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Summary:

Remember the good old days when all you had to worry about was .com? (Well, and .org, .net, and .edu for special cases). Long gone, of course. Today a new top-level domain, .tel, is opening up for sale. The launch is being run by Telnic, though […]

Telnic | .tel for BusinessRemember the good old days when all you had to worry about was .com? (Well, and .org, .net, and .edu for special cases). Long gone, of course. Today a new top-level domain, .tel, is opening up for sale. The launch is being run by Telnic, though you should be able to buy .tel domains through a variety of registrars.

The twist on .tel is that it’s designed to store information directly in DNS records, rather than being hooked up to a web site. You can see how this works in their simulator; the basic idea is that you store information like your address and your IM contacts right in the DNS record, and anyone can do a lookup on your .tel domain to find them. With specialized applications, this information can be pulled right into your address book.

Today is the opening of the “Sunrise” launch period, when companies with trademarks can pay $400 to lock up their .tel address. In February we’ll have the “Landrush” launch, open to all but at a premium price of $150 per year, followed by general availability in March at about $20 per year.

Is it worth thinking about a .tel domain name for your web working efforts? Right now, I would say no. There’s a distinct chicken-and-egg problem here: having a .tel directory listing will only be useful in proportion to the number of people with specialized software to use it, and there’s not much incentive to install and use the software unless .tel gets pervasive. At the moment, Telnic has applications available for Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Outlook, and iPhone in beta. I’ll revisit .tel in late March to see how the early sales have gone, but for now, I’m not spending my money with them.

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By Mike Gunderloy
  1. Looks like spam heaven to me… but I hope I’m wrong.

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  2. With all the uncertainty over the past few weeks regarding everything from Jaiku to GrandCentral, you might want to re-evaluate the usefulness of a .tel domain, which by the way can be accessed through any browser, found through any search engine as well as through the apps developed. There’s privacy built in, the domain is under the complete control of the end user and it can be discovered from any device connected to the internet.

    But please, don’t take my word for it – try a trial account at http://www.telnic.org/vip.

    Very happy to catch up with you after February 3rd to talk about the success on top of thousands of applications received from trademark owners in the Sunrise period.

    Regards,

    Justin
    Telnic Limited

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  3. I personally have been pretty happy with my .tels. It took them a while but then they all started to rank fairly high on Google. The interface is easy to use and update, and I bought mine for like $10 a year at name.com.

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