This is how we could define the past year 2020. It will probably go down in history with the ”pandemic“ attribute, although for the area of the virtual world, it was certainly groundbreaking.
We have secured
With the arrival of 2020, we celebrated a beautiful milestone, which was 400,000 .sk domains in the zone. On this occasion, we prepared 4 for 4 campaign – from January 21 to 24, 2020, it was possible to obtain a .sk domain for a special price of 4 EUR.
At the same time, we launched one of the latest technological additions to domain security – automated scanning of DN servers of .sk domains resulting into automated update of domain security via DNSSEC. This is also why we are in the global top in the proportion of protected domains – at the end of 2020 it was over 38%, i.e. more than 160,000 domains protected by this technology!
March 2020 was the month in which „life stopped“ in Slovakia. On March 17, the first so-called „Lockdown“ was declared, which was accompanied by strict measures. People started to work from home and to teach their children. Business meetings and conferences were held from the living rooms of houses and flats. Businesses and sole traders started actively doing business on the Internet. The number of people actively entering virtual Slovakia and also the number of registered domains has significantly increased.
We reacted actively to the situation and on March 20, 2020, we again facilitated entry into the virtual world. We have significantly reduced the price for registering a new domain and, together with several partners, we have provided the public with many benefits when entering and living actively in virtual Slovakia. Words „Let’s live fully – Let’s live virtual!“ were the motto of this activity. We have extended the advantageous offer for domain registration until the end of April 2020.
Over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in interest in domain registration, as many have realized the need for their virtual existence. Due to the limitations of real life, having a virtual place has become a matter of survival, especially for entrepreneurs.
We ended the year 2020 with 424,055 .sk domains.
We have helped
The SK-NIC Fund formally started in the autumn of 2019. In the first call, 11 projects received support. The presentation of the best projects was held on January 9, 2020, at that time in the standard form – face to face. The excellent atmosphere and exchange of experience confirmed the correctness of both – the process and the topics we chose for the first call.
All information, lists of successful projects or photos and short video of all calls can be viewed anytime on the dedicaed page of the SK-NIC Fund (Slovak only).
At the beginning of March, the SK-NIC Fund announced opening of another call, this time for large projects, i.e. with possible support in the range of 10,000 EUR to 30,000 EUR. We allocated EUR 150,000 for the call, but the pandemic, which changed our lives and caused considerable problems, was an incentive to increase the amount of our support to EUR 300,000 and extend its duration by 1 month. The result was doubled number of applications, i.e. 144! The 13 best projects received support and we managed to present them just before the 2nd wave of the pandemic.
The situation and the relevant measures have hit the youngest harder. We did not hesitate and offered them stories and joy – on March 23 we launched a Virtual Reading Party, focused on the Slovak fairy tales. They were read by Slovak actors on our YouTube channel. These fairy tales are of course still available for free to anyone.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen an increased interest in the registration of domains with names such as face mask, disinfection, vaccine, corona and so on, i.e. so-called Covid domains. That’s why we’ve launched a subpage with information about registration related to pandemic. Data is updated weekly.
Beginning of the summer brought hope that the pandemic could be subdued. However, the measures forced most Slovaks to reconsider holiday expectations and plan holidays in Slovakia. We reacted promptly and since the beginning of July we have been presenting less known but interesting Slovak localities on a weekly basis. In the „Get to Know Slovakia Both Really and Virtually“ project, we connected with the blogger Radko Hoppej, who visited the sites and wrote about them on his website, and we looked at their virtual appearance.
The beginning of autumn clearly indicated the arrival of another round of pandemics, but on September 1, 2020 we managed to announce yet another call from the SK-NIC Fund, this time for small projects up to 10,000 EUR. We closed and evaluated the call at the end of the year, so in December we could say that 14 projects from another doubled amount of applications (286) would receive the support – they all just started to be realized at the beginning of 2021.
In addition to support from the SK-NIC Fund, we also supported projects such as „It Happened“ portal (stalosato.sk website – Slovak only) connected with the „Caught in the Net“ film and preparation of further episodes of the popular child serial about the pitfalls of the Internet named ovce.sk (some of the episodes contain English subtitles and are available on http://uk.sheeplive.eu/).
Of course, we will continue to support again in 2021.
We have educated
October brought the second round of closure of Slovakia and this continued until the end of 2020 and beyond. People were in many cases fully dependent on virtual space again. Therefore, since September 22, we have launched an educational cycle of videos within the project Academy of virtual Slovakia (Slovak only), which brings important knowledge about entry and life in virtual space.
Although this area is almost without borders, it is still necessary to know some basic rules and principles. 10 videos of the first cycle of the academy brought topics such as virtual identity, creation of a website or e-shop, interesting tips for communication or advertising on the Internet.All the videos can be found on our YouTube channel.
Our idea was liked by others and so the well-known youtuber JurajVie and also the professional medium TouchIT joined us in this topic.
The year 2020 was dynamic. Although it was a year of „stagnation“ for the real world, it was clearly a turning point for the virtual one. And we have supported, helped and educated in it. We were happy to do so and we believe that in the coming year we will be able to help as much as possible to all those who want to grow, learn, but also to help others.
SECURITY, SUPPORT, EDUCATION therefore remains our motivation in 2021 as well.