Pope Francis sets a good example with scholas.social!

socialA crowdfunding initiative – not for companies but for schools. And it was not launched on the Internet with a traditional gTLD: it went live with a new .social extension. Well done!

Crowdfunding is in. All those who believe in a project led by an individual or by a small or large company, get the opportunity to support that project, and can thus help its initiators make it come true. This usually concerns commercial projects, and start-ups that hope they will create the next Snapchat, Pebble, Oculus Rift – which sometimes they manage to do successfully. But projects can also be of a non-commercial nature, and aim to help the entire community move forward without necessarily demanding financial compensation in return for funding.

And Scholas is precisely such a project. Created by Pope Francis, Scholas will, with a little help from technology, art and sports, promote social integration and allow people to meet each other beyond the boundaries of origin and culture. To make this possible, schools and education networks of different cultures and religions from all over the world are put in contact with each other.

A noble initiative – with a quite particular aspect: the central website was not launched with a .net or .org domain name. It is hosted on scholas.social – thus using the .social gTLD. The head of the Catholic Church has clearly understood that the new gTLDs offer an extra dimension to a domain name, which is far better than neutral extensions like .org or .net. He went for .social, which carries a social message, without belonging to a certain religion or belief system, or a certain political party.

By the way, the Vatican, or rather the Pontificial Council for Social Communication (PCCS), operates several new gTLDs that all refer to Catholicism, in different languages: .catholic, .天主教, .كاثوليك, . католик. But for this project, that transcends cultures and religions, Pope Francis chose .social – a neutral and yet very obvious reference to a social purpose.

Blessed is this project!