Is .tel the next BIG thing?

I’ll begin this post by saying that I’m not yet convinced that .tel is the wave of the future. That being said, I have bought *some* .tel domains but these still represent less than 1% of my portfolio. There has been a lot of buzz about .tel and plenty of articles written both in the Domaining and business community. What I think makes .tel such a hotly contested (and sometimes confusing) topic is that this is the first TLD to use DNS in a completely different way.

When we think of a TLD – we think of something that will have a website on the other end. The idea of storing data directly in the DNS does not immediately resonate with people. I have seen many discussion board where people think they can put a webpage on a .tel domain – this is the central point of confusion.

.tel is revolutionary becuase it provides a paradigm shift from the way in which we normally view TLD’s. This could open the door to the storage of much more information directly in the DNS rather than relying on websites to deliver all of our data. As the web gets more mobile everyday the market potential for a TLD (or multiple) that allow people to quickly access information from anywhere, and update it from anywhere is huge. This also changes the way we look at phone numbers.

Why would you want to remember a random list of numbers? This is how we have been doing things since the inception of the telephone. Cellphones have made things much easier as we can simply input the number once and then can racall it by selecting the name. However, what if our friend or business contact changes their telephone number or email address and forgets to tell us? The data in our cellphone is now useless as the contact information is no longer valid. With .tel this would never happen again. When a contact of yours changes their phone number, or email address your contact entry would be automatically updated since you are both using the same global entry.

As someone who does a fair bit of International travel I can clearly see the advantage of this when traveling to another country. It is much easier to whip-out your cellphone in Shanghai and enter “hotels.tel” on your cellphone and find a list of hotels next to you. Think of how much easier a business card is. No telephone number, fax number, email address would be needed – just a .tel and the information is all there. Of course – that’s if we’re still using paper business cards in the next 10 years (which I think is unlikely – but that’s a whole other conversation).

Okay – so sounds like I’m a big champion of .tel? Not really – I still see incredible limitations to this TLD. Changing the way people do things, and the way that large companies operate is a long, arduoous, and most importantly SLOW process. It is very possible that .tel could take so long to become accepted as a standard way to contact people that it could fizzle-out as quickly as the previously-hyped .mobi TLD.

I registered my .tel domains with Moniker and Name.com. I’m a big fan of Moniker – great registrar for Domainers. Name.com does have MUCH better pricing on .tel at just about half the price. Below are some screenshots of the .tel configuration process with Moniker:

tel1

tel2

tel3

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Bruce Marler March 28, 2009, 8:38 pm

    I tried to find a reason to like it, at the end of the day I just cannot find a way to see this one being an investors domain extension. I did pick up my name and a few Geos to go along with some sites I have (more for brand protection than anything).

    Will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

    Reply
  • Troy March 28, 2009, 9:25 pm

    How would .tel be big at all? It has all the drawbacks that every other extension has (no visibility) and on top of that it has no functionality (cant build a site on it).

    Maybe it will get big, stranger things has happened, but that does not mean that it “should” get big=).

    Reply
  • Acro March 28, 2009, 9:44 pm

    Nice propaganda stunts from Telnic – the commercial is funny and euphoric, hundreds of thousands of .tel registrations, blah, blah.

    Then what?

    ….crickets…

    …Did I mention they hoard pizza.tel ?

    Reply
  • Riq Ghafoor March 28, 2009, 10:40 pm

    I’ve been domaining for over 9 years now and this is the first time ever that I’m able to put a domain to actual use within 24 hours of registering it; now this might not be BIG for me as a domainer but it’s definitely something very different and intriguing. I guess the key here is the simplicity and ease with which the domain can be put to actual use even by technically challenged folks like myself. The usage does seem rather limited in scope as of now but so did that of the Internet itself just a few short years ago…!! I’d admit that as a domainer, I’d been totally oblivious to this extension until yesterday and even now I’m not really sure what to make of it….Isn’t that how many a time BIG things happen?

    Reply
  • Dot Us March 29, 2009, 1:40 am

    If tell was the next big thing, it would have more than 100,000 registered names on the first day,

    .eu had 1,500,000 or so (i think)

    Plus the fact you only really have 1 option, contact info.

    which is easily done on another extensions, with better results/options.

    cant see many becoming massives sites, can you ?

    Reply
  • Chris Robbins March 29, 2009, 7:53 am

    “However, what if our friend or business contact changes their telephone number or email address and forgets to tell us?”

    I don’t think it is a viable alternative for what you and others have described here. It’s such a big what if, and considering only one person can own a name your metaphorical friend better be a domainer or it’s already off the market. He’s out of luck and the thousands with his name are also out of luck. We have smartphones now–blackberrys and iphones–with facebook apps, nontheless, and hopefully your hypothetical business man owns one or he’s a pretty bad businessman, where all he’d have to do is update through facebook and all his friends and contacts would be updated also.

    I can see a limited applicability for businesses, but I don’t see monetization possibilities for domainers.

    my two cents anyway.

    Reply
  • Chris_robbins March 29, 2009, 10:57 am

    morgan,
    If you are referring to me I in no way included an advertisement with my comment. I have nothing to advertise and nobody I’d advertise for.

    Reply
  • Patrick McDermott March 29, 2009, 5:36 pm

    “It is much easier to whip-out your cellphone in Shanghai and enter “hotels.tel” on your cellphone and find a list of hotels next to you.”

    Morgan,

    Does that mean that a .TEL domain could be made into a directory?

    Using your ‘Hotels.tel’ as an example, if you can get hotels to pay a listing fee that would certainly be a way to monetize the .tel extension.

    Reply
  • wannadevelop.com March 30, 2009, 12:39 am

    You know.. You can setup the same exact page like they do in about 2 minutes for free on 1000s of free hosts / blogs ! LOL 🙂

    .tel is a .joke

    Reply
  • mark April 15, 2009, 2:34 am

    I rarely comment on blogs but yours I had to stop and say Great Blog!!

    Reply
  • Tamiflu May 1, 2009, 2:30 pm

    Great site, Good info

    Reply

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