Celebrating the Domain Pioneers at the .com Gala

Last night in San Francisco, California, VeriSign celebrated the .com 25 – the people and companies that, over the past 25 years, helped shape the web as we know it. This was part of the 25YearsOf.com celebration. In addition to the .com 25, Verisign also recognized a select group of Domain Pioneers. We’re proud that Tucows, and Elliot Noss, Tucows President and CEO, were on that select list of those recognized as pioneering people and companies in the domain name space.

VeriSign visited our Toronto offices a few weeks back to give Elliot the opportunity to talk about how the Internet has impacted his life, and about where he sees things heading in the future:

The Internet is people

Look back all the way back to 1994, when Tucows.com software library launched in Flint, Michigan, you’ll see that there was a focus within Tucows around the idea that the Internet is made up not of wires and routers, but of people.

Tucows.com used a network of thousands and thousands of mirrors – mostly Internet Service Providers – who provided a local copy of the Tucows software library to their customers as an additional feature on top of an Internet connection. In 1999 Tucows extended this network of relationships by adding domain name registrations to the mix through OpenSRS. We leveraged the existing relationships that we had in the Tucows network to build out a global network of domain sellers who used the OpenSRS backend to power sales and management of domain names to their customers.

These days much is made of Web 2.0 and the social qualities of the Internet. But the truth is that the Internet has always been a synergy of technology and people. Without the physical interconnections, the Internet wouldn’t exist and conversely, without the Internet, many of these social connections wouldn’t be possible.

What was originally a way to connect computer networks to computer networks quickly morphed into a way to interconnect the billions of people on planet earth with each other at the speed of light. Mobile, ubiquitous Internet access leads to a more social Internet which empowers people through the Internet.

This generation of kids who grew up with the Internet have come to expect to be able to access it on demand, wherever they might be. They forge relationships with each other via the web, they communicate via the web and they seem to be constantly connected to each other via the web.

Much thanks goes to VeriSign for putting together the 25YearsOf.com initiative. We’re honoured to be recognized as part of this select group of Pioneers. It’s a testament to vision that both Elliot and Tucows as a whole share–that the Internet is more than a vast physical network but that it is an extension, and an extender of social interactions between people that makes the world wide web so incredible and powerful.

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