Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Which: .TEL or .CONTACT new gTLD?

I own a certain number of .TEL domain names (ie: registries.tel) because of the precision they offer. I consider that they are a right choice to point someone to a place where they could find your phone number and other contact details or directions. The pages offered by .TEL are basic and go straight to the point: the info is found in zero click.

Many registrants just received an email explaining that this is going to change and it is going to be possible to set up DNS to point .TEL domains to other kind of contents but the one offered by the .TEL platform: and after all, why not?

If I understand this move by the registry, probably because registration volumes are decreasing, I believe that opening these domains to other kind of uses could save the registry from declining. It is possible too that the strategy is to focus more on domain name investors: not to forget that some .tel domains are now old and using them for SEO might be of interest.

So where's the "but"?
I believe the "but" comes from the approaching .CONTACT new gTLD. I think it makes sense for readers of  website to find a place which offers how to contact a company and .TEL had succeeded in offering this "one page" place where a reader could find all contact options. This was innovation to me and it still is.

Three questions that I have:
  1. Question 1: would someone want to call me on the telephone (the meaning of "tel")? or would someone want to find a way to contact me by telephone, send me an email or Skype me (the meaning of "contact")? Thinking twice, I think that ".contact" is more more appropriate for that job.
  2. Question 2: is a complete website needed for  a ".contact" or a ".tel" website? I wouldn't build a website using such domain names: one single page would be enough and...I found the .TEL platform was already very good at offering this service (even if I found that it required too many clicks to add a link). I will migrate my .TEL domains to the new platform offered by the registry but I won't create websites for one reason: a website has to be hosted and the .TEL platform is already providing this. I won't change something that is already offering me satisfaction.
  3. Question 3: isn't the .CONTACT new gTLD offer the exact same as the .TEL one? We don't know if innovation is coming with the .CONTACT new gTLD - unless that sentence on front page which says: "A platform for hosting contact sites. Conversations have never been so easy." There are two keywords here: "platform" and "conversations" - but it seems to be the case. We don't know yet if adoption will be met on a new concept but if it is, I'd say that .TEL has a problem because the registry who finds how to attract consumers offering added value with a domain name purchase, is not known yet in the history of Internet.
    The two word on the .CONTACT registry's front page seem to say it all: this is going to be an innovation and I can't wait to see what's coming.
As I wrote it above, I understand the position of the .TEL Registry to "do something" and change things if registrants stop renew their .TEL domain name. Unfortunately, if an innovation is coming with the .CONTACT new gTLD - which I already find quite attractive for companies - it is possible that it does not save the .TEL Registry. There were other things to do but to drop this TLD in the new gTLD arena. I hope domain name investors participate in saving .TEL because it is the only way that I see for this registry to survive.

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