Friday, December 12, 2008


Now that the .tel has been available to trademarks for a week, we're getting a lot of buzz and feedback in online communities.
Most of it is really good, but of course there's always the criticism. Some criticism is borne out of misunderstanding (or simply lack of reading about .tel) but some other criticism is very interesting, and shows how quickly one can jump to the seemingly obvious but wrong conclusion. More interestingly, the less technical a community, the more it embraces .tel as a great product. And vice versa. So what's the issue with techies?

Well, as soon as a techie reads "top level domain" (or the TLD acronym), she automatically associates it with "domainer money grab". As you try to explain why .tel is really fundamentally different from any other TLD, the techie will say "but you can publish your contact info hundreds of ways already!" And she doesn't see the connection between these two points, which is as follows:

In order to publish your own information in one place that is forever yours, the best (and arguably only) solution today is to use a top-level domain. If you don't use a TLD, you're subordinated to a service provider that may or may not sell you advertising, cut you off, or even go bankrupt. Then good luck telling everyone that you switched to *another* "forever" place, and listen to the snickers.

That is the reason why Telnic is using a TLD. We're not making money from hidden deals or advertising, or thinking up new business models that promise to make someone else pay for your chance to control your data. You simply pay a small price ($15/year or whereabouts) for your guaranteed freedom and control, and buy your own unique domain. A .tel TLD is the only guarantee for you to own your unique, forever, publishing platform for contact information.


otmar said...

My answer is here.

otmar said...

henri, I've updated my post.


Jeff Hagins said...


Is there anything in .TEL that will inhibit service providers/hosters from selling sub-domains of .TEL in the same way that is currently setup?

Said another way, what pushes folks towards getting their own TLD instead of getting sold on or

Is your point about TLDs valid if this is possible?


Rik said...

Our vision of .tel is that a person should own her domain. .tel is inherently a personal thing. As such, privacy is domain-based in that people friend a domain. is a demo sandbox to test the features of .tel, and we created a special instance to do the friending at the 3rd level as opposed to the 2nd level. Note also that is temporary, and the friending system for is completely sandboxed (i.e. when .tel domains are live, friending in cannot relate to regular .tel domains)

More specifically, the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for registrars states the following:

4.2 Sub-delegations. Domain Names may not have sub-delegations or additional labels
(an "Extended Name") that would be in violation of and/or contrary to Section 4.1(b),
except that Extended Names are permitted on the following conditions:
(a) the registration and/or use made of such Extended Name is in accordance with
the provisions in these Policies; and
(b) the registration and/or use of the Extended Name is free of charge to and is
only for the use of subsidiaries, business units or employees of the company or
members of the association that is the Domain Name Holder, and is not
offered as a service to third parties, or, where the Domain Name Holder is a
natural person, the Extended Name is only for the personal use of the Domain
Name Holder or the family of the Domain Name Holder, is not offered as a
service to third parties, and no fee or other compensation is charged in
connection with such sub-delegation.