Is there a future in .tel?


It's been four years since I got a .tel domain. Way back then, I wasn't that keen on the idea - I thought the implementation was iffy and the design pretty naff.

Since then, the site has got easier to use and now looks a lot better - especially on mobile.
edent.tel screenshot

When http://edent.tel/ came up for renewal last year, I decided to add Google Analytics to it so I could see if it was useful.
tel stats

So, at the moment it bumbles along with 2 to 5 hits a day - more when my blog is popular. I get a couple of genuine emails per month from people visiting it - sometimes leading to work. But mostly it generates spam.

The total cost to renew for another year is €18. That's not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things - and I did originally get the domain free for a couple of years. I hate the idea of linkrot - but it turns out hardly anyone links to it.

It's handy to have a dedicated microsite which contains all my contact details - but as .tel has never quite got the momentum it deserves, it's hard to justify keeping around.

I'd love it if everyone had a .tel and my phone's address book just pointed to their entries. I'd never have to worry about updating people's details when they changed job or phone number. Sadly, that doesn't look likely to happen. The TelNic registry put out its last press release in June 2011 and they haven't seen any significant press since September 2011. Similarly, their blog has gone over a year without an update.

I know some of the guys behind .tel - they're smart, passionate, and committed. They created some great developer resources. But, still, for some reason, the service has never quite broken into the mainstream.

So, should I renew it or just let it lapse? I've got until the 22nd to decide. Leave a comment in the box

4 thoughts on “Is there a future in .tel?

  1. Renew it!! Not just because I'm renewing mine, but there has been a growing increase in social media platforms. As wewll as your Facebook's, Skype, Twitter and Google +, we have seen Pinterest, LinkedIn amongst others become very popular.

    Assuming that all of the above become a standard feature in the not to distant future on everyone's contact pages, then it will be easier to just have a .tel domain name.

    Maybe in the future, I Social Media company may decide to buy it, in the same way that Microsoft bought Skype and Facebook bought Instagram.

    We mobile phone technology becoming more and more advanced, .tel will have a home and a future on the internet as opposed to Yellow Pages.

  2. Renew it!!

    Not just because I'm renewing mine, but there has been a growing increase in social media platforms. As well as your Facebook's, Skype, Twitter, You Tube and Google +, we have seen Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram amongst others becoming increasingly popular.

    Assuming that all of the above become a standard feature in the not-to-distant future on everyone's contact pages, then it will be easier to just have a .tel domain name, to display all of your social media contacts!

    Rather than a radio presenter wasting valuable air time, saying "Follow Us on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, Watch Us on You Tube etc. It would be easier if they just quoted, "follow Terence Eden, at edent.tel".

    Maybe in the future, a Social Media company may decide to buy .TEL, in the same way that Microsoft bought Skype and Facebook bought Instagram.

    With mobile phone technology becoming more and more advanced, .tel will have a home and a future on the internet as opposed to Yellow Pages, which is hanging on a burning thread.

  3. Renew it. I wouldn't consider site traffic for a .tel domain as a factor for keeping it or not. Would you get rid of your phone number if you were only getting a few calls a day? I would consider site traffic an important factor for any other domain, but .tel is a contact page, and you don't want thousands of hits unless you want thousands of phone calls, texts and emails.

    I think it's a great idea for a single digital identity, especially if you can get a short, memorable name, but the people running it are doing a lousy job of promoting it. It doesn't replace business cards, but it makes them much cleaner. I had my cards printed simply with my name and .tel address, and almost everyone who receives the card has never heard of .tel, but they're impressed with how easy it is to access me on their smartphones.

    I don't know what will happen with .tel with all the new TLDs that will be introduced in the next year. I hope it doesn't get lost in the shuffle. They had a four year head start and didn't make the best of it.

    You might want to consider switching to different registrar. €18 seems a bit steep. I pay less than half of that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *