57,103 expressions of support for .cat so far
As the period for public comment ends, we (Associació puntCAT, the proponents of the .cat sTLD) would like to express to convey here our gratitude for all those who have expressed their support to our application.
Contrary to other applicants, we have explicitly asked our supporters not to come to this forum to express that support. This is a comment forum, and comments and discussion should take place here, not jsut endorsements. Therefore we used our own site (http://www.puntcat.org) in order to collect such support. The result has been impressive: as of today, at 11:17 UTC 54,981 individuals and 2,122 legal organizations (corporations, associations, foundations, federations...) have signed up and provided all their relevant contact data (including identity card or passport for individuals and tax identification number for legal entities) and agreed to their name and data to be sent to ICANN in proof of their support. Many thanks to them all!!
Over 57,000 formal expressions of support (and 57,000 mails spared to this forum ;-) is certainly not a small number. At the very least, is a clear proof of support from the community at which .cat is aimed. It also shows the strength of the promoters. The association, created for the sole purpose of promoting the .cat application, consists of 71 among the most respected and representative entities in the linguistic and cultural fields, both offline and online. It has reached this level of support without spending a single cent in marketing or advertising. A single press conference (and at that time the supports already exceeded 30,000!) and, most especially, their channeling of the information through its members, its users.
There is a community of appreciable size. There is strong support for the proposal within it. There is an entity capable to communicate with such community, and to mobilize it.
We have also chosen not to respond in this forum to possible criticisms of the application or aspects thereof. We reckon that it is the general public who has to use this mechanism, and we hope that the applicants will be granted an opportunity to answer questions, doubts, misunderstandings and/or criticisms arising from this forum or any other instance during the subsequent phases of the evaluation process, and we look forward to it.
We hope that the decision will be based on a fair evaluation of our proposal, and the support it has gathered. Not on more or less interested interpretations on what it is not. It is not a proposal for a territory-defined TLD, be that in political or purely geographical terms, and the people/services based there. Not that we have anything against that, of course, but this is simply not the nature and scope of our proposal. It is not a proposal based on ethnic or personal criteria. It is defined on terms of language and culture. It is not a proposal to establish a comprehensive system of language-based TLDs. Once again, it is not that we have anything in favor or against that approach, or any other based on industry branches or any other: we simply have submitted our own proposal, with our own constraints, strengths, weaknesses and goals. it is a proposal for a TLD devoted to those wishing to identify their online activities or services as belonging to, or aimed at, the online community build around Catalan language and culture.
A proposal with clear rules and procedures in order to restrict registrations and use to those fulfilling the criteria, and, equally relevant, excluding abuses (from cybersquatters or from feline lovers). With a strong, credible sponsor having a strong support from within the community, witch precisely was the initial and main point of this post.
Associació puntCAT http://www.puntcat.org info (at) puntcat (dot) org