30 Candles Today For .org Domain

“Rocky” was only on its third sequel, a British duo named Wham! had the number one song of the year (“Careless Whisper”), and Coca-Cola announced it would go back to selling its old formula for Coke. While some of those things are more memorable than others, in that same year, the .org domain debuted.

Today — July 10 – marks the 30th anniversary of the first registered .org domain name, mitre.org. Mitre Corporation is a research and development center sponsored by the federal government.

The .org domain has become the world’s third-largest generic top-level domain, with more than 10 million domains registered, and the leading domain of charities and causes of all kinds. The .org domain originally was created as a home for entities that did not fit under educational, commercial or governmental.

“Thirty years and more than 10.5 million registrants later, the .org domain continues to give a voice to organizations and individuals working on behalf of the greater good,” said Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry (PIR), the nonprofit operator of .org, as well as .ngo and .ong. “From encouraging philanthropy and volunteerism to preserving natural and cultural heritage, fostering economic growth and much more, causes that live on .org bring incalculable benefits to our communities, our society and our shared planet,” he said.

The Reston, Va.-based PIR launched www.happy30th.org to commemorate the anniversary. It features an interactive timeline exploring notable .org websites and how they’ve changed over the last three decades. The .org domain originally was created as a home for entities that did not fit under educational, commercial or governmental, according to PIR.

“Mitre played a pivotal role in managing the systems of domains in the early stages of the Internet’s development, but as a private, not-for-profit organization, our brand didn’t align with other emerging domains,” said Joel Jacobs, Mitre vice president and chief information officer. “The .org domain seemed to be the best fit and we were fortunate to be the first registrant. We believe that being part of the .org domain has done much to reinforce Mitre’s identity as an organization that works in the public interest. It’s amazing to see how large, global and diverse this community has become and the impact .org has had for so many causes.”

The United States has the most .org domain names, with more than 56 percent, followed by Germany, which has less than 5 percent. Last year, Asia-Pacific had the highest number of new .org registrations outside the United States, according to PIR. The .org domain doubled in size, from three million registrants to six million, between 2004 and 2007. It reached 10 million in June 2012.