New domains are always exciting, and if you can remember the most recent major one (.me) you will remember the vast amounts of money are usually spent as people bid for the best of the selection. However .tel will not involve vast amounts of money or even much media coverage, because it is something different and a new way of looking at domain names.
These domains will not be about websites, but more of a way of sharing the information of the domain owner, and will not involve any building, hosting or managing. They are effectively domains that tell you all about the domain owner, such as their business, their address and their phone number: a bit like an online contact card.
The company in charge of operating this is Telnic, the communications director of which is Jusitn Hayward who’s .tel domain is “www.justin.tel“. This is a good example of how this will be used, people will be able to give other people their .tel domain and they can easily find their contact details in one easy to remember place.
Currently (i.e as of 3pm GMT) it is only open to trademark owners, but at some point it will be open to the public although Telnic is cautious of spamming. However this will have many advantages for the public, as it will be capable of combining many applications — meaning you can start a chat or phone call with the person in question at the click of a button.
There will also be a search feature allowing you to find people by a whole number of criteria and Telnic also plan to release a directory called telpages.com in next year, which will make finding people even easier. Of course, there will be a cost (which will help alleviate the problem of spammers) when it does go public and it all depends on how desperate for your own name domain.
The “sunrise” period of trademark owners (around $350 for 3 years) only will end on the 2nd February after which anyone can pay a premium price (around $150) to get their domain before the price falls on March 24th (to around $20). This is an incredibly clever scheme by Telnic: getting as much money as they can from the people who really want their own name domain, but also opening up to the wider audience. I wonder if there will be an extra charge for popular names? I think that would be a bit too far!
All in all this is a great idea, making it possible to easily give people your contact details and making communications easier. The only problem really is if you have a very popular name as you may end up having a horrifically complicated domain, but I will be laughing come March 24th because I doubt there are any other people called Christian Milsom out there!