Stupid Names

Why smile when you can just look apathetic?

…or Mixing Business with Pleasure

If you read more books than blogs, this is for you. So stay with me for a minute, even if you  get nervous when I talk about DipityRemember the Milk or Twiddla. One of the anomalies of web-based applications is the disconnect between the name and the purpose. A lot of new and existing applications with significant business potential sound painfully akin to a middle school pseudonym or, even worse, a college party game. There’s Twitter, of course. And the ever popular Yahoo.

It’s not a new phenomenon. I remember how I bristled the first time a colleague sent me an email with a Hotmail suffix. I thought it sounded, well, un-business-like. Now I don’t even notice where the email originates, whether it comes from a corporate account, a boutique provider like Bigstring or a Vanity Mail.comoriginal, like

I’m not sure why the apparently bright, technically proficient people who develop web apps resort to the use of such offbeat names, other than to make them memorable. But if that’s the strategy, it doesn’t always work. Take Dipity, for example, an interesting new application that lets you make and share interactive timelines about people, places and things. You don’t have to think hard to imagine all the busDipity kept kept slipping, but Dippity Do sticksiness possibilities…timelines about locations, tenants, rental rates, corporate milestones.

But for some reason, I couldn’t remember the name of the website. Dipity, in my head, kept morphing to Bippity. From there, it was an easy slide into Bippity Boppity Boo, and the whole Cinderella thing…I finally locked in Dipity by creating an association with a hair gel called Dippity Do my mother once used.

But the fact is that names have little to do with the merits of the applications–or whether their best suited for business or personal use. Although in fairness, the names are, occasionally, accurate descriptions of what the applications actually are. Take Remember the Milk. It’s an online list and task management service.

Twiddla is a free, real-time online collaboration tool. As its developers explain, It’s like having a whiteboard skin on top of any web page or uploaded image (or nothing at all -you can use it as a blank canvas). You can mark up this whiteboard layer and interact with the web page at the same time – all in real time, with people from all over the world.

So there. Don’t think I’m getting too personal for talking Twitter. Or Twiddla. And don’t think I’m wasting your time talking about Dipity. Thank me for showing you ways to be more productive, or pointing out popular tools that don’t live up to their hype. And one more thing. Learn to laugh.


Filed under globest, humor, random, Technology, thoughts, work

2 responses to “Stupid Names

  1. larry wright

    Noreen, Thanks for your blog info. I find it useful.My own experience includes the use of “Naked City” in our Property Owners Alliance, here in Las Vegas. 3 or 4 people advised me not to use ‘Naked City’, it would be offensive and I should use “The Meadows” instead. I thought about that for a while and then figured that red blooded human beings, while some will react to ‘Meadows’, a much greater percentage will respond to the name we chose to use. In a 12 hour period, there were 121 visitors to our listing. Maybe ‘Meadows’ would have drawn more, but I can say that I’m extremely busy responding to 121 requests for the marketing package. Thanks for the use of this space. Keep up the good work. Larry

  2. Thanks for the article. Keep it coming. Will be waiting for the new ones.

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