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Why .ME is Montenegrin?

A lot has been said about .ME domains, but why is it Montenegrin country-code Top Level Domain (ccTLD)?

Wouldn't it be more logical to assign .CG to the country, as it's original name is Crna Gora (Black Mountain)?

A bit of history: former Yugoslavia used .YU domain, which is now being phased out. Within Yugoslavia, Montenegro has its second level domain .CG.YU.

After the breakup of Yugoslavia in 2003, there was an attempt to assign .CS ccTLD to Serbia and Montenegro (Srbija i Crna Gora in Serbian). .CS was former.ly the ccTLD for Czechoslovakia until 1995, when it broke into Czech Republic and Slovakia and the new countries were assigned .CZ and .SK respective.ly.

However, neither Serbia nor Montenegro did use .CS as its ccTLD, but instead continued to use .YU.

Unfortunate.ly, or fortunate.ly for many of us who do like .ME domains very much, already in 1997 .CG was assigned to the Republic of the Congo.

As of today, Google has indexed only 83,500 pages in .CG zone. Hypothetical.ly, Montenegrin citizens could have been possibly use the ccTLD.

Although Congolese are entitled to one free domain registration directly at the second level of .CG, additional registrations and registrations by the foreigners cost about 225 euro a year as of 2008.

That probably left no option to the Montenegrin government, who wanted to control its domain anyway. Note, gov.cg is not taken yet, however, the government of Montenegro is hosted now at gov.me.

No wonder, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers took the English name of the country as the basis and went through all possible two-letter combinations starting with letter "M": .MO, .MN, .MT, .ME, .MN, .ME, .MG, .MR, and again .MO.

.MO was taken by Macau in 1996, .MN by Mongolia in 1995, .MT by Malta in 1992, .MG by Madagascar in 1995, and .MR by Mauritania in 1997.

Believe it or not, .ME was the only option left. Some may say, it was GoDaddy and alike who lobbied and promoted the .ME domain to make few bucks, but in fact, the ccTLD space just got a bit too tight.

Yet again, we marketeers just love .ME for its jingliness.

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5 Responses to “Why .ME is Montenegrin?”

  1. 1

    Very interesting historical.ly, thx for sharing.

  2. 2

    For your information: the additional time period during which it was possible to renew the registration of .YU domains ended on 4th of May 2009. Some 4,051 .YU domains were renewed. These domains will be active until 30th of September 2009.

    Shame, if they still go on with .SU, a so-so ccTLD, why kill the jingling .YU? Unless someone will launch .YOU or .U one day: please, don’t destroy – create!

  3. 3

    Well, .yu is in steep decline. .ME has already took over .YU by both number of registered domains and number of the indexed paged by Google. Farewell .YU, hello .ME!

  4. 4

    As a reversal of fortune, .me has taken over .yu, the country it gave birth to it some while ago…


  5. 5

    .YU will stay for a while. There are some good web-sites our there. Who would want to lose all the traffic from Google etc? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8278364.stm