Identity Crisis – What’s In A Blog Name? (Part 2)
Previously, on ‘Identity Crisis – What’s In A Blog Name?’
- Sara decides to start a travel blog and tries to find the right blog name
- She finds the ideal name, only to find the main domain is gone
- She fights through her disappointment by actually setting up the blog with a holding name
And Now, The Conclusion…..
What’s Another Word For Thesaurus?
At least the blog was up and running…..
By now I was ready for another stint at the domain name. I turned to some of those Blog Names/Best Travel Blogs lists. Jolly good they are too, but studying them proved counter-productive.
Why? Well, I kept getting distracted. I’d either go off-topic and start reading the blogs, or waste time trying to out-weird some of the more eccentric blog names around (such as Rejected Onion or People With Muppet Eyes).
So I went back to churning out words, deleting some, adding many others. If a cross-section of my brain had been taken during this time, it would probably have looked something like this:
That would simplify things, right?
I ended up with over 8000 options. A backfire with bells on.
I discounted all but around 100…..most of which turned out to be unavailable.
Other strategies needed to come into play. Travel quotations were sourced, song lyrics evoked, poetry pored over.
‘How important was this wretched name anyway?!?’ I asked myself. It was getting silly now.
I considered word trios (e.g. livesharetravel, breathedreamgo), alliteration (e.g. beers and beans, monkeys and mountains) and the radio test. Ahh….yes, the radio test. This means you should be able to spell the name after hearing it once. Take ‘Nerd’s Eye View’. A genius play on words which still passes this test. However, ‘Plane Sailing’ or ‘The Write Stuff’ are clever, but fail in this respect.
I was also starting to think further afield than just the website. A Twitter (and other social media) presence was a must, so I became obsessed with the 15-character handle limit. It may work for others, but the purist in me recoiled at the thought of having to condense my website name by omitting the vowels. I just wasn’t cmfrtbl with it.
Everything I came up with I felt was too; commonplace, cheesy, pretentious, generic, obscure, hard to pronounce, indistinguishable, boring, misleading, unrepresentative, or gimmicky.
To remind you, this is not the outcome of an evening’s musings. This is the result of several weeks’ worth of grabbing a few minutes at lunchtime or staying up late, either scribbling away furiously or staring vacantly into space.
I was developing OCD and it was time to take a break.
Making A Statement
If you’re at this stage now, it does get better! Take a bit of time out, if you can. Go passive. Become a sponge, absorb the sights and sounds around you without feeling the pressure to produce something out of it all. Re-watch some favourite DVDs or dance to a nostalgic tune. Count clouds and hug trees. Meet friends for coffee. Breathe.
I did all of the above and soon felt revived enough to start afresh.
First thing I did was write myself a brief. This is roughly what I came up with:
A lot of it will seem pretty obvious I know, but condensing it into a concise framework helped to focus on what was most important. Should I have done this from the beginning? Probably. But maybe not. I still believe I had to go through the first few stages to really fine-tune what was essential and what I could compromise on.
I revisited the word list with a fresh perspective, mixed it up a bit, and in a couple of dedicated sessions managed to come up with a shortlist of about a dozen possibilities. All were less than 15 characters and available as blogname.com, @blogname on Twitter and, as a special bonus, on Instagram. I was good to go, apart from the small matter of a final decision.
Having lived with it for so long, I didn’t know if I could rely on my own objectivity. So I sent the list to my closest circle of friends and asked them for their top 3, scoring them accordingly.
The Results Are In
The top scorer on points was what I expected it to be, Under Earth Skies – but I decided against it. I wasn’t discarding my friends’ opinions, but ultimately it felt a little too ‘dreamy’ for me.
Runner-up was… **drum roll**……. I’m not telling you! I really love the name and have registered the domain – I may still use it at some point. I reluctantly put it aside on a couple of minor points, but it was neck-and-neck for a while.
In joint 3rd place was The Earth Gazer. I wasn’t surprised it featured highly, it does have a lovely ring to it, but I felt the same as with the top scorer.
My eyes fell again on the other name in joint 3rd place, and lingered there.
At that moment, Travel Continuum was born. I said it out loud, over and over, to be sure. I compared it one final time to the 2nd place suggestion. There are undoubtedly many people reading this who may find it unimaginative or not specific enough. There are certainly a great many blog domains with the word ‘travel’ in them. One of the things a friend said to me was ‘will everyone know what ‘continuum’ means, or how to spell and pronounce it?’ Let’s sort that out then, shall we?
‘A whole made up of many parts, something that keeps on going, changing slowly over time’
It was a fair point I suppose, but I had learnt that perfection is a harsh and probably futile objective.
In my interpretation, Travel Continuum is future-proof, and suggests sustainable travel in a less obvious way (adapting our travel habits is key to a positive future for tourism). Heck, it even has a spacey feel to it – any geek or nerd knows about the Space-Time Continuum! It just fits.
Some of you will be more instinctive with this kind of task. You’re lucky. I tend to do these things the long way, analysing systematically. Then at the eleventh hour the gut feeling kicks in and hey presto! Choice made.
Each to their own I guess, and therein lies the main lesson. Whichever way you get there with choosing your blog name, by all means take counsel and seek guidance, but if it doesn’t represent you and your plans, then what’s the point? After all, as funny and unique as it is, ‘Dobak To Where You Belong’ would never have worked.
Disclosure: There’s even less to disclose than in Part 1, but thanks for sharing in my digital trauma. This really IS how it happened! 🙂