Friday, April 13, 2007

10 Worst Web 2.0 Names

Picking a name for a website these days is hard - really hard. I know - I've just been through the process. We went through three different site names before finally landing on YourStreet (which, by the way, launches today). There are so many name squatters out there - people who have registered domain names with no intention of ever using them - that pretty much any name you can dream up is now taken.

Seems like there's an unwritten rule now that to be considered a Web 2.0 company your name has to end in "io", "eo" "ia", etc. But the difficulty in finding a name is no excuse for some of the abominations we see out there. It's never easy to tell someone their company name sucks, but someone's gotta do it. So here is my take on the top 10 worst Web 2.0 names:

10. Blufr, Grazr, SoonR, Socializr, Stockpickr, Talkr, Zapr - enough with "r"s already! Yes, Flickr sounds cool. Blufr does not.

9. Neighboroo, Newroo, Squidoo - what's with all the "oo" names? Are these companies trying to market themselves to kindergarteners?

8. Famster - this is a social network for families. The site's hamster-looking mascot only re-emphasizes what a horrid name this is.

7. PageFlakes - does your site have dandruff?

6. Megite - I'm not even sure why I don't like this one. It just makes my teeth hurt.

5. Citizendium - Believe me, adding "dium" after citizen does not make it any sexier.

4. Agloco - quite the mouthful

3. Competitous - great - have a boring name that you can't spell and means nothing

2. Tailrank - "tail" meaning hindquarters, "rank" meaning smelly or foul. Why on God's green earth would you want to combine these two words?

1. Klostu - where to begin with this one? Quick word association: colostomy, klutz - not good words to be associating with your company.

OK, I will be the first to admit I'm being hard on these companies. And I also want to emphasize that I cast no aspersions on their business models. All of these companies may turn out to be wildly successful. But it will not be because of their names.

Next up: 10 Best Web 2.0 names (and yes, there are 10 good ones out there, believe it or not).


Alex said...

interesting list. I'm just curious, were a Web 2.0 company for social-planning, were like a wiki for your social life. We named ourselves Planypus. Sort of a cross between a Platypus (our lil mascot and Plan). What do you think of our name?

neighboroo said...

I enjoy the article and the reference to kindergarten--wink. I guess we're glad we only came in #9, and not #1.

Jennie said...

I can't believe Klostu beat out Agloco for #1. I had to reference your article a couple times to get the spelling right!

I think "Neighboroo" is cute! =)

James Nicholson said...

Planypus? Mmm, dunno. When I think of a platypus I think of kind of an ungainly, slow animal (I have no idea what they're like in real life, but that's what I think of it). If you're a planning site wouldn't you want to associate your name with something a bit sleeker? There's a reason why Apple calls each new version of their operating system Panther, Tiger, Leopard, etc.

On Neighboroo, I should state that YourStreet, the site I just launched, is kind of a competitor, but not really. But that's not why I chose them - I'm just not sure if "cute" is what you want associated with a real estate information site. But hey, maybe you do.

And yes, it was a race to the bottom between Klostu and Aglogo (not to mention Tailrank). Did any of these folks actually say their name out loud to another human being before deciding to move ahead with it?

Travis Chow said...

James, are we competitors? I don't think so. This is Travis, founder of Neighboroo. In any case, there's a pent up consumer need to understand their local neighborhoods better. I think a lot of companies are tackling this from multiple angles, and it's garnering interest from various industries.

I'm a designer at heart, so on to the name game... I think Aglogo is the worst one on the list. It's hard to spell, say and meaningless. I can at least spell Klostu. As for the cuteness of oo's, not sure if it's a win or strike.

klostu said...

Well we are really quite honoured to win this and we would like to thank the academy and all those that helped us along the way who made it possible.. ;)

Actually "klostu" is a real word in pidgin english (Tok Pisin) meaning "close to" or "nearby" and for a social network it kind of makes sense, particularly so when our company is called Pidgin Technologies. So there, that's our excuse anyway! :)

James Nicholson said...

Hats off to Klostu for having a great sense of humor! Hopefully everyone realizes this list is all in good fun. Good luck to everyone on the list, good names or bad. At the end of the day we're all in the same industry and I wish everyone the greatest success in growing their businesses.

Tiffany Dow said...

My recent fave is Twitter. I love Twittering. Makes me feel like a little birdie :) Squidoo does sound like something yuor dog did on the sidewalk, but I love the site! Tiff :)

Andrew Holt said...

Ha, thanks for the mention James ;). Competitious is just the name of our early beta, we'll be releasing our main product with a new name. It was a play on "competition" that was slightly inspired by Delicious (and pronounced in the same manner). So, not meaningless, but we'll admit it's hard to say as half the businesses we talk to pronounce it incorrectly ;).

Once you say it correctly, it's kind of catchy. But don't worry, it will be replaced by something muh better soon!

Jason Potkanski said...

Citizendium. No one likes it, but its unique enough that you will remember it.

After all, yahoo, amazon, google, wikipedia suck too.

What are,,, doing?

Coming in at #5...

-Jason Potkanski

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