A number of people on ProjectNameProposals have been strawmanning some excellent naming guidelines which people should probably consider when creating and voting. See also: ProjectNameProcess, ProjectLegal, ProjectAdvertising.

These are ordered (hopefully by [WWW]WikiConsensus...) in decending order of obvious benefit.

-- [SeanPalmer], and many [InvisibleHands]. [RefactorOk]

Issues that make a name unusable.

Issues that make a name undesirable

Why Good Naming is Important

Why does a name even matter? Surely the format should stand on its own merit?

The first thing that people see about a new technology is its name. That's how they're introducted to it, and will always refer to and remember it by. "A rose by any other name..." doesn't apply: formats ain't as pretty as roses, and they need to be able to lean on their names for beauty... Whilst not everybody can be satisfied, a good project name will be conducive to the furtherment of the project itself--cf. the benefits in the guidelines above.


How some current proposals fare in light of these guidelines...

Commlog. Googlecount: 1,080. It's a bit short, but probably won't be abbreviated as "CL". It's fairly unique, though the "comm" bit harkens to "communist" as well as "common(s)", and the "log" part is both bland and restrictive.

Ecco. Googlecount: 1,700,000. This is a very good name, and it has recognizability now due to the fact that Echo was such a strong contender for a while. It's not unique, however, and that's off-putting. It's a surprisingly clever name, and is already a verb so no problems with verbization. Googlecount for the alternative spelling Ekko: 27,000.

Lokahi. Googlecount: 7,500. Hawai'ian, but as with all Hawai'ian words, the pronunciation is clear. It's actually slightly Scandinavian sounding, too. It's unique, only conflicts with social things, quirky, and has a nice meaning. To lokahi: verbing it is a bit unnatural.

Neolog. Googlecount: 1,280. Again, the "log" part is bland and restrictive, and the "neo" part just makes me want to add "lithic" in there. It's got a low googlecount, but it's a very bland word, and quite contrived.

Panovox. Googlecount: 2. Contrived, but very intreresting. Of all these example proposals, it's the most retro-chic, with a very clear etymology in pano (all) and vox (voices). The googlecount implies that it's compeltely unique. MichaelBernstein's suggestion.

Wyre. Googlecount: 93,000. This is a very good word indeed: short, memorable, quirky, has a good retro-meaning (put it out on the wire: them's the telegraph days!). It doesn't make a verb too well, though, and surprisingly has a high googlecount.


[JeremyGray] I've removed some text that attributed certain suggestions to me. The 'usable as both noun and verb' was mentioned by at least one other person before I cast my vote in that direction, and Wyre was submitted by someone else - I just happened to put my vote next to it as I wanted to be clear regarding voting for Wyre and not WebWire (I'm going back to clarify that distinction in a moment). As for Wyre - the Googlecount is unfortunate. Wyre was starting to grow on me :( . As for using it as a verb, though, I have to disagree. The word 'wire' is often used as a verb in various parts of the finance industry and seems to work just fine, e.g. "Have you wired that payment?" etc.

* [JesseJamesGarrett] I have to vote a strong [-1] on both the preference for invented or misspelled words (under "Make it unique, memorable") and the Quirkiness guideline. Syndication technology involves a complex set of concepts to get across to a non-technical audience. Tagging the technology with a name that doesn't reflect those concepts and doesn't relate to anything in the user's previous experience only makes that job of communicating and marketing the technology harder. And if there's one thing this name must do, it must make talking about the technology to neophytes easier.