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Status: Delegated
Language: Japanese
Translates to: "geek"
Registry Provider: Neustar
Registry: Interlink
Registry Backend: GoDaddy
Type: Generic
Category: Culture
Priority #: 745 - Interlink
Registrations: 11,177
Parked Domains: 3,749
Parked Domain %: 33.54 %
Important Dates
Delegation: 31 March 2014
General Availability: 22 July 2014

More Information: 1}}

.moe is a proposed TLD in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The applicant is Interlink.[1] It is a Japanese word with a meaning analogous to both "geek" and "passion". The proposed application succeeded and was delegated to the Root Zone on 31 March 2014.[2]

Application Details

The following is excerpted from the applicant's response to question #18:

"The new gTLD program instituted by ICANN represents a major milestone in the evolution of Internet history and a new way forward in the way users interact and navigate the web.   Interlink is applying for the “.moe” top-level domain (TLD) to create a new online identity for a niche community. The word “moe” (in Japanese: “萌え”; pronounced as “moh-ay”) is a slang word in Japanese that has a deeper meaning than any English definition of the word suggests.

The word “moe” began as a buzzword for a subculture of “otaku” (most closely related English term: “geek”) in Japan in the 90’s. Originally derived from the verb “moeru” which means to bud, or to sprout, “moe” is often used to describe a feeling of excitement towards some object or character, mainly in animation, manga (Japanese comic books), and video games. It has often been used to mean a particular type of “adorable” or “cute” towards fictional characters and was originally used in relattion to a type of fascination with fantasy.

The otaku culture in Japan is very relevant in today’s Japanese society, socially and economically. A look through Japan’s local and widely popular social networking website’s communities section (Mixi Communities) identifies over 10 million members of communities that can be recognized as part of the otaku culture. The otaku culture coupled with the boom of mobile Internet use in Japan has truly given life to the word “moe”, which in 2005, was named as a one of the top Japanese word of the year.

Today, the word takes on a more expansive meaning somewhat deviating from just the adoration of the fantastical. One can feel or experience “moe” or “burning passion” for all kinds of things, not just animation, or fantasy characters. For example, one can express a feeling of “moe” when looking at a cute puppy or kitten. In fact, there are even individuals who express their fascination for architecture using the term “moe”. “Moe” is a very versatile word that can be used as a noun, a verb, and even an adjective.

Interlink intends to introduce the “.moe” top-level domain to self-identified otaku’s everywhere. The mission and purpose of “.moe” can be broken down into two key areas; creating a new online identity for users who identify with the otaku culture, and the operation of a safe, stable, and secure TLD for Internet users everywhere. Each key component of Interlink’s mission is further described below. ..

No restrictions on who or what entities can register a domain name. All registrants must apply for registration, renewal and transfer of domain names through an ICANN accredited registrar that has signed an agreement with the registry operator, Interlink Co., Ltd. Furthermore, Interlink will make a list of registrars available on its web “.moe”."[3]

Contract Signed

On 13 November 2013, Interlink received a Registry Agreement signed by ICANN for .moe after passing all the required processes needed to become a Registry Operator for the string.[4]

Delegation and Availability

.moe was delegated to the Root Zone of the DNS on 31 March, 2014, completing the successful application for the string.[2]