The Name


I think I'm going to go with for a name. I think it's neat, but generic enough to apply to anything cool and mobile. Plus I like my logo. The secret of quick and decent looking logos, by the way, is to use the same font as a well known company. A prize to the first person who guesses which one I've used above. (Well, not really a prize... more like a hearty virtual slap on the back).

Names can change, so this isn't the be-all, end all, but you need a decent handle for an idea. It'd be nice if I had a killer word that was 1) a real word but 2) unique and memorable. But that can happen in the future. If I remember correctly, didn't have an odd version of that domain at first? Like or or something? I can't remember. But the point is that despite the fact that dodgeball the game and the service have pretty much nothing to do with each other (unless you use their service to *avoid* people rather than meet up with them. ;-) ) the name holds a bunch of neat connotations of action and fun which is perfect for an online service. We all remember the last time we played dodgeball and it was when we were kids and footloose fancy free, etc. Good things to associate with a name. So despite the fact that I think the service is sort of a dud, the name is great.

The other lesson to learn from them is that even though you don't have the "dot com" version of a name doesn't mean you have to rule it out. It's nice to own the right domain from the start, but hey, if you get funding you can always buy it later. And with a trademark and some nasty lawyers, it won't cost you that much either.

That said, I'd like to avoid that issue for now by using something I have in hand. I liked "manywhere" for years, but it's 1) too long to type into a mobile and 2) incredibly similar to iAnywhere from Sybase. There's no reason to tempt fate on that one. "" is also a favorite, but even though cool-ass mobile geeks will immediately associate it with SmartMobs, the rest of the world asks about The Sopranos and other mafioso. The shortest domain, which I used for FooTV last week is "" and it's very cool if you know the tech. If 3GP as a term ever took off like MP3, it'd be a winner. Especially since it's so short...

Side note: isn't actually not that short. "3" takes either knowledge of how to type a number in text mode by holding down that key for a few seconds until the number appears, or you have to cycle through all the letters to get to the number at the end. And though g and p are one click apiece, u is two and s is a whopping 4. If you're in text mode, the shortest TLD is actually .net.

Actually, continuing on this tangent: consumers don't type in URLs into their phones. They don't. They just don't. Even if you could convince them to do it, most integrated browsers - especially OpenWave browsers - hide the "enter URL" option so far in their menu, which is impossible to find and usually obfuscated as well. And even *then* you've got companies like Verizon and which have walled gardens that you can't escape.

Of course, that doesn't mean you should be dumb and have a url for a mobile service like "" this could be a consumer education thing. As more and more mobile users get the idea that their phones are little computers with real web browsers, Americans especially will want to duplicate a bit of their experience in the Wired Web world on their phones. That means entering a real URL. When that day comes, there's no reason to make them kill themselves over your domain name. (This is why TLD's like .mp are perfect. Two clicks. Done.)

Okay, I'm way off course but let's keep going. *If I were Google or Yahoo or AOL*, what I would do is start immediately on that consumer education. Get people to start realizing how to enter in a url into their phone. Yahoo is primed to do this, actually, because they already have a huge list of phones. I've been able to add my Nokia 7610 to their Yahoo Mobile page and now that section is customized for my handset. Perfect. They already have a page where they'll send you a link via SMS. But I think it'd be better for *everyone* if they had a page showing regular consumers how to open their minibrowser and how to open up a URL. Maybe little videos... yeah, that would rock. HEY, even more - little MMS videos sent to their phone showing them how to do it! Yeah, it seems convoluted... but teach a man to fish and all that...

The SMS only for getting the URL out there is a great idea though. American consumers especially will see a URL and enter it into their web browser the first time, but getting them to pull out their mobiles is really the idea. If they saw *nothing* when they got to mGuru except something like "to view mGuru, enter into your mobile web browser, or enter your phone number here to get sent a link."

Okay, back to the name. The nice thing about mGuru is that it's generic enough to apply to any idea I want to throw up there. Mobile content or mobile MUD or who knows what else - I can even roll experiments like BlueMonger into the site as well. Whatever drives traffic, purchases and/or subscriptions.

Okay, I've now pontificated twice today instead of getting the demo site I want worked on and my business plan started. I may need to unplug my WiFi for the rest of the day to get some work done. If you've gotten through all this rambling, tell me what you think of the name. That was really the original intent of the post. Heh. :-)


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