Jun 18, 2012
Community owned dotgay LLC applies to ICANN as the only Community-based TLD focusing on the Safety, Visibility and Support for the gay community
June 14, 2012 (New York, NY) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals have always been early adopters when it comes to the Internet, instantly becoming a force in cyberspace with early adaptation of AOL and the “inter-gays” in the Far East. The scramble for “.gay” is on, but only one company is trying to create something different, a true benefit for the global gay community. The dotgay LLC application is community-based; supported by over 125 LGBT organizations, representing over 230,000 businesses and 7 million consumers. However, who will eventually run “.gay” is truly up in cyberspace. A battle is on between commercial and community interests and ultimately ICANN will decide who has control over the “.gay” domain.
ICANN recently opened up bidding for new Top Level Domains (TLD) and close to 2,000 applicants have answered the call. Numerous companies have been created to bid for multiple generic names, anticipating a modern day domain gold rush where prospectors will hopefully be able to sell off these domains to the highest bidders. On the other hand, dotgay LLC is a certified LGBT business enterprise developed by community leaders in response to ICANN opening up this opportunity, and is charging ahead in its efforts to create a new and powerful global platform on the Internet designed by and for the entire gay community.
“This is a significant opportunity for the global community to come together online,” says Scott Seitz, CEO of dotgay LLC. “By building a trusted domain that addresses safety, visibility and ways to support the community, “.gay” can create equity for the community that aligns with vendors, individuals, business and organizations. We are excited about our plan to place more control of the “.gay” TLD in the hands of the community as opposed to a commercial interest that simply builds out the space, but misses the opportunity to create benefit. It’s more than just dollars, it is about access, advocacy and networking; helping people connect. Our team has developed a sustainable and supportive TLD management model that will become a template and stepping off point for other communities. Once again the global gay community has led the way in establishing new, safe and supportive digital frontiers.”
The “.gay” domain will be inclusive of the entire community and reflect a long process of discussion within the community about creating a namespace that is globally recognizable. The COC Netherlands support of the word “gay” over other options like LGBT or LGBTQI was echoed as “the most commonly and worldwide accepted term for a diverse group of people including homo- and bisexual men and women and transgender, intersexual and queer people plus their straight friends.” Given the global impact of the TLD, global perspective took precedence in the community decision. dotgay LLC plans to build our online community, networked via popular hubs (ie. travel.gay, lesbian.gay, trans.gay, health.gay, bar.gay and pride.gay), authenticated and monitored by the community. Throughout the multi-year ICANN application process, dotgay LLC has also been guided by the dotgay Application Advisory Group (dAAG) comprised of 11 different community leaders in commerce, internet policy and NGOs from 8 different countries.
dotgay LLC has only one application with ICANN. As the first TLD managed by a certified LGBT business, with an innovative business model that understands the community and gives at least 67% of domain registration profits back to the community, dotgay LLC is prioritizing accountability and transparency over profits and politics. Merging the wisdom of the community with the speed of small business, dotgay LLC will be a for profit business managed by a registry advisory board made up of all aspects of the global community. dotgay LLC provides a clear connection to the community, and guidance to the growth of what promises to be one of the most exciting new TLDs. Truly global, the plan includes support from 9 of only 12 United Nations accredited LGBT organizations that are part of ECOSOC, and has earned community endorsements representing 110 different countries from all segments of the community.
The “.gay” TLD will plant a communal flag in the digital world for LGBT people everywhere. Key landing pages will be held for use by the community as opposed to being auctioned off to the highest bidder as a way of ensuring that the new TLD delivers traffic, social and economic gains to the community. “Our plan reserves the “.gay” TLD for authenticated community members, building the value of a “.gay” brand” said Seitz. “We are not simply looking to sell space on the Internet, we are looking to protect the interests of the global community, create healthy conversation, and through visibility gain equality.”
To learn more about the dotgay LLC plan, get involved and go online to www.dotgay.com.