RESTON, Va., July 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today marks 30 years since the first .org domain name – mitre.org – was registered, launching what has grown to become the world's third-largest generic top-level domain and the domain of choice for bringing people together around a shared cause. To commemorate the 30-year legacy of .org, Public Interest Registry – the nonprofit operator of .org, .ngo and .ong – launched www.happy30th.org, where users can explore notable .org websites through an interactive timeline and discover how these websites and organizations have changed throughout the past 30 years.
"Thirty years and more than 10.5 million registrants later, the .org domain continues to give a voice to organisations and individuals working on behalf of the greater good," said Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry. "From encouraging philanthropy and volunteerism to preserving natural and cultural heritage, fostering economic growth and much more, causes that live on .org bring incalculable benefits to our communities, our society and our shared planet. We look forward to many more years of giving organizations of all kinds a trusted online home for building communities and working towards a common cause."
The .org domain is almost as old as the Internet itself, which has forever changed the way people communicate, congregate, and find and share information. With approximately three billion people globally online today, the Internet has radically improved access to information for individuals and increased audience reach for millions of organizations. For .org users in particular, the growth of the Internet has allowed nonprofits to thrive through online giving, cultural institutions to spread word of their traditions, and global communities to breakdown boundaries and come together online.
For example, when Japan was struck by a devastating tsunami, when a building collapsed in Bangladesh, and when a 7.8 earthquake rattled Nepal, people from across the world turned to .org websites like japansociety.org, ifrc.org, and globalgiving.org respectively to take action. Other notable .orgs from the past 30 years include:
- WordPress debuted wordpress.org on May 27, 2003 and it has grown to become the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.
- The Wikimedia Foundation introduced open-source database wikipedia.org on January 13, 2001, and today it offers free educational content in 284 languages as one of the top 10 most trafficked sites globally.
- The Nature Conservancy has operated nature.org since May 15, 1996 where it communicates efforts to preserve lands and waters in more than 35 countries worldwide.
- UNICEF launched unicef.org on March 10, 1993 where it promotes the wellbeing of children in 190 countries and territories. On February 9, 2015, UNICEF launched 7.org in support of its initiative, 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund, to protect millions of children around the world from danger.
- As the very first .org registrant on July 10, 1985, The MITRE Corporation (mitre.org) continues to work with the U.S. government to research and develop expanded uses of technologies to solve problems.
"MITRE played a pivotal role in managing the systems of domains in the early stages of the Internet's development, but as a private, not-for-profit organization, our brand didn't align with other emerging domains," said Joel Jacobs, MITRE vice president and chief information officer. "The .org domain seemed to be the best fit and we were fortunate to be the first registrant. We believe that being part of the .org domain has done much to reinforce MITRE's identity as an organization that works in the public interest. It's amazing to see how large, global and diverse this community has become and the impact .org has had for so many causes."
"Since January 15, 2001, our website, CreativeCommons.org, has been integral to our daily work, allowing millions of creators to license their works to build a global Commons of creativity and knowledge – nearly one billion works to date," said Ryan Merkley, CEO, Creative Commons. "Like the .org domain itself, Creative Commons aims to serve the public good. We're committed to keeping the Internet creative, free and open, and to making it easy for people to collaborate and share their creative works."
For more information about Public Interest Registry, please visit www.pir.org. To learn more about .org's growth and composition, download the latest bi-annual "Dashboard" report at www.pir.org/dashboard. For 30 interesting facts about .org and the Internet from the past 30 years, visit www.pir.org/30-org-and-internet-facts.
About Public Interest Registry
Public Interest Registry is a nonprofit organisation that operates the .org top-level domain — the world's third largest "generic" top-level domain with more than 10.5 million domain names registered worldwide – and the newly launched .ngo and .ong domains and OnGood community website. As an advocate for collaboration, safety and security on the Internet, Public Interest Registry's mission is to empower the global noncommercial community to use the Internet more effectively, and to take a leadership position among Internet stakeholders on policy and other issues relating to the domain naming system. Public Interest Registry was founded by the Internet Society (internetsociety.org) in 2002 and is based in Reston, Virginia, USA.
Lindsay Hyman / Jamie Rismiller
SOURCE Public Interest Registry