Dr. Seuss 2.0

David Pogue at the New York Times wrote an interesting piece about naming in the web 2.0 era:

These days, startups take the lazy way out: they choose goofy-sounding nonsense words. They think they’re being clever by being unclever.

These are all actual Web sites that have hit the Web in the last year or so: Doostang. Wufoo. Bliin. Thoof. Bebo. Meebo. Meemo. Kudit. Raketu. Etelos. Iyogi. Oyogi. Qoop. Fark. Kijiji. Zixxo. Zoogmo.

These startups think that these names will stick in our minds because they’re so offbeat, but they’re wrong. Actually, all those twentysomething entrepreneurs are ensuring that we won’t remember them. Those names all blend together into a Dr. Seuss 2.0 jumble.

(Quote from David Pogue in the New York Times)

I will agree that some of these names are pretty ridiculous; however, naming in the online world today is pretty damn difficult. In the old days, people had to go through the hassle to register a business or trademark a name to prevent someone from using the same name. Now, any domain name squatter can spend a few dollars to register the URL to prevent people from using it.

As a result, all of the good names are “taken” and you have to get pretty creative to find a name that has an available URL and sounds good at the same time. We’ve been trying to name our non-profit for the past month, and just haven’t been able to come up with anything good. Maybe I’ll try browsing through Dr. Seuss books for inspiration. “And then, just to show them, I’ll sail to Ka-Troo/And Bring Back an It-Kutch a Preep and a Proo/A Nerkle a Nerd and a Seersucker, too!” (Quoted from If I Ran the Zoo). OK, maybe not.


2 Responses to Dr. Seuss 2.0

  1. Bart Massey says:

    Domain name squatters are a sad lot. They’re all so far underwater that their next purchase will be davey-jones.org. How would *you* like to be the idiot who purchased 100 domains at $10 each for a year, and are now sitting and holding that lottery ticket?

    If you have a name you like, and it’s being squatted, try offering the squatter $50 or so. If they don’t take it, register the trademark anyway and politely notify them of your intent to file a WIPO UDRP action (http://www.sosdomaines.com/index.php?service_id=11), offering them the $50 again. The trademark (http://www.uspto.gov/teas/eTEASpageA.htm) will cost you roughly $300. If you actually have to go to WIPO, it will cost you $1500-$2000, but you’ll always win.

    IMHO a decent name is worth $2000. I suspect that if the defendant had any money, you could also recover this cost plus damages through a civil suit—but I’m not a lawyer, and in any case none of them ever do.

    We got http://nickle.org just by offering the money.

  2. Since I actually get to read Dr. Seuss books at night to the kid… Zillow? A Dr. Seuss character from the book: There’s a Wocket In My Pocket.



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