Our latest Press Release focused on the challenge our free online address book represents to the dot tel domains.
It was picked up by a large variety of media outlets including Yahoo News - http://news.yahoo.com/s/prweb/20100119/bs_prweb/prweb3459084_1;_ylt=A0oGktzw4lZLmYAAgztTDqMX;_ylu=X3oDMTBvdmM3bGlxBHBndANhdl93ZWJfcmVzdWx0BHNlYwNzcg--
In truth, I view the whole campaign as much like the "A lot less bother than a Hoover" advertising campaign (where I believe the two companies had the same parent company) - a symbiotic relationship in which we both benefit from the increased exposure. I'm not sure Telnic view the relationship like that though!
For those people who like the fact that they can be found via the telephone directory / White Pages, both these services offer a great way to be also easily found and contacted by old friends and colleagues on the internet via a name search on a major Search Engine - and the user can specify the means of contact depending on what they choose to show - be it email, IM, VOIP or even home / work terrestrial mail address. All these services are themselves hyperlinked, so that they launch with one click.
Clearly our address book does not have the same technology advantages as the dot tel domains hosted on the DNS, but I think for the majority of people wanting an easy to manage, easy to update, search engine optimized page where they can display their contact details in a structured format which can be found easily on a Google or a Yahoo search, our service offers an excellent free solution.
The two major advantages our address book currently have over the dot tel domains are firstly that our users can be found and contacted within three clicks of a Google search of their name - without revealing their email address (This is not possible on a dot tel domain); and secondly that users' address book listings (their profile page)are usually indexed between 2 and 7 days. Reports suggest that Telnic struggles to get its dot tel domains indexed quickly. Certainly when I experimented with them a year ago they took weeks and sometimes months to get indexed. That suggested to me that either Google perhaps didn't trust them particularly despite them being hosted on the DNS, or perhaps Telnic made it too difficult for a newly registered domain to be found and spidered by the Googlebot.
The third advantage is only a suspicion of mine - that our address book listings (profile pages) rank better in name searches in the SERPs than the dot tels - but as I haven't yet commissioned the detailed testing of this theory, this currently remains unfounded. Certainly our members don't need to do any work to get their profiles ranking high up (on average) in the search engine results whilst I have read that Telnic advise their domain purchasers of ways and means to achieve this - which suggests that they find it necessary to do so.
Perhaps I should commission that testing sooner rather than later!