The Naming Of Web 2.0 Initiatives Must Stop

This is an actual quote from Techcrunch:

Like Megite, Newroo is ultimately addressing the same market as Memeorandum. However, they have a number of squidoo-like features (this is meant as a compliment) to allow anyone to create their own topic-based version of the main service.

Somewhere along the way, it somehow became standard practice to name your products so they sound like an 8-year old’s toys. I think it’s now reached the threshold of ridiculous – and headed straight towards the next threshold: pretentious and annoying.
Applications sound like fluffy toys (Meebo, Zoozio & Loomba); gastro-intestinal medications (Fluxiom, Librivox, Zimbra); or just sites that refuse to end with the letters “er” (flickr, gTalkr and Wrickr).
The whole thing is a weird bastard descendent of the dot-com era and it’s starting to freak me out. All of these names were obviously fathered by Google. There’s no doubt that the GOOG has set the tone: convey a cute and fun image and everything else is going to be A-OK. The primary colors and simple interfaces. It’s non-threatening and fun!
People have been giving Google a lot of flak of late with their earnings results and the whole China thing. The’ve even called into question their “Do No Evil” mantra. For me, everything else Google has done is up for debate…except this. This is evil, ladies and gentlemen. Pure, distilled evil.

12 Comments The Naming Of Web 2.0 Initiatives Must Stop

  1. Campbell

    I dunno dude, Im niether for nor against it really. Its just another form of creativity. I have seen some big corperates go over the top with product names and branding to the other extreme. Possibly the naming we are seeing is because alot of these products are/were in early beta and never released properly before some bigger company snapped them up. By which time the product had gained a following which said bigger company though might get damaged by a rebranding. Can anyone say longhorn, no i mean vista no really i mean…… All things in moderation seems to work for me and if you have a good product does it really matter!.
    My thoughs only, Cam.

    Reply
  2. Dan Gould (from Newroo)

    The fundamental problem is that every domain name you can imagine is taken. You probably bought basement.org long ago–nothing like that is open today and little startups don’t have the money to buy from the squatters.
    So, you either need an impossible-to-type string of words or some weird combination of characters. Once you do that, you realize that everything with lots of hard consonants is impossible to say or remember, so you’re left with either:
    1) Cutsey-sounding words with lots of vowels
    2) A weird prefix or suffix
    or
    3) Numbers
    So you’re right, but after a certain amount of time with whois, you just have to pick something and go back to writing code… (Or you have to be a lot smarter than me.)

    Reply
  3. Owen van Dijk

    Lucky for you ‘Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Professional’ was released just before the ‘Web 2.0 bubble’ otherwise we all had books with ‘mFlashR-IOM for Dummies’ on our shelves… ;)

    Reply
  4. Rachel

    Great post – I like how you think that this is the evil that Google is most responsible for. Damn them, damn them to hell! In all seriousness, it’s at the point where people with no companies but cute ‘products’ are ‘competing’ against better products created by actual companies; we can only hope the stronger ones survive and the rest fade into obscurity and take their baby-named doo-doo’s with them…
    Yay, I blogged about something before you – probably the first and only time it will happen in life! (
    http://writeonwriteoff.blogspot.com/2004/02/this-years-web-site-naming-trend.html)
    Picking up on Dan’s point, perhaps there’s a 2.0 company name generator page out there. There are other 2.0 generators – but perhaps if the company name generator thing is created then we’ll know that it’s reached an evil saturation point… (if it hasn’t already…)

    Reply
  5. Basement.org

    FeedBlendr

    FeedBlendr allows you to enter the URLs to any RDF, RSS or Atom (XML) feeds you’d like and blend them into a single feed. We won’t hold the missing “e” against them. (Thanks for nothing Flickr)….

    Reply
  6. Ron C

    I know its a year old, but this post is still just as relevant now. The dropped E drives me crazy. Even my own site’s name is part of an annoying trend – the onomatopoeia combination. And I find it delicous (del.icio.us?) that Feedburnr links it.

    Reply
  7. t-shirts

    Some of the names are pretty enjoyable. I like Squidoo. I like Flickr. But those were the original names. Newroo is obviously someone copying Squidoo. There are plenty of other sites that have dropped the ‘er’ since Flickr became to popular.
    There was a small time when some sites would use difficult URLS, like del.icio.us or mag.nol.ia. I liked that idea, but it took me a while to figure out exactly where to put the dots (although, if you know the web, it’s pretty easy to figure out – just 3 letters, then the rest of the word, followed by putting a dot before the last two letters. Just replacing the www. and the .com.)
    Yeah, we do need to see some originality though!!

    Reply
  8. oil art reproduction

    Haha! You’re right. I guess that naming-method is one way of ensuring that something is truly and will always be unique…even if some of its features are copied or just modified from an existing similar stuff.

    Reply

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