.tel – innovative distribution of contact details

I have often wondered over the years how long the traditional paper based phone book will be in existence and how useful it is in today’s society when we are all connected to the Internet and have instant access to online phone books from all around the world as well as web sites that contain more information than a phone book ever could.
Considering we have spent so many years with out number portability and seamlessly change our countries of residence (especially NZ’ers to Australia) the majority of us do not have the same phone number (cell/home line/business) as we did 5 years ago or even a year ago. 
In fact it is increasingly popular that people do not have home phones and are likely to have multiple cell phone numbers, Internet communication contacts such as email, VOIP, IM contact details and web sites. 
For example i have 2 contact phone numbers, SMS, 1 main email address, 4 IM’s and several Social networking sites, 1 main web site and several forms of blogs (twitter, video and text).
This is normal to have so many contact details. But it is often time consuming offering all the details to people. 
The new .tel domain (due to be launched December 2008) offers a great alternative to phone books and filling up your contact page on your web site. It will also make it as simple as offering one address to new people who can then access all of your contact details and then decide how they want to contact you.
.tel will also take away the issue of trying to synchronise your user names across several IM and networking sites as you only have to have the one main point of contact with a .tel .
I am unsure of the success of .tel in New Zealand where the domain name consumer is conservative, whether it is due to lack of knowledge of the other domain names or wet her we are scared of a change from the .nz and .com . 
I for one will register a .tel next year and use it to replace my contact page on my web site. I also imagine a redesign of my business cards to include minimal contact information and the new .tel address.


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