A gaggle of business leaders including Deborah Meaden, Tech Hub’s Andrew Tibbitts and CEO of London & Partners Gordon Innes braved the chill at the New Covent Garden flower market this morning to bang the drum for Dot London.
That's the new internet domain wiring its way to London businesses at the end of the month.
Why New Covent Garden? No, flowers don’t tend to scream internet identity, but the market is applying for a Dot London web address as it tries to establish itself as a new public market destination.
“Our plans for the website for our new market will put London at the heart of our web address,” said Jan Lloyd, Chief Executive Covent Garden Market Authority.
From April 29, we’ll start to see the first Dot London websites go live and there will follow a three-month period during which Londoners will be given priority in reserving a new Dot London web address. It seems we’re ahead of the curve, as London will be one of the first cities in the world to launch its own domain.
Forty business leaders from across London have endorsed the new domain, signing an open letter, published today, in a bid to persuade some of our businesses to sign up for the new web address.
“For the first time in a generation London businesses have an opportunity to claim a web address that associates them with London, one of the greatest cities on earth, and make their web address more relevant and memorable,” goes the letter, signed by the likes of Karren Brady, Deborah Meaden and Boris Johnson (natch).
There are already a swathe of London businesses due to launch their Dot London addresses. Metro Bank will have metrobank.london for example. Meantime Brewery is going for it, as is Fortnum & Mason and TechHub.
“For start-ups in London, this opens up massive domain real-estate which is great but also, it allows technology companies to associate themselves with London which is a quality thing, it’s like a kitemark,” TechHub’s Andrew Tibbits told City AM.
Can we also expect to see Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden switching over to dot London?
“I’ve got 19 businesses and all of them are considering whether this is right for them,” she told us.
“I’m also considering it for my own personal website but I need to think about whether it’s relevant to me. I think it’s a particularly good thing for SMEs, which is the side of business I’m most interested in.
“The internet is going through a revolution, there are about to be thousands more domain names and if you think about SMEs fighting to get heard this could be a help to them. It clarifies where they are based without having to try and get London into their business name. Plus London is a great brand, why not leverage that?”