October 12, 2005
Product Name Changes: What Were They Thinking?
Joomla! is the new CMS freeware program from a bevy of hardcore open source developers who recently split from Miro Corporation in Australia after a squabble over the Mambo application.
Joomla! is the phonetic spelling of a Swahili word meaning "all together." The Joomla! guys may want to express their solidarity with a funky African name but I think users download stuff without the corporate politics attached.
Recently, IP provider Voiceglo announced that it plans on changing its name to tglo. The company's president, Ed Cespedes, feels the Voiceglo's name is too limiting as their products "can handle any form of communication, not just voice." Yeah, but tglo, I think, means...um...nothing? What about Allglo? And why do their products "glo" in the first place?
Both wacky names, for what it's worth, violate basic English usage. Joomla! uses a phantom exclamation point, in the vein of Yahoo!, and tglo should be capitalized, but isn't.
Will prospective users search Google looking for Jumla, the original, easier to spell Swahili word? And speaking of mangled African words, tglo may be confused with the popular South African baby product Teegel, which, ironically, is for soothing teething pain - possibly not a cool name for a new product just cutting its teeth in the market.
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