Welcome to .telegraph, the monthly .tel community newsletter covering the latest news on .tel features, software and services, as well as useful tips and advice from .tel owners. Why not share this with someone you think may also be interested? More resources are at http://telnic.org/community-landing.html.
Featured .tel domains
This week's winner
In this issue:
"I think individuals and businesses everywhere could benefit from .tel. It is a great idea to have your private site where you can store your personal information like a business card, CV, or for general business use.."
This month at Mobile World Congress, Telnic released a new app for Android devices, .tel Superbook. This apps makes it easier to find and connect with your friends and colleagues worldwide, shows you their location in real time, and helps find new people and businesses with built-in search. Now, even if you don't know the exact .tel name, you can search for the person and see their .tel page, then save to your address book to stay in touch!
See more details about the application or click the button on the left to download.
As mentioned in last month's .telegraph, UniversalBusinessListing.org (UBL), the business identity management service of Name Dynamics Inc., and Telnic have announced a partnership to integrate .tel domains into UBL's commercial offerings. In this issue, we decided to interview UBL co-founders Doyal Bryant, CEO and Chris Travers, President, to provide you with a insight into their services and thoughts on .tel.
How did you become involved in the online publishing industry? As the two founding partners, we were involved in search technology, search marketing and directory publishing, in particular with Find.com. It was a natural for us to be looking at the information side of the search industry.How and when did UBL come into being and what problem were you trying to address? We began putting the service together in 2007 – we were looking at some of our own businesses and how to make sure they were accurately listed online, and found it was a frustrating and tedious process with little confidence about the accuracy or outcome. We also saw successful companies manage business listings in the 411 directory assistance space and knew there was an opportunity that could translate. We initially figured this was an issue for small businesses and it would be solved with manual data entry – basically a labor saving service. What we found was this was an even bigger issue for larger corporations with hundreds of locations, especially with brand management concerns. We also found that the more efficient and reliable method of managing business profile information as it gets seen online was to work with the underlying databases that feed the search platforms – in the US this includes Infogroup, Acxiom and Dun & Bradstreet.
What's the reaction from customers, especially those with little experience of the internet, been regarding your service? The response has been overwhelmingly positive – they realize that getting their basic business profile distributed is like free advertising. They use it as the first step in their marketing growth plan. They don't even have to have a Web site to get prominent search engine visibility, and what has really put the reaction over the top is that Google and the other big search engines now display these business listings on top of the "organic" search results. Adding to this is the whole explosion of Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn business profile pages and check-in services. These are all designed for consumer-level Internet knowledge – no expertise needed in keyword research, algorithms or on-page SEO!
When did you first hear about .tel and what was your reaction? We have been monitoring .tel since its inception – we always saw it as a potential complement to what we are doing. It was not initially completely clear to us the difference between this being "just another business domain" and being a real contact and profile management one. Fortunately people come to UBL looking for smarter ways to manage their online identity, so we are in a better position than most to help users understand the difference.
You're integrating .tel into UBL's services – what do you think this will bring to your customers? Our customers will benefit in a number of ways from the additional of .tel to our service:
What do you think the future of .tel will be? This service is likely to play well into the social profile space and the real-time check-in activities. It could be a natural place to add and update live coupons.
With the mobile internet exploding, what's the future for UBL's services? When we began UBL we talked about how online identity had migrated from Yellow Pages listings and directory assistance to a focus on search engine presence. But now this is quickly being transformed into a combination of search, social and mobile applications, with very little distinction between them. Many services operate seamlessly across all these search platforms. What isn't mobile or social today? So we are focused on ensuring we distribute all the relevant data fields (such as social network links, SMS short-codes, coupon codes) and that this now includes all the mobile and social platforms.
As announced in last month's .telegraph, we ran a flash-mob design competition with 99 Designs and had in excess of 230 entries to provide a new look and feel for .tel over browsers. With such a great response, we've chosen not one but three new template designs that, when finalized, will provide everyone a completely new look for .tel. Now that the designs are being submitted in their final format, we'll take a little time to tweak them so that they work really well with the system.
Below are our comments on why we thought these would work well. Thanks to those in the community that went and viewed the competition entries and gave us their feedback also. You can see the full-sized contest entries by clicking on the images or visiting 99designs.com.
There's no denying that this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was dominated by Google's Android. There were hundreds of them all over the place!
Not to miss out on the fun, Telnic launched.tel Superbook for Android at the show. This new Android version now incorporates the .telpages search engine into the application, meaning that people can both search for and type in a specific .tel domain to look up. See below for more information about the application. Additionally, we refreshed themy.tel for Android and launched a new version of my.tel for the iPhone (remember them?!), all of which are in the relevant app stores and market places.
