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April 2, 2007

April Fools’ Day Name Changes and New Product Naming

Commerce City in Colorado seems to be flirting with the idea of changing its name to “Stinky Town.” Apparently some residents think the name would bring new business to the community.

My first reaction is to think this must be an April Fools’ joke but the post came out on March 31st: maybe no one wanted to post on a Sunday. I have covered town naming before and quite frankly, Stinky Town would fit right in beside Silt, Colorado and Dish, Texas (a name change prompted by DISH Network’s offer of 10 years of free service). South Africa has a town called Hotazel because it’s hot as, well, you know.

There were plenty of other strange names introduced to the world yesterday, including a proposed name change for the State of New Hampshire to “Tax-Free New Hampshire.”

googlepaper1.jpgBut this April Fools’ Day, as far as wacky product naming is concerned, was dominated by Google, who seems to have a soft spot for the holiday. The launch of two new products, “Google Paper” and “Google TiSP” (Toilet Internet Service Provider) was worth a giggle.

But others have also had their fun with faux Google product naming.

The ALA’s TechSource announced to America’s librarians that Google had bought the Online Computer Library Center and “all of its holdings” and had started rebranding immediately, with WorldCat now called “Google Library.”

The Register announced a joint Google/Apple phone with the brand name “ID” that could not make or receive telephone calls; the article quotes an Apple source as saying Apple users “don't like talking and most of them have no one to call anyway."

googleheim.jpgThis pales in comparison with the announcement that the “struggling” Guggenheim Museum has also been bought by Google and renamed “The Googleheim”: you can see early sketches of the new museum on the Natural Search Blog. Very nicely done.

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Posted by William Lozito at April 2, 2007 10:02 AM
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