Geeks in the .nz domain name space

Guest post from staff of the Office of the Domain Name Commission

Today is Geek Pride Day. And this year it just so happens to fall during New Zealand’s celebration of TechWeek – an annual festival exploring and celebrating all things tech, with hundreds of events across the country. TechWeek ‘18 even included Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appearing at an Auckland event as a hologram!

Geek Pride Day is an opportunity for all those who identify as a geek to celebrate who they are, and what they feel geeky about. If you’re a Douglas Adams fan, you might also be celebrating Towel Day – after all, a towel is the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. #towelday New Zealand is proud to be a country of geeks, with a vibrant film and arts culture, as well as a burgeoning game development industry. 

The .nz domain name space celebrates geekdom in all its forms with our own .nz space for geeks – .geek.nz. This ‘second level domain’ allows people to register a domain name that ends in .geek.nz – a great way to celebrate and share their identity as a geek. As our way of observing Geek Pride Day, we thought it would be fun to shine a spotlight on the .geek.nz space, and share some fun facts on how Kiwis are using this second level domain.

The numbers

To profile the .geek.nz space, we enlisted the help of the Research Team of Internet New Zealand - they delved into the data on .geek.nz domain names and discovered some interesting insights.

  • Registrations in the .geek.nz domain name space are overwhelmingly Kiwi, with only 12% of .geek.nz domain names held by overseas registrants. 
  • .geek.nz domain names have proportionally greater adoption of DNSSEC signing technology when compared to the .co.nz space. 
  • Additionally, the percentage of .geek.nz domain names with IPv6 mail and web servers is double that of domain names in the .co.nz space. 
  • Geeks are for life – the retention rate of domain names in the .geek.nz space is significantly higher than in the .co.nz space. 
  • Over 60% of .geek.nz domain names are registered by individuals – this distribution is the opposite of what is seen in the .co.nz space, where the majority are held by organisations.

The people

But data can only show us so much – we wanted to find out more about the geeks of New Zealand – the registrants themselves. To do so, we reached out to the .geek.nz community and asked if anyone would be happy to talk to us about their own .geek.nz domain names.

We received a great response from the community – to many, it seems, their .geek.nz domain names represent an important part of their online lives. A part of their online lives they were happy to share with us, and through this blog, the wider internet community.

Nick Wallingford: qwerty.geek.nz

Nick has a website that holds a treasure trove of genealogical information – stories, photographs and more, documenting the histories of the Wallingford and Anderson-Jarlov families. 

Rick Shera: w.geek.nz

Rick uses his .geek.nz domain name for email – with a clever use of the @ symbol to create a unique email address: l@w.geek.nz 

Maribel Aburto: la.geek.nz

Maribel is a graphic and web designer, cross-stitch artist and blogger. Maribel uses her domain name to host a beautiful website where she advertises her business and publishes blog posts on a wide range of topics. 


Why did you choose to register in the .geek.nz space?

Nick: I had been on the InternetNZ Council during the time of the consideration of .geek.nz and appreciated the 'context' of the application.  Absolutely a delightful document to read, and it resulted in the new second level domain!  I was proud to be part of InternetNZ.

Rick: First, I identified as a geek, at least a closet one, in the sense that I was and remain interested in internet tech and law … The second reason was because I was keen to see the relaxation of .nz second level domain space creation policy … and I was in favour of that.


How have you found that your .geek.nz domain name has helped your online presence?

Rick: I decided early on that I would create an online presence centred on my .geek.nz registration.  I therefore chose w.geek.nz specifically so that I could use it to create the email address l@w.geek.nz.

Maribel: Having the 'geek' word on the domain helps a lot with my search engine, and with people identifying me and my products as 'geeky'


Can you tell us a little more about how you use your .geek.nz domain name?

Nick: Some of it is straight genealogy.  I was involved in the Gramps Open Source genealogy software project for about 12 years … But also I have 'family stories', where I've tried to find all of the various source documents to validate aspects of stories or chronologies relating to our families.

Maribel: I use la.geek.nz as my personal online presence, with a blog and my bio … The website it has been inactive for a while, as well as my online shop, because my Design Studio keeps me very busy! but I'm dying to get back to the blog, post about my family cosplaying, our geeky activities, and to publish more of my recent work.


If known, can you speak a little about who visits your website, and what interactions you’ve had with your community through your .geek.nz website?

Maribel: Most of the people visit my site for my products, they are usually looking for a geeky custom family or couple's illustrations.


Would you describe yourself as a geek?

Nick: Yeah, but gotta admit to sitting in a pub about 10 years ago with other self-styled geeks.  And they talked - fast, documented, and across a wide range of IT issues.  For about half an hour.  And I realised I hadn't understood one damn word of it.  So do I call myself a geek? Yes, but only when real geeks are not around...

Rick: Yes.  A law geek!

Maribel: I do!.. it was a time when I doubted to call myself a geek, because there is this idea that name geek is only related to computers and science people, but I learnt and accepted that geeks are pretty much people who have a real understanding of a certain topic (e.g. films, music, cars, computers, etc).


In 25 words or less, what would you say to someone thinking of registering a .geek.nz domain name?

Nick: You will have one of easiest to remember names with double associations: naturally kiwi, but also indicating some special interest or expertise - a nice combination.

Maribel: Getting a geek.nz domain for your project, brand or website is a great way to get yourself in the 'geeky' online presence, and it's fun!

.geek.nz: for geeks everywhere

We want to express our thanks to all those who set aside time to speak to us about their .geek.nz domain names. The .geek.nz space might be smaller than the other second level domains, but it is a unique and valued part of the .nz space as a whole. It gives Kiwis a way to express their geekiness online, while also acknowledging and celebrating their New Zealand-ness. 

The .geek.nz space provides geeks both in New Zealand and overseas with a unique online identifier. Here at the Domain Name Commission, we believe .geek.nz will continue to be the second level domain of choice for people wanting to celebrate their geekdom. 

If you have any questions about the .geek.nz space, feel free to email the Domain Name Commission at info@dnc.org.nz or check out our website https://dnc.org.nz