I would describe myself as probably more curmudgeonly than most especially when it comes to things on the Internets. Arlene is often able to discern if “someone is wrong on the Internet” due to the posture I assume, the faces I pull and the fury of my key tapping. It’s one of those things, there’s an immediacy to making sure there are wrongs righted. Sometimes it is better to withdraw and do something else. And I promise I’ll try to do that next time.
So, How do you brand something locally without it appearing provincial?
I hate URLs from local companies and organisations that have ‘ni’ in the title (it’s not restricted to the Internet either, I hate it when they put (NI) in the name of the limited company too. And no, hate is not a strong word.
But sadly while we seem to be surviving without the need for IPv6 so far (years after my mentor predicted the end of the IPv4 internet), we are fumbling towards a more final end – the end of the dictionary. Internet companies have been using nonsense names for a decade or more now but I loathe the ‘ni’ thing more than I dislike the ‘r’ thing in Flickr, Tumblr and others or the ‘n+1’ thing, like in Rummble or Dribble. It points to a cataclysm of Babelian (should that be Babylonian?) proportions. And don’t get me started on the www.xxxapp.com style names. Entire domains for ‘apps’ seems wrong and it can be abused. For example:
http://apps.ie was registered last year as a domain for all Irish iPhone developers and designers to represent their work. Sadly one company has gone ahead and branded themselves as ‘appsie’ after the fact and registered a whole slew of …..apps.ie URLs. When I brought this up, I was pretty much told to sling my hook. Suffice to say that’s one company off my Christmas card list.
So how do you brand something that’s new? And doesn’t actively step on the toes of wider initiatives to improve things for everyone?
In many cases is means choosing a URL that is almost entirely unlike your company name. In other cases it means adding a prefix such as “visit” or “weare” or “designby” to your company name or being extremely creative with your domain name extensions – witness the growth in popularity of ‘.io’, ‘.us’ and ‘.tv’. And there’s hundreds more options.
But right now I’m left with attempting to brand a local collaboration network which has local remit but global vision. And hoping to reduce the chance that someone will waltz in and hijack the name for their own purposes and undermine the network.