Brain Clutter

August 14, 2007

Speeling Mystakes on teh Webb: Domain Name Creativity

Filed under: branding, business, domain squatting, online marketing, seo, web, web 2.0 — brainclutter @ 2:52 pm

If the Internet was taking a primary/junior English class, it would be failing miserably…

Flickr logo from Fontshop

Let’s ignore for the moment, that email, instant/text messaging, and blogging are major contributers to the decline in English spelling, grammar, and proper punctuation. Let’s ignore that many of these mistakes are unintentional, and usually made in haste or to hasten communications due to the fast pace of the electronic age we live in (or having to type on impossibly small Blackberry keypads).

Instead, why don’t we examine some misspelled and oddly fabricated names in the realm of today’s domain names?

Rather than being unintentional misspellings, these errors are very intentional. Why? To put it simply, all (i.e. most of) the good domain names are taken and companies are required to get creative if they want to stamp their presence on the Web! In other words, new startups seeking usable domain names are forced to McGyver some interesting solutions nowadays:

  1. Scoop up a newly released domain name (this almost never happens).
  2. Think outside the box and critically enough to actually find an unused domain name that accurately depicts your service (this happens even less frequently).
  3. Raise enough venture capital to buy out a pertinent domain name from some loathsome (i.e. smarter and more rich than I am) domain squatter.
  4. Purposefully misspell a word associated with their new company (e.g. Flikr instead of Flicker, instead of Delicious, Froogle instead of Frugal, etc.)
  5. Make up some a really weird word that is memorable but not necessarily related to the service at all (e.g. bebo for social networking, skype for Internet phone service, xanga for a weblog community, zillow for real estate, etc.).
  6. Create a trendy mash up of matching words (feedburner, newsvine, yousendit, stylehive, etc.)
  7. Add the obligatory i or my prefix to a common word (iLike, MySpace, iJigg, MyBlogLog, etc.)

Are new businesses doomed? Only if they wish to preserve the sanctity of the English language! The days of truly SEO-friendly domain names are over my friends, but at least companies are thinking outside the box and coming up with some creative and memorable names to brand their businesses. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it odd, yet strangely telling of language evolution, that nouns (proper names) like Facebook, YouTube, and Google are actually becoming verbs (action words). Maybe it’s just the locomotion of the Internet at play…

1 Comment »

  1. I wonder if this is history repeat art or the other way around. It drives me crazy to have to look up Technorati! But at the rate they are adding words like Google to the dictionary (and as a verb no less!)…perhaps the face of the English language will morph yet again!


    Comment by marketinggoddess — August 15, 2007 @ 12:09 pm

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