An end of year message from
Khashayar Mahdavi, Telnic CEO
As 2010 draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for having been part of the .tel community this year. Still less than two years old, .tel remains unique in the marketplace and it continues to grow in terms of its performance, recognition and industry accolades. Your continued membership of the .tel community is appreciated by all at Telnic.
Emerging trends in 2010
2010 has seen what we believe to be some important emerging trends which reinforce the need for a new paradigm in communications and reputation management.
There has been an explosion in mobile web usage through the increasing worldwide adoption of iPhones, Android and other emerging devices such as the iPad. It is now more important than ever that people and businesses present a mobile-friendly presence online in order to be discovered.
Mainstream usage of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter has led to many organizations taking risks with the future reputation of their brands online. By using social media links as a point of contact to promote itself, an organization risks not only diluting its brand to the benefit of the social network which acts as an intermediary between the two parties but also risks losing control of a key contact point for customers that has longevity and internet neutrality.
More broadly, the fragmentation and proliferation of free services on the Web has led to clear domination in many continents by Google being the entry point to the internet, resulting from consumer confusion over which services are best to use. As more and more searches take place through Google and other platforms, the importance of search engine visibility and 'being everywhere' can only increase.
Finally, for individual professionals, perhaps due to the state of the global economy, there is now both a clear requirement and desire to promote one's professional credentials online.
More and more services are available, providing 'home pages', identity or free online business card services. Competition in this space is fierce. Already, several of these services have fallen by the wayside in 2010, leaving customers scratching their heads as to the long-term viability of free services.
With all of these trends, .tel is well placed to address the emerging issues in a compelling and cost-effective way. With the cost of ownership often less than $1 per month, .tel is the simplest and most affordable way for individuals to take control their reputation and presence online and is best-placed to become the de facto domain for individuals in the future.
There is a simple truth; to be in control of your online reputation and presence, you ultimately need ownership of your single point of contact. Owning your own domain is the best way to achieve this. Take advantage of the amazing free services out there today to help promote your personal or business brand, but direct people to where you want to be found and what you want people to see being said about you. Long term, the ownership, control, ease of use and appropriate format of your point of contact will all add up to an essential tool for customer and colleague communications.
The progress of the .tel community
So where are we today? Let me provide a few statistics in terms of registrations and usage.
Telnic remains the seventh largest gTLD by and second-fastest growing gTLD registry in 2010. The .tel community of individuals and businesses increases weekly with approximately 100,000 new registrations in the year to date. In terms of usage, visits to .tel domains increased by 75% from the beginning of the year through to October 2010 and the quantity of contact points stored in the DNS has doubled in that time.
Search results for named searches and keywords continued to improve across 2010. A recent study conducted with a large yellow page provider in the United States showed that .tel domains are being indexed by both Google and Bing incredibly quickly and were providing additional search results on both front pages for customers, enabling them to be confident that everything possible was being done to promote them. The results show that the better the content, the better the results that can be expected. We are now beginning to enter into agreements with yellow page providers from the United States, Europe and Asia who will bundle .tel domains in with their services.
All of this is extremely positive but, at Telnic, what most excites us is how you are using your .tel domains. We saw at the beginning of the year the Metro Blenz News Squad (metroblenznewssquad.tel) cover the Winter Olympics in Canada, using their .tel as a central coordination and dissemination point, enabling them to gain significant brand awareness through social and mainstream media coverage. We've seen charities such as Victim Support in the UK (victimsupport.tel) providing essential contact information to the community, through to media companies such as ITV (itv.tel) providing simple-to-access corporate and customer services information. In Australia, real-time access to bike-share information in Melbourne (bikeshare.tel), enabling those on the go to find out where bikes and bike parks are. We've even seen a business in Germany providing .tel domains embroidered on dog collars to provide a digital identity for your pet in case they are lost (hundeladen.tel).
The diversity of use cases are tremendous and the positive stories of great search results continue to be told. If you haven't taken a look at your .tel recently to see whether it's working as hard for you as for these community members, now is the time to do it!
Our promises in 2010
In 2010, we outlined four commitments to the community to enhance the .tel service.
We increased customization, including a choice of new templates and personalization, as well as releasing a smart phone template, to better represent you and your business or professional occupation online.
We enhanced the value with the ability to monetize your .tel, through support for Google AdSense and secure use of third party tools developed by the community to better help you generate useful content.
Telnic also released internationalized domain names (IDNs) in 2010 enabling .tel domains to be registered in sixteen languages, as can be seen by registrations in Telpages.com.
We delivered improved integration with other services, through added support for Open Authentication (OAuth) as well as adding OpenID, meaning your .tel is now an online ID that you can use to sign in to a growing number of services.
Furthermore, we enhanced discoverability, through the launch of Telpages.com and support for micro-formats such as hCard, to enable services such as Google understand, present and better handle .tel content.
What's in store for 2011?
In 2011, we will continue to develop .tel for the benefit of the existing and new community members.
Firstly, we will continue to simplify the service by enhancing the ability to better manage content through the control panel and provide an easier way of sharing private information through a new privacy system, enabling more people to benefit from this feature-rich contact hub. We will also be talking to our partners about how they can begin to deliver more personalized services which can be tailored to regional or individual needs through the hosting of their own .tel platform for customers.
Secondly, we will enhance support for measurement and analytics to enable people to utilize Google Analytics as well as measure visits and actions through the control panel. This will enhance the proven value of .tel as a professional and business-focused contact hub that can is truly measurable.
Thirdly, we will continue to increase the ability for community members to generate incremental revenues from their .tel domains through the extension of support for AdSense on smart phones, as well as the ability to add personalized vouchers and offers and extend support to image-based TelAds. All of this will be available to be managed directly from your .tel control panel, significantly enhancing the value provided by this extremely low-cost and flexible structured domain.
Fourthly, we will provide increasing support for emerging communications channels, supporting more international services and will trial 'Call Me' button support on the .tel proxy, enabling customers to contact .tel owners directly. Enabling greater flexibility and choice of communications channels for .tel community members remains a key priority whilst increasing the value delivered by a .tel.
Finally, building on the work already conducted in 2010, we will aim to broaden the .tel community further by developing partnerships with organizations that manage contact information on behalf of customers. Our aim is to at least double the size of the community in 2011 through these partnerships and work to increase usage and awareness of the .tel platform. We wholeheartedly believe that, due to the trends identified, 2011 is set to be an exciting year for .tel. We will work hard to achieve the goals outlined for .tel to become, over time, a utility that anyone can own and everyone can benefit from. Gaining this level of adoption requires hard work, strong business development, great partnerships, incremental product development and a laser-sharp focus on getting the message out.