The .scot Pioneer Programme goes live today with the 50 or so registrants picked to be part of the programme seeing their domain names, and websites, up and running.
Among those who have signed up and are part of the Pioneer Programme for the new gTLD are the Scottish government, the main yes and no campaign groups for the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence, Yes Scotland and Better Together, as well as WWF Scotland, NHS Scotland and Scouts Scotland. International pioneers include the Louisiana Scots and the Clan Wallace.
The launch of .scot has come at a perfect time with Scottish identity a big issue due to the upcoming referendum and the Commonwealth Games being held in Glasgow next week. The gTLD is being pushed as for use of the Scottish community around the world whose online activities:
The launch has the support of Scottish politicians including Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who said:
"It is entirely right that Scotland should have its own distinctive and recognisable internet domain - in particular, one that will resonate internationally, helping to promote Scottish business and culture throughout the world."
“I am confident that the .scot domain name will prove to be a real asset to the people of Scotland and to the worldwide family of Scots. I am looking forward to the Scottish Government being able to make use of this new domain, and to having gov.scot up and running before the end of the year, as well as our pioneer domains including welcome.scot, which go live today.”
Speaking of the launch of the Pioneer Programme, Dot Scot Registry director Gavin McCutcheon described it as a "fantastic day for Scotland online".
"Owning a .scot domain will allow people and organisations a new unique way to express their identity online."
"It's a community domain intended for everybody who lives and works in Scotland - and for the 50 million people around the globe who are part of Scotland's diaspora.
"After such a long campaign to secure the new .scot domain, we're delighted that we can launch when the eyes of the world are on Scotland, with the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow next week."
The Scottish branch of WWF is also in on the act with WWF Scotland director Lang Banks saying:
“From world-leading climate change targets to innovative approaches to securing more fish and healthier seas, Scotland is a pioneer in creating solutions to some of the most important environmental challenges facing the planet. However, as well as being able to learn from others globally, we’d like these examples to help provide inspiration to others facing similar challenges.
“By using WWF.scot we hope to create a space to better share these and other great ideas so that everywhere people and nature can thrive.”
For the next 60 days only launch pioneers’ domains will be online, but from 23 September General Availability will commence for anyone who wants to be part of the Scottish community around the world.