiwi identity," says Craig Donaldson, CEO, Kea New Zealand.
"New .kiwi domain names will be of keen interest to expats looking for ways to stay connected with home, and for local businesses looking for new ways to communicate online.”
Kiwi organisations around the world wanting to connect with their national identity online have already begun to register their interest, with requests coming in from Canada, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, the United States, Malaysia, China, and all over Europe.
Naturally, interest from within New Zealand has been the most prolific. Early reservations made during the pre-registration period include Kiwi organisations such as Lotto New Zealand, New Zealand Rugby League and Triathlon New Zealand.
The .kiwi domain is one of approximately 1,400 new top-level domains launching online in the coming months, however it is the only one created specifically for New Zealanders.
“I think at this stage it’s hard for the average Internet user to envisage what the changes to Internet domain names will mean," Johnson adds.
"In the coming years, it’s going to be become the norm for domain names to describe you. Very soon, the more traditional domain name endings like .com are going to be viewed as characterless."
Dr Bruce Tonkin, from leading global domain names registrar, Melbourne IT (trading as Domainz Ltd in New Zealand) adds: “Based on the level of interest we’ve seen in the lead up to the Landrush Period, it is clear that many New Zealand businesses view .kiwi domain names as a valuable addition to their online marketing tool kit.”
Most New Zealanders have stuck with .nz without a second thought and research suggests that equally many New Zealand businesses with global footprints have turned to .com.
The team behind .kiwi believes this is about to change, as more New Zealanders look for a domain which will be globally recognised and represents Kiwi values and culture.
The benefits of new domain names
A domain name is an opportunity to own and project your identity online, whether you’re a business, not-for-profit or individual. Regardless of where you are in the world, .kiwi domain names offer a new, fun, and modern online identity that will be identifiable around the globe.
For businesses it will be essential to consider how their domain name fits with their marketing strategy and positioning. Customers see a business’s domain name before even seeing their website. .kiwi domain names immediately let customers know they are dealing with a truly Kiwi company.
For individuals, a .kiwi domain name is about having the freedom to express their identity and use it as a badge of honour online.