This week, an initiative called dotHIV launched to bring a new, socially conscious domain to the web.
It ends in — surprise — .HIV. Companies and individuals can purchase .HIV domains for $179, and a small donation will be made to an HIV/AIDS organization every time someone visits the site. The domains are free for HIV/AIDS charities.
CEO Carolin Silbernagl is now focused on selling the domains through third-party marketplaces like GoDaddy. More than 10,000 .HIV domains were pre-registered, although those agreements weren’t binding, she says. Included in that batch were big name companies like Amazon, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Silbernagl doesn’t expect these companies to include specific HIV or AIDS-related content on their .HIV page, but instead expects most will simply redirect the domain to their standard .com pages, which still helps out her cause. “The Internet user gets a second door to the same Web content but it’s actually cooler because [of our] donation program,” she said.
The donations are small — $0.001 per click — but go toward causes selected by Silbernagl and the Initiative. The first organization slated to receive funds will be WE-ACTx for HOPE, a group fighting HIV and AIDS in Rwanda. Next on the list is the Sero Project, an organization focused on “ending inappropriate criminal prosecutions of people with HIV.” Across the globe, more than 35 million people are living with HIV, according to the World Health Organization.
THIS is how you use technology to bring about social change. I am absolutely giddy to see that big-name brands have already signed on, and I hope the rest of the world catches on like wildfire.