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Still lost in .tel hell in the age of Development


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Still lost in .tel hell in the age of Development

Post by Sunrise on Sun 18 Aug 2013, 12:31 pm

On Friday, I had an interesting conversation on twitter with Justin Hayward, communications director of TelNic – the registry of the .tel domain TLD. For a person in an upper management position with the TelNic Registry, Justin came forth as being very defensive of his product, forgetting how twitter is a public medium. I understand that he was busy with promoting the .tel goods at Domain Convergence and getting ready for today’s TelCamp 1 in Toronto – a “boy scout” style convention organized by Canadian fans of this controversial TLD. However, Justin had no qualms about telling me to “go to hell” or that if I am not happy with my .tel domains I should “get rid of them”.

Someone hasn’t told Justin Hayward about leveraging Public Relations; he should take a hint from Sedo and how positively they recently responded to the porn ad fiasco.

Overall, Justin Hayward appeared to be unable to respond coherently to my main argument over disliking .tel and that being, that there is no possible way of real development for .tel domain names. Instead, he pointed me to the rantings of some obscure coder – one of these technology neo-hippies that subscribe to the mantra of “code is poetry“. Not my thing – development in my book is not lines of code rendering text hyperlinks.

Let’s go back to what .tel offers right this minute, several months after its public release through ICANN – all while still in pre-beta mode; an industry first.

TelNic removed the bottom links that pushed the Registry’s contact info but they still maintain the large .tel button at the top right as a reminder that .tel and TelNic owns your info. It’s all about brand recognition riding on whatever you place in the virtual contact card layout beneath – just like WalMart would like to do to all the products you’d buy – if only they could.

TelNic introduced an API that allows programmers to customize certain functions of the underlying DNS layer, and you can conveniently store the info at a .tel domain to your Outlook. As far as I can tell, there is no syncing function that’d allow me to publish info in my Outlook to the .tel domain, instead of using a multitude of beautiful ajax-driven forms that code poets at TelNic have created. Too bad.

With regards to new innovations, there was an announcement of the introduction of an ad API that’d allow the placement of text ads and thus the supposed monetization of .tel domains. Now, thinking how what you view on a .tel domain is a large textpad of 1994-era hyperlinks, that would make things look even more old-school, all while the large purple .tel button is the sole dominant graphic element on the page.

When it comes down to search engine placement, I did a simple experiment back in March, getting the .tel name of my CPA – he has a hard to pronounce .net domain – and entering all his info as a .tel contact card, with links to the live web site. After submitting it to Google, it’s still #35 in the results when searching for the name. Meanwhile, his obscure .net is still #1. Perhaps it’s the lack of any type of meta tags in the HTML generated by the “code poets” at TelNic; just view the source of any .tel domain and you’ll see what I mean.

The bottom line: .tel is a castrated TLD that was somehow allowed by ICANN to go live while still having unresolved technical issues. Their campaign through the media does not openly disclose that one cannot park, develop or host any web site on a .tel domain. Instead, the main push is for a virtual card that offers no graphic eye candy and no ability to remove the .tel branding.

In my closing statement to Justin Hayward, I responded that he would gain a lot of my support if they introduced a regular DNS layer that would allow .tel owners to develop their domains. It’s technically very simple; a code switch that would allow the current functions to give way to regular DNS resolving. However, as I told Justin Hayward, that’s going to happen when hell freezes over; for a company that supports the “code is poetry” motto that’s downright bizarre.

TelNic is content with the brand recognition and promotion, the same way that Abercombie & Fitch promotes the brand instead of the garment; and that’s too bad in the domain industry that has lots of attractive alternatives to offer.


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Re: Still lost in .tel hell in the age of Development

Post by TelBlogger on Mon 19 Aug 2013, 12:38 am

I remember Acro warned newbies at the start of this disaster 4 1/2 years ago that it would be a disaster. I wish I had listened :-(. Countless hours and lots of money down the gurgler.

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Re: Still lost in .tel hell in the age of Development

Post by mikeseaton on Mon 19 Aug 2013, 6:44 am

TelBlogger wrote:I remember Acro warned newbies at the start of this disaster 4 1/2 years ago that it would be a disaster. I wish I had listened :-(. Countless hours and lots of money down the gurgler.

There was another warning - from a respected source way back in 2008 - which I only came across about a year ago !


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Re: Still lost in .tel hell in the age of Development

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