Happy St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2009 Leave a Comment

…and all that.

I’ve been wished that a few today. Irish surname will do that I suppose.

Anyhoo, enjoy – this is what I woke up to this morning.

Being a celebrity – my pros for and cons against

March 17, 2009 1 Comment

I’m not a celebrity, not even a minor one, and this is mostly a good thing.

Here’s two reasons why it would be cool to be a celebrity.

1) I would be rich.
2) I would be famous.

More importantly, here’s three reasons why it would suck.

1) I am camera shy
2) I have a voice that’s perfect for silent movies, and a face fit for radio.
3) Being part of a celebrity family would suck – big time.

I think the only one of these points that needs clarifying at all is the last one, so I will do so. I’ll use the lovely Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal as my surrogate family.

Hell, I’ll just pretend that I am Jake Gyllenhaal and be done with it.

Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal topless

Here’s what one of my days would be like:

Wake up beside some hot brunette who I met the night before, haven’t got a clue what her name is.
Look in mirror – think to self ‘gosh I’m a hottie’.
Buy stuff online – think to self ‘gosh I’m rich!’
Go out – party with friends, get drunk, play up to the cameras that are taking sly photos of me.
Go home, a little tipsy, a little horny, but alone.
Sit down in front of the TV, unzip and whip out Jake Jnr, grab the TV remote and start flicking through the channels for flesh.
Bingo – land on a film of some sort with a smokin-hot-brunette all nekkid and writhing around on the bed.
Jake Jnr also appears interested and sits up for a better view – he looks scared so I should hold him, and stroke him for comfort.
Camera pans up naked smokin-hot-brunette’s legs, past the pleasure box, stops momentarily on the beautiful breasts and then – oh, no! OMFG. It’s Maggie! My sister’s in a film and Jnr is loving her acting skills.

This is bad.

It’s wrong on so many levels.

…should I stop?

Well…I’m nearly there and if I close my left eye I can block out her face.

It is a smokin-hot-body and all.

Yeah…I should stop.

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Maggie Gyllenhaal - alas, not topless

Farmyard Media

March 10, 2009 Leave a Comment

chicken_avatar I’m currently working on bringing back the Book, Movie and Music forums for Cow & Chicken, Pig & Goat, and Duck & Donkey. They went offline a couple of years ago, partially due to a malicious virus that hit the server and ripped through a lot of the sites hosted, and mostly due to neglect.

I haven’t read a book in ages, but I’m hopeful that it may get me back into it a little.

So far working on the relaunch is going well. One of the major flaws of the original three forums were that they were just that, three forums. It was a natural course to take as they were run independently from each other, even though they were under the ‘Farmyard Media’ umbrella, and because Cow and Chicken were launched before the other two so it was easier to do three of them separately.

I’ve managed to go through the painstaking task of combining the three forums into one so that they use the same database – though feel I may have lost one or two users and posts along the way, but this now means that when you’re signed up and logged into one forum you are also signed up and logged into the others. Good for everyone but the administrators really, as we of course use the different identities to post in the different forums.

So, that part is done and finished as of tonight – so I’m having a celebratory drink. The next step is to redo all of the actual themes which is going to take some time, and is an extra learning curve as I haven’t really used the phpbb3 forum software before other than to set up a simple private forum for a residential community.

Then I think work needs to be spent on riddle.me, of which I’ve had several ideas of late and am looking forward to developing.

Telnic launch .tel

March 7, 2009 3 Comments

Late last night .tel was launched. I’m not too sure how it’s being injected into the DNS, as some sites are live and others aren’t.

murphy.tel went live at 12:15 (ish) last night, but other names that are with my company still aren’t resolving – so not sure how long it will take for them to do so. sex.tel is live, and simply linking to BB-Online.co.uk – well done for getting that one Rob, but why you applied for 95% of the +2000 applications for that name I’m not sure. I’m intrigued, also, as to why info@sex.tel is showing as the email address – when that’s not going to go anywhere (unless I’m missing something critical about how the system works).