With significant changes in the mobile industry from big players getting together, the demise of Symbian, mass adoption of tablets and new operating systems emerging, discovery becomes an even bigger problem with more devices and more ways of communicating than ever before. This year, many in the mobile telecommunications industry agreed that functionally, .tel is an ideal solution for this problem.
Telnic Limited has announced that image-based adverts are now supported in .tel domains. Owners of .tel domains can now embed links to image-based adverts, through the use of open APIs or third party services supporting these records, providing more visual imagery to enhance their templates, display their products or add banner-type advertising links to generate click-through revenue.
"Image-based adverts bring with them a number of benefits to the .tel community," said Henri Asseily, CTO and Chief Strategist at Telnic. "Not only does this expand the potential for generating revenue from advertising on .tel domains, it also enables .tel owners to enhance the overall look-and-feel and provide greater personalization through visual images. Now, anyone with a flair for the creative can add their own imagery to reflect their personality, products and promotions, whilst still keeping to the spirit and purpose of the .tel vision of frictionless sharing of contact information."
Banner adverts can be displayed on both desktop and smart phone templates, depending on the choice and preference of the .tel owner. The screenshot of a page at swisso.tel below shows new images highlighted with arrows.
Later in 2011, this functionality will be built into the web-based control panel to enable any .tel owner to create this type of content.
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The free .tel Superbook app integrates with your Android address book to give you real-time access to live contact information, location records and other information stored in .tel domains, with a one-click save functionality to import all the information into your address book. .tel Superbook, also available for iPhone, iPod Touch and BlackBerry, brings the power of real-time information – including the time zone that the individual is currently in – to contacts saved in your address book with .tel domains. The .tel Superbook for Android allows you to:
"Enabling access to .tel content without having to go over the web means faster, cheaper and richer access to real-time contact information, making any Android address book more powerful and useful to its owner," said Henri Asseily, CTO and Chief Strategist at Telnic. "This isn't just about one social network dominating mindshare - it's about any type of contact point or communications channel flowing seamlessly into your handset."
Who are you, where are you based and what do you do?
Peaksport are based in Egypt and we are an Egyptian importing and exporting company, working in various sectors. We export skin and leather products to several countries such as Tunisia and China. We also import sports apparel and shoes from China as we are the agent of Peak Sport in Egypt.
How important is being discoverable on the internet or contactable by your clients to you? It is very important for our customers to be able to reach us, be aware of our activities and contact us when they wish. The best way now is the internet, which makes us discoverable to people all over the world and consequently means more business opportunities.
How do you enable your clients to reach you? Our website site is our main source of contact and where we have all of our contact information as well as information and background about our company and business activities.
We also advertise on various B2B sites to promote Peaksport and to attract new customers.
When did you hear about .tel domains and what were your thoughts? I heard about .tel from one of my friends working in the IT field. I checked some .tel sites and found how easy and reliable it is. We bought peaksport.tel and found how simple it is to install your site in just a few minutes, contain all your business data with maps which I think makes it very interesting to use.
Who might benefit from a .tel? I think all individuals and businesses everywhere could benefit from .tel. It is a great idea to have your private site where you can store your personal information like a business card, CV, or for general business use.
I think it is supporting a wide range of people and businesses looking for an easy way to publish their information. A .tel page is great, easy to use and I like the way our customers can access our .tel page easily, especially with mobile devices.
How does having a .tel help your business specifically? What are the major benefits of having a .tel for your company? Actually many businesses need to have this international gateway to the world. This is what .tel has done for my company. It has made it easy for me to display all my important data which is necessary for any of my customers. It also saves time and effort for customers in that they can access our .tel and the information they need, for example, how to reach us as well as our map.
What other online marketing tools/campaigns do you employ? How does having a .tel fit into your marketing strategy? We do mainly e-mail campaigns, and these emails always contain our .tel therefore providing customers with our contact details.
How would you explain to a layperson what a .tel is and what the benefit would be to them? I would say it will be the best way to contact the world. It is a very easy and effective communication tool, and it is an easy way for people to reach you.
What do you think the future holds for .tel? I think the future is bright for .tel, and it will become an essential asset, like the family name. I believe that everyone and every business should have a .tel. The usability, stability and accessibility will make .tel the future business language. For me personally, when I want to start my own business I will register a .tel first. I am so proud to be part of the .tel family.
If you've got a .tel story that you wish to share, why not get in touch with us firstname.lastname@example.org.