Celebrating the .cloud family, now over 50,000 strong (and growing...)
By Francesco Cetraro, Head of Registry Operations
It seems just yesterday, a grey February afternoon sitting at my desk in our Headquarter somewhere in the hills between Florence and Arezzo, anxiously counting down the minutes to the time .cloud would become officially available for registration to the General Public.
I remember frenetically refreshing the screen and my mood slowly changing from nervous to delighted to overwhelmed as the steady stream of .cloud registrations started coming through. There was 10,000 within the first 90 minutes and 20,000 in the first 24 hours, and it continued on to 26,000 in our debut week. On May 4th, less than 3 months from that grey February 16th, we reached another milestone as .cloud passed the 50,000 registered domains mark, and we are happy to see that interest in .cloud remains strong and widespread.
A popular keyword that goes beyond cloud computing
We knew from the beginning that “cloud” was a great keyword with broad appeal. According to corporate Registrar CSC’s New gTLD Utilization Reports, the word “cloud” is one of the most used terms in domain registrations.
Leading up to the launch, we were thrilled by all the support we received from our pioneers, registrar partners, and friends who spread the word about all the possibilities that a “.cloud” domain had to offer.
For anyone working in the cloud computing space or offering cloud services it is a no-brainer to exploit .cloud for a more elegant, descriptive, and relevant web-presence. This is exactly what Samsung did when they recently launched their new cloud platform at Artik.cloud.
But past the obvious implications for the cloud industry, cloud computing is an enabler of new businesses and it’s part of our everyday experience when it comes to our digital lives. People from all over the world understand and have positive associations with the cloud, making the “cloud” keyword appealing to a much broader audience.
.Cloud around the world
Beyond the nice round number of 50,000, what really makes us the most proud and hopeful for the future is to see that with Registrants from over 130 countries in the world, .cloud has global appeal.
It is great to see strong penetration in North America and Western Europe. It is even more inspiring to see examples from other parts of the world like Wingu.cloud helping the people of Zimbabwe get online, or Belarussian startup Liker.cloud making it easier for businesses to collect customer feedback and improve its services.
One of the first domains to be registered when we opened for General Availability on February 16th was Evo.cloud. It was great to see how enthusiastic the folks over at EvoGov inc. were with the new extension and they lost no time in turning it into the perfect new home for their cloud-based web platform for open government.
.Cloud for creative minds
One of the most fun parts of running a Registry is getting the first peek at what domains people register and how they are used. It is impressive to see all the clever, cool, sometimes unexpected, things that .cloud domains are used for.
From the inspiring video-blog of a smart young woman to the online diary of a future airline pilot, to the literary experiments of a theatre critic, it is great to see people view .cloud as an “opportunity” to build an online presence with a different, modern twist.
As an amateur musician I am quite partial to Tuner.cloud, it helps me keep my six-strings in tune anywhere I am. I also seem to be spending quite a lot of time on Burrito.cloud, for some reasons often around lunchtime.
.Cloud for startups and small businesses
A growing number of startups are also selecting .cloud to tell their story to the world, from California-based CounselCloud, offering legal services to startups, to Vett.cloud, a platform that helps investors to vet, build, and iterate on deals and investment opportunities.
Even small local businesses have found ways to leverage .cloud to make themselves stand out, such as massage therapy in Arizona at Massage.cloud, web development in Seattle at Funnel.cloud or Italian professional services consultants eStudio.cloud. Another of my favourite examples is Czech-based Kočárky.cloud, a web-shop offering a wide array of baby strollers (or as they call them in Czech, ”Kočárky”) for all budgets
If these broad and interesting usage cases during the first few months are an indication of what’s yet to come, we can't wait to see how many more great ideas will be announced to the world through a .cloud domain. As we look ahead, these first results give us the inspiration to continue spreading the world about .cloud, and connecting with more brilliant and creative people and do our best to support and help them grow.
BONUS - A celebratory infographic
Every good celebration is not complete without banners and balloons... So our talented designer filled an infographic with them, and added a few cool facts about .cloud's journey so far! Check it out!