.Eco domain hopes to differentiate itself with .eco system.
.Eco domain names become available to the public this month. I asked Michael Ward, VP of Business Development for Dot Eco, to explain what will make .eco different from other top level domain names.
DNW: Who is .eco for and what are the requirements to register one?
Ward: Thank you for this opportunity Andrew. .eco is for the millions of businesses, organizations, and individuals who are committed to positive change for the planet. Small and medium size businesses that are committed to sustainability are ideal .eco end users. We are already seeing Champions, or early adopters, from the fashion industry, financial service sector, and companies that offer environmentally-friendly products launching new businesses on .eco domains, or switching from their current domains to .eco. It is amazing to see this early adoption. We are also seeing environmental organizations and individuals adopting .eco domains for campaigns, such as raising awareness for the protection of ocean areas in Canada and Chile. Expect to see press releases and more marketing about these .eco Champions in the future. As we get into General Availability later in April, one of our goals will be to have Fortune 1000 companies embrace and use .eco to showcase their sustainability initiatives.
All .eco registrants will be given two complimentary value adds with their .eco domain, a .eco profile and a .eco trustmark. Registrants will be required to complete the .eco profile and take a pledge to support positive change for the planet and to be truthful when sharing information about their environmental actions. These are the two requirements to use a .eco domain.
2. Registrars typically don’t like validation. How did you get so many registrars to carry .eco?
Ward: We currently have over 60 global registrars who have onboarded .eco. Our validation is not like those you may have seen in the past. There are two key differences—it’s simple and it’s post registration. That means the onus is on the registry and not the registrar. The validation process is akin to self attestation, which makes sense for the .eco brand that is so focused on trust and transparency. The .eco profile is a natural extension of the brand and fosters a trustworthy and transparent space. We think registrants will want to create a .eco profile to showcase their sustainability work and will not view it is as a validation process.
We have met with dozens of registrars over the past 120 days to solicit registrar feedback. Overall, registrars are embracing our innovative approach and strategy with .eco. They understand that what we are doing will add value to .eco. We still have some work to do with some registrars to get them to onboard and we are encouraged by the ongoing dialogue we are having with them.
3. What’s the .Eco System?
Ward: As mentioned earlier, each .eco registration will come with a .eco profile and a .eco trustmark. Combined, these three elements make up the .eco system. The .eco profile will be a searchable database where internet users will be able to find those companies, individuals and organizations that are committed to environmental change, and more importantly, view their specific environmental actions. The trustmark will be an icon that .eco registrants can put on their websites, similar to a facebook or twitter icon, to showcase their .eco alignment. It is our belief that the .eco domain extension, although certainly valuable and globally recognized on its own merit, will have more value as an element of the .eco system.
4. A lot of new TLDs are struggling. When I think of .eco, I immediately think of .green. Despite a dedicated marketing effort for eco-friendly use, it didn’t take off. Why do you think .eco will be different?
Ward: .eco is supported by over 60 global environmental organizations including WWF, The World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the UN Environmental Program to name a few. Big Room, the registry behind .eco, is founded by Jacob Malthouse and Trevor Bowden, who combined have over 25 years working in the environmental space. They have deep professional networks, are trusted, and know the language. .eco is a three character globally recognized extension that will offer value adds that align and strengthen the brand. The world is increasingly moving towards more sustainability efforts. Millennials and Generation Z specifically, are looking for environmentally friendly brands that walk the talk – like .eco does – and demanding transparency from companies when it comes to their environmental commitments and actions. The internet is a place where environmentally conscious consumers go for information. We anticipate .eco to be the place where consumers end up to get reliable information.
5. When will .eco be available and where can one register a .eco?
Ward: Our Early Access Program begins on April 18, 2017 and our general availability begins on April 25, 2017. For a complete list of participating registrars, visit home.eco/registrars/partners/