Hyvää päivää (hello*) and Hoşgeldiniz (welcome) to Finnish and Turkish .tel pages

January 11th, 2012

In line with recent partnerships and developments, we’re pleased to say that we updated the .tel service today so that Finnish and Turkish are now both supported on the proxy page.  This brings the number of languages that will automatically translate key information such as headers and actions (i.e. all information that is systematically chosen rather than free text or user-defined content) to 15.

With customers in 181 countries, from Aruba to Yemen, .tel is a truly international service, and we’ll continue to add further language support as usage increases around the world.  However, with all of the top 10 most-used languages covered off, accounting for over 1.6 billion internet users, there shouldn’t be a problem of information getting lost in translation when visiting a .tel today.

*Andrew Kolchoogin informs us that Hyvää päivää is actually closer to ‘good afternoon’ than ‘hello’ – thanks for the information, I guess someone needs to update Wikipedia

New .tel functionality released

December 1st, 2011

Today, we’ve updated the .tel service with the following features as referred to in our September newsletter.

1)  Mobile Search for Directories

We’ve rolled out an update to the search functionality on mobile devices. Those community members with complex .tel domains or directories and which choose the ‘Search this .tel’ option rather than the ‘Search all’ option will now see that the search box appears at the top of the smart phone view.  This should assist those seeking information within your .tels to access the search functionality much more quickly, rather than having to scroll down to the bottom of the page (potentially through 100 different records).

The ‘Search all’ option still provides the search box at the bottom of the page, as it is more likely that the viewer will take a look through the contents of that .tel prior to deciding whether to seek the information from another source.

2)  .tel Redirection

If you’re a brand owner or have a portfolio of related .tel domains and you don’t want all of them to be found online or have the time to populate all of them now, help is now at hand.  You may have purchased multiple .tel variants or defensive registrations, but you don’t want all of these to be seen or don’t want to put duplicate content in (not a good idea from a search engine perspective).

Now, all you need to do is list the main .tel that you wish to promote within the .tel domains that you don’t want to use right now.  This will result in the visitor being diverted to your main .tel if they type in one of your other .tel names into the browser or discover it some other way.

Remember, this will only work if there’s nothing else in the .tel domain that you wish to divert automatically to your chosen main .tel domain, so make sure that the domain you wish to divert has no other content in it.  You can also divert it to a sub-page of another domain, but it won’t divert to any other domain extension – this is specifically a feature for managing multiple .tel domains.

3)  Rich Snippets

We’ve updated the way in which .tel presents this information within the template, which should deliver even better information back to Google and as a result, present even better information back to the person searching so they can click on the .tel to proceed with their search.

4)  Support for more third party icons

We’ve updated support for more third party services on the .tel, looking at feedback from the community and actual usage of these services listed in the .tel domains.

 

We are still working on the final item listed in the September newsletter, the new templates and we will provide a development update in the next newsletter due out this month.

Search and Social Sharing comes to .tel Superbook for iPhone

September 16th, 2011
We’re pleased to announce the latest version of .tel Superbook for iPhone, which can now be downloaded from the App Store. As well as a complete overhaul in terms of look and feel, some key elements have been added to make this app even more user friendly:

  • Telpages search: Now, you can search for .tel information from within the app, rather than having to type in a known .tel name. As well as delivering back search results, a confidence bar is provided highlighting the results that Telpages thinks are the best fit for your search
  • Recently Visited .tel Names: In order to save time, and in case you forgot to save previous searches, a cached version of recently visited .tel names is provided in a list.
  • Pull down to quick refresh: Whether recently visited or saved contacts, up-to-date information can quickly be accessed by a simple swipe down and re-saved with one click to your contacts
  • Share: As well as saving to your address book, you can also quickly share a discovered .tel name, a business recommendation or a new contact by email, twitter, facebook and other services (if you’re following @rikkles or @justinhayward on Twitter you may have seen us testing this). This is yet another great way of easily sharing .tel information with anyone you want
We hope you enjoy the new features on the .tel Superbook and please do leave a review on the App Store if you do use it. You can find it here or visit http://superbook.tel.

.tel Mapping Tool

July 15th, 2011

You might have already seen this tool, which allows you to very easily embed .tel information on your website.

A couple of weeks ago a significant update was made to the .tel Mapping Tool, which displays .tel domains, sub-domains and related domains on a map in a very easy but modular way.

The previous version of the mapping tool allowed you to visualize a domain’s info in the “bubble” window in a single way:

.tel mapping tool bubble

But now with the latest update you can pass in a format for the bubble by using the parameter “info=”. The value of that parameter is a javascript snippet. The easiest explanation is through an example:

‘<div><span style=”float: left; margin-right: 10px;”>’ + r['logo'] + ‘</span><span>’ + r['dds'] + ‘<br /><a href=”http://’ + domain + ‘” target=”_blank”>’ + idndomain + ‘</a><br /><br />’ + r['firstnaptr'] + ‘</span></div>’

The above gives the default bubble with the image on the left, and on the right the domain and the first contact record below it.
If you want to change it, note that this is a javascript string concatenation. It’s pretty clear what the params are:

  • domain : the punycode domain
  • idndomain : the unicode IDN domain (what you want to show to users)
  • r : the result from the domain lookup, which has ‘logo’, ‘dds’ and ‘firstnaptr’, respectively the logo image, the title of your domain (dds), and the first naptr. All of those are actual html snippets.

