Do You Have a Digital Business Card? (Register for .tel for free)

Do You Have a Digital Business Card? (Register for .tel for free)

phone booksWe all want to be found more easily online when our friends, potential clients and employers Google us. We’ve set up our LinkedIn profiles, started blogging, created websites, invited others to be our friends on Facebook and tweeted like crazy on Twitter. With all of these fragmented presences online, wouldn’t it be nice to have a directory of all the places we can be found, plus the option to include our email address, phone number and tags which help the right people find us and get in touch? That way, we could direct people to just one place to be referred to the various ways to contact us and find out what we’re up to. It’s sort of like a virtual phone book; you remember the phone book, don’t you? They used to be useful way back when, before we found contact information online and started using them only as doorstops and booster seats for kids not tall enough to reach the dining table.

There are plenty of easy ways to do this now. Each offers their own features and options for customization and discoverability. Among the options are:

Today, I am focusing on registering a .tel domain (you may be more familiar with other domains, such as .com, .net and .org). To help me understand the benefits of owning my .tel domain, I met with Vincent Largilliere of Digitrad, who was kind enough to walk me through the set-up. First, it is important to understand that registering a .tel domain is similar to registering any domain – it is not free, unlike the other sites I’ve listed above. For that fee, though, you have more control of your information because it is a completely different site, rather than just a page on someone else’s site. I encourage you to look at the features of each type of directory listing. There is no reason you can’t use more than one of the options above.

What is .tel?

From the Digitrad website:

.tel image

(click image to enlarge)

The .tel allows you to store, publish and update online all your contact information and keywords under your unique domain name, without the need for a website

> For individuals, .tel is a business card fully secure and customizable.

> For companies, .tel is both a limited public directory open to customers, and a internal directory, complete and secure for you and your co-workers .

All the extensions are identical, .tel is different: classical extensions link a website to an address, .tel links an address to an identity. This is its specificity and main strength.

.tel will allow you to increase your visibility on the Internet, to optimize your referencing, but also and more importantly to manage your personal digital identity as you see it, with the flexibility and the security that you need

More information can be found on the Digitrad website here.

Want to register .tel for free?

Vincent has offered free registration of a .tel account for AlmostSavvy readers. If you’d like to grab a year’s free registration of your very own .tel account, take a look at the video and keep reading.

In the video, Vincent answers a few questions about the value of .tel and walks me through the set-up process. You’ll note that I had to do quite a bit of editing (it seems we both talk too much!).

Following our session, I continued the set-up process. Take a peek at IreneKoehler.tel now.

To get a code for free registration of your own .tel account, simply add a comment below sharing why you’d like to try it out. Be sure to add a valid email address in the appropriate field (that’s how I’ll get the code to you).

Many thanks to Vincent and Digitrad for offering free registration to AlmostSavvy readers to allow you to see for yourself how you might use it to your own best advantage to manage your online reputation and visibility.

Thanks also to the kind folks at the Skoll Foundation who loaned us their conference room to tape the interview above, and thanks to Adin Miller for connecting me with the Skoll Foundation.

Also, in the name of full disclosure, Vincent did buy me a crepe while I was in Paris attending LeWeb. The crepe was not in exchange for this blog post, but I understand that perception is everything. Frankly, if anyone ever wanted to compensate me for a blog post, I’d hope the going rate would be something greater than one crepe and an offer to give blog readers a discount code. Evidence of said crepe.

51 Comments

  1. Adin miller February 23, 2010 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Thanks Irene for posting this; it’s a very neat concept. What would be the advantage of posting the information on a .tel site versus a Google Profile? How effectively does a .tel domain support SEO efforts?

    • Vincent February 26, 2010 at 6:13 am - Reply

      Hello Adin, good question.
      My answer is that with the .tel, you own your domain name, it’s yours, and anyone else can not buy it then. It’s a vanity URL that you own and then it can be displayed perfectly on any device, any phone connected to internet. The display will never be broken nor unstructured on any devices screens.

      And, moreover, it’s better indexing as it uses DNS and NAPTER records for the info records. It uses this new technology to perform (and hence control) your online presence.

      I’m pretty sure you should be finding all the answers to your questions regarding SEO efforts on this link : http://www.telnic.com/tour-seo.html

  2. Shellie February 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Mais cherie! You come to my house next year, and I will *make* you a crepe! And you needn’t even write a blog post about it. 😉

    I must admit that until 5 minutes ago, I hadn’t considered a .tel account, however you’ve both made them sound so appealing, I’d be delighted to try one!

    –sh

    • Irene Koehler February 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Shellie. I will take you up on that offer next time I’m in Paris. This one was cold and without any filling (hardly worthy of a blog post), but it was a Parisian crepe nonetheless. I will get the information to you soon about how to sign up for the .tel account. Like .com domains, it is valuable real estate that you might want to reserve just for yourself before someone else gets it.

