timothy falconer's semantic weblog
Big Fractal Tangle

the new name

Today, after five weeks of obsessive product name uncertainty, our team finally agreed on a new name to replace Akimbo for our desktop application: Waveplace™. Along the way, we considered 137 names, of which eight were given serious consideration. In the end, we went back to a name we already had.

I thought of the name Waveplace in June of 1999 when I bought the domains for a “a web-based interactive story realm for children aged 5 through 10 that includes interactive plot lines, animations, games, and cognitive bot characters that learn about each child and make suggestions according to interest & ability.” We launched the initial site a month later, which we built up over the next few years. Since our current project is a bigger priority, we decided to shelve the kid’s website and take its name.

Here are some of the reasons for choosing the name “Waveplace”:

  1. smooth sailing from a trademark standpoint (we have prior use)
  2. we already have the domains (com/net/org)
  3. it’s easy to spell
  4. it’s easy to pronounce
  5. it’s a NAME .. not a play title
  6. wave as in “by the ocean”
  7. wave as in “hello, how are you!”
  8. wave as in “brain waves, on same wavelength”
  9. wave as in sound waves (hearing)
  10. wave as in light waves (seeing)
  11. we have a history with it … we’ve been using it for family email aliases since 99… it’s very easy to remember
  12. it has an association with my mom, which is how this program got started … she was rosie@waveplace.com… she liked the name
  13. it has a container sense to it, so you can “put the photos in waveplace”
  14. it connects with the semantic browsing experience… brain waves sense… overlapping circles
  15. it’ll jump out at you on a product shelf, with the right logo & packaging
  16. it’ll be easy to spell, remember, and say in foreign languages

The part I like best is that my mom knew the name, and she liked it. It also helps that after a prolonged and contentious naming quandary, all but two on our team listed it as their #1. Consensus is a wonderful thing.

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