Tuesday, January 18, 2011

To .tel or not to .tel?

That's the question I face as my subscriptions to a couple of .tel domains comes up for renewal soon.
.tel is a relatively new domain name (available since February 2009) designed to act like a global address book, and not to require web design or hosting like a conventional web site. Boosters claim they're vital to secure brand recognition for a business, of any size, and can help to increase search engine rankings.

See an example at http://MikeSchorah.tel or the friend to whom I recommended .tel

My dilemma comes because the concept just hasn't caught on, certainly not for individuals. But if I don't renew my registrations would some other Mike Schorah grab my space?!

And since the launch of .tel some of us have become increasingly concerned about Internet privacy issues and I, for one, have no intention of using the feature to update my geographic location status on a dynamic basis, for example.

On balance, now I've got the domain it's probably worth the relatively small cost to renew. But I no longer advise clients and business partners to register as a matter of course. Only go for it if you're running a business and want to create a presence for your business similar to a Yellow Pages entry; don't register if you're an individual. I find the added features of my blog and YouTube channel and other web properties much more useful and compelling for users.