- The geeks have it
- The geeks have it
It may have started as something of a joke but the move to get a new second level domain (.geek.nz) accepted in New Zealand has cleared the first hurdle.
For those of you new to the crazy world of the domain name, here's a quick overview. For those of you familiar with the crazy world of the domain name, feel free to point out my errors as you go along.
There are top level domains (TLDs) like .com and .net, .org and so on. Then there are country codes (ccTLDs) like .nz, .au and .uk. Some countries use country codes and some tend to avoid them - the US, for example, should officially use .us for its country code but since most people in the US don't know it exists, they tend to use the TLD level instead.
Here in New Zealand we're an avid provider of country code addresses, and we have a second level domain (2LD) system that adds .co, .net and the like before the .nz.
So you get idg.net.nz or computerworld.co.nz and so on.
There are only so many 2LDs on the market and InternetNZ, which is charged with looking after such things for New Zealand, has called a moratorium on applications for any new 2LDs while it reviews both the process for approving applications and indeed the entire 2LD structure itself.
Just before the moratorium came into play one last application was accepted. Dean Pemberton, currently residing in Sydney but coming back to Wellington soon, is an engineering geek who clearly has too much time on his hands. He applied for .geek.nz and put together a proposal that has gathered quite a bit of support.
InternetNZ's procedure for such things is to have a discussion period, then a vote, then another discussion period, then an interim ruling, then a discussion on the ruling, then another ruling then a song, then a dance and well, you get the drift. It's a lengthy process, assuming all goes well.
Previously only two proposals have reached the first straw poll voting stage. The Maori Internet Society proposed .maori.nz and it passed all the way through (you can now register a name in that space if you so chose) while the Bankers Association has had two goes at getting .bank.nz passed and nobody seems interested.
Pemberton's .geek.nz has just passed the first round, and looks quite likely to go all the way. I can see the fights already, over a.geek.nz or big.geek.nz...
Do we even need a second level? Other countries get by quite happily without it - you'd simply see URLs that look like computerworld.nz instead of computerworld.co.nz. No great loss there, you'd think, but there are a number of existing domain names that would clash - Telecom, for example, owns telecom.co.nz but not telecom.org.nz. Presumably there would be a tussle there.