So, I spent a little time playing this morning and there are a few things that I think should be changed. Hopefully Telnic will listen to what people want and adapt the system as necessary in the near future.

I’m interested to see where .tel will go. I know it’s a completely new direction for a TLD, and is separate to the standard releases we’ve had over the past few years, but with anything that’s new people will innovate and use it to make money…it’s just a matter of time to see how people do start to monetize .tel.

So, let’s take a little look at the interface shall we?

Here’s the backend that you view when your registrar provides you with access:

(click to view slightly larger)

It’s pretty standard.

Dashboard Tab
The ‘folders’ section on the left is where you add the subdomains you need. i.e. if I wanted michael.murphy.tel I would add ‘Michael’ as a folder.

Messages on the right pop up when you have a new friend request.
The map below allows you to specify a location on a per folder basis.
The main section down the middle is where you add the various records, and so this is the heart of .tel really. Let’s work through those:

If you want to you can set up different profiles, and choose the different contact information to show. i.e. ‘Work’ can be one profile, and when active you will see telephone numbers and email addresses that correspond to your work, and if ‘Home’ is another profile you will see home telephone and email when that is activated.

It’s been suggested that this can tie in to the profile you have on your mobile phone, so switching from one profile to another will also change your .tel status – no proof of this yet though (more on the mobile phone later).

Text Header
This is simply a little bit of text that introduces your .tel, or the .tel subdomain.

Text Header Backend:

Shows on the live site as:

Contact Information
This is where you list all of your sites, phone numbers etc and, if under the top level, you can decide whether to make the records private or not. It seems to take 10-15 seconds for changes here to appear on the corresponding page.

Note: Your registrar can ‘impersonate’ you from their backend so they can basically see your interface – they do not see any private information when doing so they can see and edit private records as well as public ones, so make sure you’re with a registrar you trust.

Here you add keywords and addresses and such for search engines to fine you.

Privacy Tab
Quite simple, you create different groups and then you can specify which friends are in which groups, and what content each group can see. This way your private data can be viewed only by the people you want to view it. Friends can be added to several groups, as can your contact information.

Friends Tab
Simply a list of your friends.
If you remove a friend they do not seem to get told that you have removed them, and they will need to resend a friend request to you.

A few items that .tel could do better

Firstly, when you enter the domain into the browser it does not resolve that URL, it goes to the Telnic lookup; enter murphy.tel into browser and you get http://d1.webproxy.nic.tel/lookup/murphy.tel

It would be preferred if http://www.murphy.tel would resolve directly.

Secondly, I feel that private records should be enabled at the folder level, as mentioned in my previous post Don’t .tel me it can’t be done.

Thirdly, the backend has a lovely little map that you can browse and click on:

On the live system it appears as location record:

Surely you can show a map when viewed in a browser, and location record when viewed on another devide?

Fourth – why can’t we rename the folders? You can rename a subdomain, so isn’t this the same?
I entered two hyphens in my ‘purchase–products’ folder:

I developed content in a few folders under this one. If I then want to rename it to ‘purchase-products’ with just one hyphen, I have to create a new one, recreate all subfolders, move all content across and then delete that folder and all within. We should be able to simply rename the folder as required. Imagine you have thousands of records and for some reason need to rename the initial folder – you’re going to waste a lot of time in doing so.

Lastly – there is no option to make an address private. I want my friends to be able to log on and view my home address, but I don’t want this showed to everyone. The only location to add an address is in the keywords section which are all public, or in the Text Header which is again public. There is no specific place for this under ‘contact information’ which is where it should be.

Mobile Phone Software
I downloaded and installed the .tel software for a Windows Mobile Device.
I have only been able to log into it in the past week or so which is when the .Tel friends system seems to have gone live, and it finally accepted my username and password.

