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January 16, 2007

How To Name Your Company Automatically

If you’re a Web 2.0 start-up on a shoestring budget and can’t afford the services of a naming company, don’t despair. Generous (and creative) souls have created Web 2.0 company name generators to assist you.

The new web-based services have distinctive names as well as a tendency to use Ajax and incorporate social media. The only thing a Web 2.0 company is likely to be mistaken for is a character from Star Wars. But even as the creators of these name generators are making fun of the current trend in product naming, they show a good grasp of naming techniques.

ford assembly line.jpgAndrew Wooldridge’s “Web Two Point Oh!” name generator takes bits of existing company names and mixes them up. (I think “Infonomious” and “Zimolimojo” have potential, but you might want to stay away from “Godiya.”) As an added bonus, it provides product descriptions to go along with the names, e.g. “tag-based maps via browser toolbar.”

Razorberry provides two short lists of phonemes such as “goo” and “dango” from existing company names and instructs readers to pick one from each column. Though less comprehensive and lower-tech, this generator operates on the same principle as Woolridge’s generator.

Be careful, though - if you pick a name that resembles an existing company too closely, you’re likely to get a cease and desist letter.

HackSlash incorporates a few more popular naming trends, such as “numberthings” and dropped vowels, resulting in such suggestions as “file95” and “goostr.” (Little did the creators of Flickr know, when they found that was taken and the owners wouldn’t sell the domain, that they’d be starting a naming trend.)

blender.gifBenjamin Simon’s name generator lets you pick your own source words to combine and shows you the phonemes below the name. Alternatively, you can draw product descriptions from the Web 2.0 Awards site. He also lets you check domain availability via GoDaddy.

Kira’s Web 2.0 Company Name Generator also lets you check the availability of the resulting domain, this time at Dotster. Interestingly, the .com domains for the first two names I generated were already taken.

I started to wonder if someone (Kira?) had decided to take the results of these generators and squat on the names. Even though the sites are meant to be funny, the principles behind them are perfectly valid, and I had to check results like “Buzzpulse” and “Podlounge” to see whether they were real companies. (They’re not: both are parked at GoDaddy.)

After several attempts, however, I found a cool name with an available .com domain: “Riffstorm.” (A music mash-up site, perhaps?)

Hurry while supplies last.

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Posted by Diane Prange at January 16, 2007 8:10 AM
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from Il blog del Mestiere di Scrivere
Battesimi. Francesca Benvenuto, autrice di Cosa fai? Copy! ha ripreso a bloggare e lo fa alla grande con una delle sue interviste, la sesta, dedicata a un tema che mi affascina da sempre, il naming. L'intervistato è il copywriter Alberto Celotto [Read More]

Tracked on January 16, 2007 2:23 PM


Riffstorm... Actually a very interesting name candidate... Feels a little like a pre-crash tech name though. (I can't stop myself from attaching ".com" to it - which isn't a great sign.)

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