If you want to pass in the ‘info=’ parameter using GET, you must escape the whole thing. And don’t forget to put single quotes at start and finish, like the example above.
If you use POST, you’re good to go.

Note that you can completely screw up the page if you pass in a broken javascript string, as it’ll break the whole javascript code on the page. You’ve been warned: with great power comes great responsibility…

The .tel Mapping tool also now supports all .tel IDN domain types (such as chinese character domains).

Should you want more detail on how to use the .tel Mapping Tool, please see the “Tools for Website Integrationl page.

Mobile in Local Search: YP app v Mobile Web, Google Mobilize, and where .tel fits in.

June 30th, 2011

Yesterday, a senior exec. at my previous client when I was consulting, a major Yellow Pages (YP) publisher, called me for my thoughts on YP app v mobile web, what I thought of Google’s new SMB landing page, Google Mobilise, and where did .tel fit in.

They have a neat app, great, but mobile web is increasingly where the action is – users can be lazy – when they have an urgent need for local, they grab their smartphones and tap in what and where into their browser – who leaves their web browser to open up the YP app to find a taxi? Downloads are one thing, continuous front of mind usage frequency is quite another. Both bases need to be covered. The Google mobilize product, a basic landing page is free and is based on a sub domain:  https://sites.google.com/site/[your business name]. This is one approach for YP companies, either re-purposing their customer sites for mobile web, or even partnering with Google.

An interesting and simpler alternative would be to offer their customers YP branded .tels: yourbusiness.tel. These are very smart mobile landing pages based on award winning technology that utilizes the internet DNS in a clever way to store customer contact data and business profile information. The key benefits are cost and speed to market. With .tel there is no product development required and no operational costs e.g. design and hosting. This means that even if publishers include .tel packaged in their offering for free, they retain ownership of the customer and his unique top level domain with the YP companies look and feel and brand logo. This means users and advertisers recognise it as their value proposition, and at typically 1% ARPA, it’s an extremely low cost solution.

The battle for the mobile internet is really shaping up – it’s not about the app, it’s about being in lots of places at once, especially mobile web. Wherever users search for local information, publishers need their brands to be uppermost in their minds.  

At the end of the call she said to me “Thanks for confirming my thinking, what would it take to get all my print customers up live with a .tel so I can announce that we’ve led the entire customer base deeper into new media?” I replied, we as the global .tel registry are ready and willing  to support any partner wishing to move fast in that direction.  Our joint kick off operational planning meeting starts Monday and we expect to be registering names within a few weeks.

Ian Bowen-Morris, CMO, Telnic, the .tel registry.

Current .tel smartpage for a UK florist

Google Mobilize landing page

Example .tel branded for a Yellow Pages publisher

Night of the Museums, Poland

May 24th, 2011

Anna Lużyńska from Strategia Tel wrote to us to share information about http://nocmuzeow.tel:

This .tel site was created to promote A Night at the Museum in Crakow on 20th May 2011.  The goal of the site was to include Cracow Museums and galleries of art on the map of European Night Museums.  Museums are placed in separate pages, outlining the program of events, descriptions of exhibitions etc, and phone, email , web links  and Facebook pages.

We created a link to “Mapa Nocy Muzeów” – a cumulative map of all the museums of Krakow taking part in Night of the Museums.  This links back to a map showing all the museums taking part in the event.

Additionally, another sub-page was called “Bezpłatny przejazd MPK “, giving information about the special rates and free travel to and from the museums.

Below is a snapshot of the Google Analytics for http://nocmuzeow.tel

The above statistics show that the launch of nocmuzeow.tel was cool. Within 4 days of registering the .tel site it was visited by over 1,100 users, of which the date falling on the Night of the Museum in Cracow recorded nearly 700 visits.

Curation: The key to online reputation

May 5th, 2011

Those ‘embedded’ within the social media ecosystem have long talked of curation as the killer application that will provide the disruptive force to shift old-school industries into submission or ‘pivot’.  Recently, prolific naughties blogger Steve Rubel of Micropersuasion fame and now consultant at Edelman Public Relations refreshed the debate by moving it into the applications space from the social web.  His argument was that, with the ease and access to apps, whilst the likes of the music industry have already been disrupted through free-to-stream music services that enable people to listen to curated pick lists, now traditional media outlets are being faced by a dilution of their brand through the curation of content from them through new apps for tablets and smart phones.

