Names: Choose Them Wisely

Alex Papadimoulis from The Daily WTF just decided to rename his website to Worse than Failure. If you are not familiar with his site, you should definitely check it out. He posts a daily WTF stories from the IT industry sent in by readers which are usually good for a chuckle or two.

It’s funny, but I always figured out that the name suited the content perfectly. However it seems that Alex has grown tired trying to explain his websites title to people in the real world. He specifically mention the awkward situation in which he was asked by his grandmother to define the acronym WTF. Personally, I do not consider this term to be vulgar, but someone who never heard it before might possibly be offended by it.

An awesome-cool name is not always a good name in the long run even if it describes your content well. A popular website with large reader base can be a great asset. But if your domain name contains the term WTF it might not be the best idea to put it on your resume.

A poorly chosen name can also be a factor stunting the growth of your readership. For one, I know that my own site name is a mouthful. In addition my domain name is long, and has a hypen in the middle of it, making it difficult to remember. In retrospect, I have to admit that it was probably a poor decision. So at some point in the future I may need to rethink this name, and perhaps change it into something shorter, and easier to remember.

Fortunately the name of this website would probably never put me in an awkward or embarrassing position like the one Alex described. Even though it’s hard to spell and pronounce, it is clean. What would get me in trouble though is the content, and I tend to swear, insult people and voice my political opinions here. :mrgreen:

Choosing good names that are both catchy, memorable and fun is hard. This is why people in marketing can actually be useful. Normally upon sighting marketroid I would usually “kill it with fire” but I have to admit, that they can actually be useful sometimes if controlled properly.

[tags]names, domain names, the daily wtf, worse than failure[/tags]

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8 Responses to Names: Choose Them Wisely

  1. Starhawk UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I like the name of this site Luke, it’s pretty funny and somewhat ironic as you’re really not incoherent at all. And by the way I would have no problem putting WTF on a resume if I ever had a reason to make one. It’s certainly not offensive to me and what offends me is people who are offended by mere words!!

    On a side note I found the WTF fuck web site pretty interesting and was amazed to see MUMPS mentioned in a post there, see A Case of the MUMPS. A close friend of mine codes in it and actually loves it. For a couple of decades he’s been trying unsuccessfully I might add to get me to learn it as well as get me a job with his company. I don’t code for a living and while that might change in the future honestly I’d rather be poor and have low stress than put up with the shit he puts up with. Also I don’t like Mumps tho I don’t really know it so maybe that opinion might change if I were to take the time to play with it. Doubt it tho. Lmao!!

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  2. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Heh… Mumps sounded pretty bad when I read about it. Stay strong! Don’t give in. :mrgreen:

    I kinda like the name, but at some point I will probably want to work on the domain name. I have two things working against me – it’s long, and it has a dash in the middle. Ideal name would be half this long, and with no dash. I haven’t really figured out how to shorten it yet though, and I’m not that concerned about this at the moment.

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  3. Starhawk UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I cracked up when i read “Stay strong! Don’t give in.“!!

    But honestly my friend is a great programmer, the best I know actually. And while I’ll spare ya his rant on how great M is to be fair he has showed me some very impressive and powerful code he has wrote with it. trying to interest me ya know. Anyway he’s the reason I learned to code in C, he supported me for a year while i did it (tho he lived with me for a year or so years prior to that while we both were in school) and helped me with some of the tricker things like maintaining arrays of function pointers. And yeah i know perhaps these days that is not a technique recommended it is however extremely useful on occasion.

    And I shouldn’t rant against Mumps too much despite its lack of support for the modern paradigms of programming such things come and go ya know. Besides I told him about your site here and while he might not comment he may in fact read it. He was very interested in what I told him esp about your publications and thesis, that impressed him. Me too i might add. I actually read the papers here. haha!!

    Everyone I showed your site to absolutely loved the name btw. I know its long and all with a hyphen even but its easy to remember and google finds it quickly :D

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  4. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Thanks. :)

    I bet MUMPS makes sense for the stuff it was invented to do. But it seems like a highly specialized language used only by some companies out there.

    Heh, I forget that these days people tend to use Google instead remembering the URL. Good point.

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  5. Starhawk UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    yeah I use google for everything. haha. Abuse it would be more like it.

    M was invented in the days of Fortran Cobol (yuck) and Basic and is really a general purpose language tho in a sense it is specialized for primarily database type stuff. Compare to the languages of its day its really ingenious for what it does! And it excels at that, at least that is the impression I have from what little I know about it. I don’t like its terseness nor its lack of real data structures, even ordinary arithmatic is difficult to do with it. My friend works for a large HMO and it seems a lot of hospital type stuff is still in M. I suppose most of it is legacy code perhaps replaced with some more modern DB type code but ya know money rules and it seems the world is stuck with a lot of legacy code for that reason.

    Anyway keep your name here we all love it!!

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  6. Craig Betts UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Mac OS Terminalist says:

    The Daily WTF is also in my Google Reader. Unfortunately, all my family and friends know how earthy I am. I don’t sugar-coat anything!

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  7. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Screw URL remembering and Google!
    Bookmarks are the way to go 8)

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  8. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Craig – my family is also not that squeamish about swearing. Although I think that explaining WTF to my grandma would probably take some effort because of the language barrier. It is very likely she is not familiar with this specific construct, so first I would probably have to explain the language idiom of “what the fuck” and it’s general usage.

    And at this point this turns into a discussion on linguistics, and differences between the popular curse words in both languages and it looses the offensiveness. :P

    Btw, I always found it interesting how each language has their #1 curse word which is considered the most offensive, and at the same time used most often. In English this is “fuck”.

    Strangely enough in Polish the #1 curse word (kurwa) has a totally different meaning. It essentially means “whore”, “bitch” or “prostitute” with a slight indication that your mother is one (kurwa twoja mać). It is probably comparable with the C word in English.

    However it functions the same as the F word in the language – it can be used as a comma, hypen or an exclamation point in the sentence. It can also be used to form compound words and expressions and etc. (skurwysyn = son of a bitch, wkurwiony = angry and etc..)

    Matt – I don’t know. Bookmarks are only good if you keep them organized. Otherwise it is difficult to find anything once you accumulate few hundred of them.

    In fact, I saw people using Google the same way they would use the address bar. The other day I saw someone type into google and then click on the link on the results page to go to the website. I thought it was bizarre, but it seems that a lot of people do that.

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