.scot Experiences: David Weinczok's CastleHunter.scot

Our latest .scot story focuses on travel blogger, presenter and avid historian David Weinczok (CastleHunter.scot ). With an ambitious aim to visit all of Scotland’s castles (over 2,000 of them) you’ll find pictures and accounts from David’s journey at castlehunter.scot, as well as information on his latest guided tours across Scotland. Here he discusses his thoughts on the .scot domain:

What made you choose .scot, and why was having a Scottish domain important for your business?

Having a .scot domain name for my business is not just important, but essential. Everything I do – from talking about Scotland’s castles on BBC Radio Scotland to writing blog posts about its hidden historical gems or leading walking tours of Edinburgh – is about sharing Scotland with as wide an audience as possible. It’s a way for people to instantly identify my business as one based in and centred on Scotland, and what I am already finding after a relatively short time is that people appreciate that identification. Using .com or .co.uk was tempting given their prominence online, however what matters to me is that people know when they visit my website or consider my services that they’re getting someone whose unwavering focus is on Scotland. It’s something I can be proud of.

How did you find out about .scot?

Curiosity fuelled a quick online search – surely, I thought, some enterprising folks had establish a Scottish domain name! I was delighted to quickly and easily find out that this was, in fact, the case. I was preparing my website to launch in September and in the same way that I sought a Scottish publisher for my upcoming book, I sought a Scottish domain to host my online content.

Do you think it helps establish the cultural identity of your website?

Scotland itself, with all of its epic history, is at the heart of what I do. As someone who has not only established themselves as a successful freelancer in the heritage and tourism industries but also arrived in Scotland as an immigrant, celebrating Scotland is very important to me. There is no denying the potency of Scotland’s brand – its castles, dramas, and scenery are world-famous and in the spotlight more than ever thanks to pop culture phenomena like Outlander and Scotland’s progressive position in global affairs. Having a .scot domain name is, for me, a way of instantly identifying my brand with what Scotland means to the world.

Tell us a bit about your website/project

Several years ago I developed the moniker of ‘The Castle Hunter’ as a fun way to approach the subject of Scottish history. My passion is to visit Scotland’s castles and I’m currently on number 320 (there are thousands!), and my website is a way to showcase the extraordinary and often little-known locations that make Scotland so relentlessly interesting. My website is a combination of artistic space and online CV, featuring not only many beautiful images of castles but also information about my upcoming events and projects, publications, collaborations and clients. It is very much in the works still, but I have already received encouraging feedback and it has already proven valuable in putting my best foot forward into the realm of Scottish history.

How did you get started?

Quite haphazardly! I was fascinated by history and Scotland since a very young age, and when I moved here from Canada in 2011 I immediately began exploring and learning. My first role in Scottish heritage was as a volunteer at Gladstone’s Land in Edinburgh, and from there I began developing historical information for the property and getting more involved in the way stories were being told. I soon became a ‘Battlemaster’ at the Bannockburn Heritage Centre, while at the same time I began writing for publications like The Scots Magazine. By 2015 I was presenting videos for DigIt!, a history and archaeology advocacy organisation, and ended up doing a few spots on BBC radio and in their ‘New Town’ documentary about Edinburgh. I do a little bit of everything – presenting, guiding, writing, blogging, speaking, and lots of traveling – which makes for a fun and rewarding career. My website and .scot domain are a big part of showcasing all of this.

What does having a .scot domain mean to you?

With everything I do, I link it back to the experience of living in Scotland and being a part of its fabulously welcoming community. Having a .scot domain name, to me, means associating myself with not only the crowd-drawing history and natural beauty but also with the social values I believe in and which modern Scotland represents: openness, curiosity, acceptance, progressive politics, civic pride and optimism about what Scotland can achieve in the future. I don’t exaggerate when I say that when I decided to go with .scot, I considered it to be essential to staking my claim to this vision of Scotland – a vision that allows me to confidently and happily call Scotland home.

You can also follow David Weinczok and his adventures with Castle Hunter on Twitter and Instagram.

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