  3. Marc J. Miller February 23, 2010 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Okay, so you have an online business card… that implies it should be brief and tell someone only what they most want to know about you.

    That implies name, title, email address, phone… what else should be on your virtual business card? Should it be literally the same amount of information as on a card or should it be essentially one “screen” of information (2-3 links to your profiles on LinkedIn, VisualCV, Naymz reputation, etc.)?

    • Irene Koehler February 23, 2010 at 8:41 pm - Reply

      Good question, Marc. If you take a look at the image in the post, you’ll see that there are many options to include information and it is completely up to you what you’d like to include. You’ll see that I’ve included several links, a bit about myself, keywords to make my account more searchable. http://irenekoehler.tel

  4. Vadim Axelrod February 23, 2010 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Have you heard of WebFinger? It entails the notion that your email address is your business card / persona identifier. Maybe a .tel would be a good lead on one’s WebFinger record… Gmail just enabled WebFinger for all of their public profiles…

    • Irene Koehler February 23, 2010 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      I actually did sign up for webfinger recently, but have not yet done anything with it. It takes a lot of time to try out all of the new services and applications!

  5. Radi Shourbaji February 23, 2010 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    As the personal identity space continues to expand, seems a new player / service is popping up everyday. 🙂

    Looking forward to tinkering with my .tel domain and see how it compares to other services.

    Radi Shourbaji
    http://xeesm.com/rshourbaji

    • Irene Koehler February 24, 2010 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      Hey, Radi. You’ll have to let me know what you think of it!

  6. rachael depp February 24, 2010 at 12:17 am - Reply

    I would be interested in a digital biz card! Great job on the blog post with video Irene! Awesome 😀

    • Irene Koehler February 24, 2010 at 12:36 am - Reply

      Thanks, Rachael. I’ll definitely get the information to you. I know the video is long, but it is only about 50% of its original length, leading to some choppy edits.

  7. Justin Hayward February 24, 2010 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Hi Irene,

    Having not purchased a crepe for you, next time you’re in London, we’ll definitely get you some fish and chips!

    I just wanted to let you and your readers know that there’s some more functionality coming down the line and the look and feel will change very soon – you can get a sneak peak of what a .tel name will look like here: http://telnic.org/newsletters/redesign-proxy.html

    Regards,

    Justin Hayward
    Telnic
    justin.tel

    • Irene Koehler February 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the information, Justin. I like the changes very much and think they do a better job of keeping up with the other sites which allow for customization. Looking forward to the fish and chips in London!

  8. Paul Sinasohn February 24, 2010 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Count me in. This could be fun! Also, please email me a geographic place where I can get the CD of networking event pictures to you.

    Thanks for everything!

  9. Mo! Langdon February 24, 2010 at 10:02 am - Reply

    interesting concept; even more interesting tidbits in the comments! I’ll be busy…

    When next you’re in the general vicinity of Santa Cruz, we could find a *very* nice glass of wine! 🙂

    • Irene Koehler February 24, 2010 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      The comments are always helpful, often more helpful than the blog post itself! That’s the great thing about having a smart community.

  10. Nelson Ramos February 24, 2010 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Sounds interesting and I’m willing to give it a try. We live in a transparent world and to be successful, we need to do what we can to enhance our linkages to others.

    Thanks,
    Nelson Ramos

    • Irene Koehler February 24, 2010 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      You’ll have to let me know what you think of it, Nelson. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Greg Everage February 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    Interesting stuff. Our world is constantly changing. This is all good info and hopefully something I can apply fully.

    Iren, thanks for all that you do. All very helpful.

    Speak soon.

    Greg
    .-= Greg Everage´s last blog ..Carrot Macaroni and Cheese =-.

  12. Greg Everage February 24, 2010 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Hmmm,

    Carrot Macaroni and Cheese is actually one of our recipes for our weekly menu on Family Eats. Not our latest Blog.

    Here is our latest Blog:

    http://www.familyeats.net/blog

    Thanks all.

    Greg
    .-= Greg Everage´s last blog ..Carrot Macaroni and Cheese =-.

  13. Tom Martin February 24, 2010 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Irene,

    I would be very interested to try out a .tel. I like that it is a stand alone site, as opposed to my google profile.

    -Tom

    • Irene Koehler February 24, 2010 at 3:04 pm - Reply

      Tom, you’ve hit on a major advantage of .tel over the other “directory” sites. It is a site unto itself. I’ll get the information to you soon.

