When David Bowie famously recorded the popular hit “Heroes” in Berlin, he was probably inspired by the city’s true heroes, Berliners – the famous, delicious jelly-filled pastries. Heroically delicious pastries, you might say. Okay, so Bowie was actually inspired by the people of Berlin – the “other” Berliners – and it’s easy to see why. Berlin is more than just delicious pastries; it’s a global metropolis, offering cutting-edge modern architecture, bangin’ techno, and David Hasselhoff. And like the city of Berlin, the domain .BERLIN is hot to death. We caught up with .BERLIN CEO Dirk Krischenowski to talk the Hoff, swimming BBQ donuts (you read that right), dotBerlin’s geographic connection to “Heroes” and how you can eat a Berliner and be one at the same time.
Why has .BERLIN been so successful?
Krischenowski:People eat Berliners, hear music from Berlin-based DJs, wear Berlin fashion, drink Berliner Pilsener, visit, stay and work in Berlin – so there are a number of good reasons to also say digitally, “I’m a .berliner.” Beyond that, a number of local businesses got their .berlin name, which will help them in marketing and promoting their products to Berliners and tourists alike. The first .berliners include a dog blogger, a model train club and a manufacturer of swimming BBQ donuts. *What’s a swimming BBQ donut, you ask? Feast your eyes (photo on right).
What are you looking forward to most about the future of .BERLIN?
As we are an open city, we look forward to getting more people from around the world joining in saying “I’m a Berliner.” Of course, it is great to see that people use their .berlin domain on posters, ads, their websites and for their businesses – and there are millions of good names still available. We aim to become the number-one namespace here in Berlin. It also seems that Google is taking GeoTLDs seriously, according to their latest blog post.
How do you say, “The people at Name.com are not only good-looking, but also geniuses,” in German? (This is really important.)
Das Name.com Team is hamma.
What makes Berlin stand out in the global community?
We’re poor but sexy, as our Major Klaus Wowereit is famously quoted. Berlin is about letting everybody live his life, so everybody can become a Berliner, as John F. Kennedy put it decades ago. By the way: We would have awarded John F. Kennedy his .berlin domain for free as a great ambassador for Berlin.
What’s one thing we might not know about Berlin/Berliners?
Berlin has one of the fanciest hotels worldwide: You can sleep in ships on the Spree river, in wooden cubicles located at the garden of an outdoor pool, in a five-star hotel with views of the Berlin Zoo, a hotel with the largest cylindrical aquarium in the world in the lobby or in a former Stasi prison in East Berlin, which you can find soon under their respective .berlin domain.
How is .BERLIN different than other cultural/geographic New Domains?
While there may be no substantial difference per se, there are of course different models to run a GeoTLD. Since we were the ones who spearheaded the whole new gTLD initiative, we may have an advantage in being better known than others. We were also lucky – we like to immodestly think deservedly so – to actually be the first out of the gate.
Do you guys really love David Hasselhoff? That’s the rumor in America, but we think Hasselhoff started it.
He was a hero in the ‘80s – which also applies to Berlin: David Bowie recorded “Heroes” at that time at a studio around the corner of the dotBERLIN office. Anyhow, we would love to welcome him back in Berlin later this year either as flying rocket man during the International Flight Show or as participant during the Berlin Marathon. Can you help convince him? We promise to cheerlead for him along the road! Coming back to the Hoff, though: Yes, he’s a popular man ever since he helped tear the Berlin Wall down back in 1989.
Now that you’re all pumped up for .BERLIN, it might be a great time to search for yours. You can click here to find your .BERLIN domain name.