Friday Five: 5 Fun Facts About Montenegro, the Home of .ME
Everybody loves .ME! .ME is a popular domain extension around the world, but did you know that .ME is actually a country code top-level domain extension (ccTLD)? Although it is available worldwide now, it was originally delegated to the European country of Montenegro. Find out more about the home of .ME and see why they decided to share their ccTLD with the world:
1. Montenegro used to be a part of Yugoslavia, which is why .YU became .ME!
Montenegro is still a relatively new country. After an independence referendum held on May 21, 2006, it officially declared independence on June 3, 2006. Before that it was a part of Yugoslavia, which had the ccTLD of .YU. After the Yugoslav wars, Yugoslavia dissolved and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was formed. Though it was later renamed Serbia and Montenegro and given a new ccTLD of .CS in 2003, .CS was never used and .YU remained the domain extension of choice. After Montenegro gained its independence, ICANN delegated the .ME domain to it and it officially became active on September 24, 2007, which means .ME just celebrated its 7th birthday!
2. Montenegro doesn't celebrate July 4, they celebrate July 13!
You're probably wondering why Montenegrins celebrate July 13 when I just said that they passed an independence referendum on May 21 and then became officially independent on June 3. Well, July 13 is a national holiday in Montenegro known as Statehood Day. Statehood Day is not to be confused with Montenegro's Independence Day, which is celebrated on May 21, the day of their independence referendum. Statehood Day is celebrated to commemorate the day that Montenegro was recognized as the 27th independent state in the world by the Berlin Congress, which happened on July 13, 1878.
3. Montenegro means "Black Mountain"
Montenegro breaks down into two words, monte negro, which are actually from the old Italian-Venetian language (in modern Italian it would be monte nero). This name dates back to the 15th century when the Venetians had expanded Italy along the Dalmatian coast all the way down to Albania, which today borders Montenegro to the south. In Montenegrin Crna Gora means "black mountain" and is the native name of Montenegro. Montenegro does feature a mountainous terrain (great for winter sports!) and one of its mountains, Durmitor Mountain, is close to Crno Jezero or "black lake.".
4. Montenegro is a growing tourist destination
Looking for a new place to add to your list? Why not Montenegro! The World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) placed Montenegro first on its list of countries where tourism is a strategic industry. This was based on Montenegro's projected tourism growth rate - their tourism gross domestic product (GDP) grew 20% last year and is expected to grow an average of 8.8% over the next ten years. But enough numbers because what you really need to know about Montenegro is that it features over 120 beaches along its 182 miles of coastline on the Adriatic sea. Not a beach person? Don't worry, as I mentioned above, Montenegro also has a mountainous terrain, which is perfect for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Need more reasons to visit? Check out our past post with tips for planning a trip to Montenegro.
5. Montenegro decided to share .ME with the world
When Montenegro became independent back in 2006, many of its possible ccTLDs were already taken; for example, .MO is used by Macau, .MN is used by Mongolia, and even .CG (which could represent its native Montenegrin name) is used by the Republic of Congo. After ICANN delegated .ME to it in 2007, the government decided to open .ME up to everyone by operating and marketing it as a generic top-level domain (gTLD) instead of a ccTLD. Although .ME is used within Montenegro, it is also a popular domain worldwide for obvious reasons - .ME stands for "me"! Most .ME domain names are in English with a high percentage registered within the US. Many .ME registrations are domain hacks, which put the word "me" or the letters "m" "e" to use by creating statements such as make.me or words such as ti.me. .ME has also become popular for personal websites with people registering TheirName.me. You can search for your own .ME domain and register it for less during our .ME sale! .ME is on sale for $9.99 for 1 year registrations until 12/31/14 23:59 UTC.
Image of "Montenegro - Location Map (2013) - MNE - UNOCHA" is by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) - Montenegro Locator Map (ReliefWeb). Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Image of Montenegrin beach courtesy of domain.me.
Post by Robyn Norgan