  14. Kevin February 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    I’d like to try out this .tel domain. I heard about it on Twitter. It looks like a convenient way to consolidate a lot of online information in one place. This could be useful for me or for some people I know.

    • Irene Koehler February 24, 2010 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      I hope you’ll find it useful. I you know others who might be interested, I hope you’ll share the post with them, too.

  15. Norcross February 24, 2010 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Very interesting indeed…and something that I forgot even existed. Considering that ‘norcross’ is pretty much taken in every TLD I’ve looked for (damn Atlanta suburbs!) I’d love to grab something with just that.

  16. Martin Piraino February 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    I’d be very interested in trying this out, I have a blog and several other online profiles, I have my blog address and a couple other social media profiles printed on my business cards, would be cool to have the one site to go to to find all my information.

    Thanks for the video and blog post explaining a bit more about it.

    -Martin

    • Irene Koehler February 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm - Reply

      Imagine that – a card with just one link one it! What a concept!

    • Vincent February 26, 2010 at 7:02 am - Reply

      A consolidated link, reachable from any mobile device or desktop, where you can find all the links (just one click) to access to your online public profiles ! Yes, that’s simple !

  17. Naomie February 25, 2010 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Irene
    Beatrice sent me in your direction 🙂
    I think this is a very interesting marketing tool. I think our interior design firm could really utilize .tel.

    You have so much online advertising knowledge!!! Let me know what to do from here.

    Thanks
    Naomie Wert

    • Irene Koehler February 25, 2010 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      Hi Naomie. I’ll send you the code to sign-up for your .tel account soon. Let me know if you have any questions.

  18. Jim February 25, 2010 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Irene!

    Thank you very much for extending this wonderful offer. We can use all the help we can get to make it easy for our friends, family and business associates to find us, and .tel domains appear to be another great tool to accomplish that goal quickly and easily.

    All the best,

    Jim

  19. Toni Langley February 26, 2010 at 6:35 am - Reply

    Hi Irene

    I would like to try a .tel but wonder who retain the registration of the address I choose? i.e. will it be registered in my name and therefore mine to renew as I choose?

    thanks
    Toni

    • Vincent March 1, 2010 at 6:16 am - Reply

      The one you gonna choose…if it’s still avail ! First come, first-served basis !

  20. Vincent February 26, 2010 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Thanks for all your comments, questions, and feedback.
    I gave Irene a lot of free vouchers for the US territory so feel free to ask her one to get your .tel domain name for free.
    Do not hesitate to contact me if you have other questions,
    Best,
    Vincent
    http://largilliere.tel

  21. Ed Rovera February 27, 2010 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Interesting concept. Any more vouchers available? I would like to look at .tel a bit more closely.

    Thank you.

    • Irene Koehler February 27, 2010 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      For you, Ed, of course! I’ll send you the information you need soon to sign-up.

  22. Rami March 1, 2010 at 3:11 am - Reply

    I’m bored to update traditional business card information (after every change of contact information), so this .tel business card would be perfect tool for me. Any more vouchers available? Thanks in advance!

  23. Ed Rovera March 1, 2010 at 8:23 am - Reply

    If EdRovera.tel is still available…

  24. Nicky March 1, 2010 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Irene,

    .tel sounds like a great way to aggregate all your contact details and online presence in one place.

    I would love to give it a whirl por favor!

  25. manoj khera September 11, 2011 at 12:45 am - Reply

    i would like to have my various contact information in one place

  26. Ian February 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    Hi Irene and Vincent, is this offer still available as there is no indiication that is not? I am interested but I tried a .tel once but didn’t really get any benefit from it, I now have findian.co instead, but I’m willing to give it another chance.

    I notice your name Irene – irenekoehler.tel – is available so it seems you have chosen not to support this, why is that?

    What I would like is the option of subdomains for different aspects or services of a business. That is easily done with all other TLD’s, so can it be done with .tel?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Irene Koehler February 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Ian. You’ve stumbled across an old blog post. I no longer have access to offer free registrations. Very thorough of you to notice that the domain with my own name is available. I did use it for a couple of years, but decided not to renew it. These days, with so many profiles online – Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. – it felt less relevant. I use about.me for a similar purpose, as a one page spot to find other ways to connect with me.

      http://about.me/irenekoehler

      • Ian February 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm - Reply

        Hi Irene, thank you for your quick reply. There are quite a few of them now although I purchased findian.co because it is shorter and readable when placed in my Twitter avatar, which I think is an acceptable thing to do.

        One thing I recommend is http://www.myonepage.com from the developers of Buffer, it is their first project and I think is fantastic, though as I type this seem to be server congestion as the site is the same server as Buffer.

        I like your about.me page but one service rivalling about.me and which is possibly better in some ways is circle.me, my page is at http://www.circle.me/ian

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