Google has launched its own “create your own profile” service pretty much along the lines of what the .Tel extension is suppose to be for.
If your logged into your gmail account and Google yourself, you will be prompted to fill in your all your contact info, which others can then use to find or contact you.
A friend pointed this out to me yesterday in congratulating me on the DnJournal piece. (Thanks Ron)
If your inclined, you can give Google the following information, “to make it easy for people to find you”:
Your full name, “other names” you might have used, where you live, places you lived, what you do for a living, what company you work for, former companies you worked for, the schools you attended, your interests, and room for a short bio.
You can also add photos, the URL’s of your websites, your e-mail addresses, phone numbers, physical addresses, even your birthday.
My first thought, who wants to provide all your personal information to Google, that may be visible to everyone in the world? (You can limit access)
My second thought, .Tel is screwed.
The whole purpose of .Tel was to have a simple page for people to access your contact information, including your phone numbers, e-mail addresses and websites.
Yet .tel isn’t free.
And .Tel is limited as to the information it can provide.
Google Profile is free, and will be known to substantially more of the general population than .Tel will a year from now.
I have nothing against the .Tel extension, and own a few myself. I also understand that the backers of the extension have incurred substantial time and expense in launching the extension.
However, I have to call it like I see it, and the way I see it, Google’s Profile service eliminates the underlying reason for the .Tel extension, in the same way .Mobi’s reason to exist took a huge hit once Apple put out the iPhone.
This is of course is the major risk when an extension is built for a specific purpose.
Technology can eliminate the need for it overnight.
Here is the FAQ from Google on their new Profile service:
“”””A Google profile is simply how you present yourself on Google products to other Google users. It allows you to control how you appear on Google and tell others a bit more about who you are. With a Google profile, you can easily share your web content on one central location. You can include, for example, links to your blog, online photos, and other profiles such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. You have control over what others see. Your profile won’t display any private information unless you’ve explicitly added it.
You can also allow people to find you more easily by enabling your profile to be searched by your name. Simply set your existing profile to show your full name publicly.
If you’ve been writing reviews on Google Maps, creating articles on Google Knol, sharing Google Reader items, or adding books to your Google Book Search library, you may already have a profile.
Receive messages. Enable the ‘Send a message’ feature to allow anyone with a Google Account to email you without revealing your email address.
Add photos. Enhance your profile by embedding photos from Flickr or Picasa.
Create a page about you. Write a short bio in the About me tab, reveal your superpower, and tell people what you still can’t find using Google.
Add your contact information. Share your information with your friends and family, so they always have the most up-to-date information. You control who sees it.
Add links to your other profiles and sites. Make it easier for friends to see your other content on the Web. You can link to Google content, including your Blogger blog, public Picasa Web Albums and Google Reader shared items as well as other pages on the Web such as Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Show your location. ‘My places’ includes all the cities you’ve entered on your profile. Your current location and where you’ve lived are displayed on a map.