An Ancient Skill

The fundamental fact is that this type of curation is not new.  In 1996, a small research project that then turned into a search engine called Google, provided an algorithmic curation of web pages presented to the user when searching for ‘relevant’ information (or simply one result if they were ‘feeling lucky’!).  Whilst the format has stayed the same substantially since then, with automation and algorithms at the heart of the service, it’s a poorly-kept secret that Google employs thousands to make sure that the results expected to be delivered are maintained.

In the late 1990s, TiVo started enabling this type of curation of content on television, based on programmes watched, and enabling people to cut out or fast-forward through adverts.  Television did not die; instead, new technology providers sprang up to provide different types of channels based on genres, with services like Virgin Media and Sky in the UK providing ‘on demand’ television.

In music, radio stations for years have been curating music choices, picked by DJs.  Themed channels have also been around for a long time.

Curation, Distributed

What has changed is the ability for anyone to curate some form of content or culture easily.  In the same way that blogging on free platform enabled anyone to start curating information on the web and providing opinion on it, now the medium has changed to enable people to more easily (but yet not simply) create applications that can be downloaded to devices and share that curated content.

Curation in and of itself is not the creation of social media.  Those with access to cheap and standardized technology – pamphleteers in the 1640s for example – were able to curate and present information.  What has changed is the ability to reach a broad audience and, by association, be discovered by like-minded individuals, opposing factions (whether trolls or Governments) or potential customers.

The act of curation and the ability to curate is open to all, and that is the fundamental point.  The scarcity value of information and content – whether it be music, opinion or indeed contact information – has been unlocked, never to be placed back into the box.  Each and every individual with access to an internet connection and a device has the power to begin curation and stands every chance of being ‘liked’, +1’d or shared so that the message is distributed virally far and wide (or indeed to a small, confined community).

Marketing by Curation

No small business or individual professional today should consider themselves to be marketing themselves appropriately if they leave curation of their brand or online reputation to a third party.

Where once the purpose of a press release was to engage and inform the media (which at the time were the only channel which had the power and the reach to influence the people you wanted to communicate with), now it stands as a tool for search engine optimization to be directly discoverable as a piece of editorial by potential employers, partners or customers.

Equally important is the curation of the ways in which people can contact you.  It’s critically important to make sure that your contact information is (securely) up-to-date in the distributed nature of the global business environment.  Curation is potentially the most important tool of any individual or small business today.  Make it work for you.

Now even quicker and easier!

April 7th, 2011

We’re continuously looking at ways to make .tel names more accessible, especially for those who don’t find technology that easy to grasp. And now the .tel control panel has a new Quick Setup tool that helps novice users setup their .tel page in three simple steps. Once a new user logs into the control panel for the first time, they will be offered to complete the Quick Setup entering their basic information, contact details, social media links and location, creating a clean and simple professional-looking online presence. If you are capable of filling in a simple form, you will be able to publish all of your contact information online, in one simple-to-access place that you own, with the benefit of being found wherever you are.

The Quick Setup will show automatically for all .tel names that have not been set up yet, provided there are no other domains in the same account. The Setup allows you to enter your information, preview it and publish online. You can then continue using the .tel control panel adding more information, customising the design of your .tel, etc. We hope this tool will help more people and businesses get started with their .tel names.

TelChina CEO triumphs in Business Awards

March 30th, 2011

We’re delighted to share the news that Lucy Wang, CEO of TelChina, won a significant award this week.

On March 27th, the 10th Awarding Ceremony for the Top Ten Businesswomen in China was staged in Beijing. Lucy was awarded the title of “Prominent New Businesswomen”. This event was run by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.  The event selects the most accomplished female entrepreneurs in China.

It’s already garnered a host of press coverage and so we congratulate Lucy on her accomplishments in such a relatively short space of time, with TelChina being less than a year old. For more information, see local press.

Happy Birthday .tel!

March 24th, 2011

Today we’re celebrating the 2nd anniversary of .tel opening for general registration! We’d like to thank all of our community members for their support and their active role in the .tel world via the forum, newsletter, I Love My Tel and various other projects worldwide.

In these two years, we’ve been places and done things – remember Laura and her treasure hunt? The .telebrities with their shiny new digital cameras? And more recently, the .tel design competition? Our .tel of the week is now over a hundred strong, and there have been dozens of .tel stories told by proud owners from all walks of life; from senior executives to bakers to sword swallowers!

To trace the .tel history and the development of its technology, ecosystem and community, take a look at our timeline of events, and see some statistics that we shared with you in the latest issue of our newsletter .tel by the numbers. Earlier this year, Telnic’s CEO Khashayar Mahdavi addressed the global .tel community to summarise the latest trends, achievements, and the goals ahead. We look forward to carrying out those goals throughout the year and hope to continue enjoy our community’s support and enthusiasm.

When .tel launched to the world on March 24th 2009 (after Sunrise and Landrush), we happily coincided with Ada Lovelace Day, sometimes portrayed as the World’s first computer programmer.  It was pure serendipity and not planned.  We hope however to continue in her footsteps in developing useful technology for the benefit of all.