The program allows you to add a .tel domain to a contact in my address book, and is meant to have the feature to ‘lookup .tel’ which in all of my attempts cannot access the server, even when looking up live names.

I saw a demo of the system a couple of years ago and it ran extremely smoothly, with simple clicks to lookup a name quickly, and navigate tot he right place. Where is that software now? It’s one of the major selling points for .tel and I’m missing it.

Monetizing your .tel
As mentioned, it will be interesting to see how people monetize their .tel names. sex.tel, I imagine, can be hooked up to premium telephone numbers where the user can quickly browse for their favourite fetish and get hooked up to someone willing to discuss that in a matter of minutes and at a premium rate.

But what about the rest of us?

What about those who have a name and no possible way to tie it in to premium rate numbers?

How are you going to monetize something like cricket.tel?

I guess part of it depends on the name. Cricket.tel I have no idea…but a surname.tel can obviously be a directory, as can pizza.tel

Playing around with murphy.tel I set up a very quick area to purchase products via Amazon.co.uk using my Amazon affiliate ID. However, I’m sure that would result in extremely low traffic and click through, and users can simply go directly to amazon.tel who I’m sure will do it 50 times better. If you have a .tel that’s popular though, this may be an option.

Another method could be by placing sponsored links that pay you for a particular amount of click throughs.

Of course those with generic names could set up a directory – as I could by selling folders to people with the surname murphy….but is this in breach of the Telnic AUP? Well, I guess that depends how you do it. If you give away control to another party so that they are responsible for the updating of subfolders, then you can only do so if that person is – in the case of murphy.tel – a member of my family. Oddly, I can update those subfolders, and charge for it, as long as I assume responsibility for the updating and have permission from whoevers details I am using to do so.

What does this mean? Well, we won’t be having another .co.nl situation on our hands by the looks of things. Instead I can use murphy.tel to run a directory as long as I’m the one in charge of updating, or providing mechanisms to update.

So Brittany – it looks like if you want to start using brittany.murphy.tel we’re just going to have to get married!

Don’t .tel me it can’t be done!

March 6, 2009 1 Comment

Today should see the go live for .tel, the new domain extension run by Telnic.

I’ve been looking forward to it for a while now, and though I aim to get several names in the General Availability phase launched later this month, I thought it would be worth securing murphy.tel in the Landrush phase at the oddly high price of $275.

There are two things that looked promising about .tel for me, and that is for companies and individuals to share their data with those who require it.

From a company perspective it would work like this:

Acme Corporation register acme.tel
They populate it with information so that anyone searching for Acme go to acme.tel and find the relevant information. Perhaps the user is in London, so they can click on a link or two for Europe and then United Kingdom and then London, here they will get details of the Acme stores in London.

The URL they would be at would technically be as follows:


This is all very well, but the idea, or so I thought, was to have data both public and private. So, a general member of the public can see the main contact numbers for the London office, but if you are a distributor, for example, you could set up a ‘handshake’ with acme so that you can see other details, perhaps an email or telephone number particularly for the distributor side of things.

I was dismayed to discover today, therefore, that you are only allowed private data under the top level.

According to the .tel userguide (Privacy section, page 21):

Private information is only supported in your main folder (yourname.tel), and not in sub-folders (social.yourname.tel). Anything put into sub-folders remains public at all times.

What the huh? Why?

So, anyone wishing to secure a name for their family, such as I did with murphy.tel, cannot then let their family members use the name as a decent tool for sharing information?

michael.murphy.tel could be used by me and spot.murphy.tel could be used by my make believe dog and have completely different information, but according to Telnic we’re not allowed any private information to be held under these records – only under murphy.tel

This seems extremely wrong to me and, though we may not have been mislead previously, I’m sure all indications were on how fabulous it is to be able to use .tel for regional purposes and the fantastic ability it has to show or hide any information you wish.

if .tel is going to take off, I think Telnic really need to reasses this issue and allow private data to be held on the ‘folder’ (subdomain) levels.

Very disappointing.