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Telnic launch .tel

March 7, 2009

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:

Profile
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.

Keywords
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!


Comments

3 Responses to “Telnic launch .tel”

  1. Wavatar Andy on March 8th, 2009 3:11 am

    >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.

    What do you mean? Your registrar should not be using your credentials to view (private) or update your information – if they were to do so then they’d be in gross violation of their agreement with Telnic, and possibly committing a criminal act to boot.

    >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.

    I agree, that would be nicer.

    >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.

    I’m told it’s being discussed as something for the next release.

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

    Agreed – a map on the web proxy would be nice. I’ll try and find out if this is a possibility.

    >Fourth – why can’t we rename the folders? You can rename a subdomain, so isn’t this the same?

    Good point.. I’m guessing it’s just something that got left out due to time constraints – can’t see why it shouldn’t be included in the next release.

    As for monetising, there are plenty of models to think about. Watch out for some middleware solutions that are coming – tracking, premium rate numbers/sms will all be managed for you 😉

    >Brittany Murphy

    Can’t help you there 😉

    By the way, there are some .tel communities you might be interested in:

    * The Namepros “Official .Tel Discussion Thread” (massive):
    http://www.namepros.com/domain-name-discussion/561820-the-official-tel-discussion-thread.html

    * http://www.telsters.com/

    * Henri’s blog: http://rikkles.blogspot.com/

  2. Wavatar murphyz on March 8th, 2009 9:34 am

    “What do you mean? Your registrar should not be using your credentials to view (private) or update your information – if they were to do so then they’d be in gross violation of their agreement with Telnic, and possibly committing a criminal act to boot.”

    Note that they cannot view private information. They can only view the public information you put up. It’s just part of the system that Telnic have built in, and I’m sure it’s so the registrar can assist the end user rather than to be used as a way to hinder.

    I doubt there will be few registrars creating APIs in the short term so an impersonation feature would be a way for the registrar to assist in setting up a .tel without actually requiring the log in details from the user end so it makes sense in a way.

  3. Wavatar murphyz on March 9th, 2009 4:57 pm

    Actually, scratch that last one – I’ve just been testing it and using the impersonation feature you can view private records – and edit them too.

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