Naming a Blog (Again)

5 May

Three times in my career I was instrumental in changing the name of a successful magazine. Twice external business reasons forced the transition and the other time the publication simply needed a better name.

In 1993 I was editor in chief and publisher of LAN Technology at M&T Publishing when the company was bought by a bigger publisher, which happened to own LAN magazine, our primary competitor. As a result of the merger, my magazine’s business model and circulation was dramatically altered and along with that came a new name, STACKS: The Network Journal, which failed shortly after I left the company. Then in 1997 I was editor in chief of UNIX Review, which was morphed into Performance Computing because the Unix operating system had lost its luster with advertisers in the face of Linux and Windows NT.

Now I’ve decided to change the name of this blog after only a couple of weeks from its launch. And I’m doing it for the reason my first magazine name change occurred.

It was lame name.

Back in 1987 I was founding editor of SunTechnology: The Journal for Sun Users, which covered Sun Microsystems. We had won a handful of awards in our first year, including the prestigious Maggie from the Western Publishers Association. It was successful with both advertisers and subscribers. But the name was a mouthful and everyone eventually referred to it as SunTech. So we went with the flow and called it Sun Tech Journal starting in year two.

My initial title of this blog, Words Words Words, was a lame name as well. On first blush, it may sound literary or clever, but it’s rather dismissive to both the reader and to my writing. With a name like Words Words Words, it could be written by one of those infinite number of monkeys striving to type out Hamlet. I might as well have called it Stuff Stuff Stuff.

You might wonder if Croisan Views is any better. Well, at a basic level, yes, it is. Type “Words Words Words” into Google and you get 106,000,000 hits, including a Wikipedia entry. There’s no shame in sharing a good name. But, let’s face it, Words Words Words is boring and common. A deadly combo.

Type “Croisan Views” and the (rare) response is: “No results found for “Croisan Views.”  That uniqueness is worth something all by itself. Still, what or who the heck is a Crosian? It’s pretty common in my neighborhood. There’s a steep hill (called a mountain), a creek, a single-track forest trail, and a couple of streets bearing the name Croisan. It also happens to be the name of my Twitter avatar. So, it makes more sense to have a blog that leverages that rare name.

According to the definitive Oregon Geographic Names, its origin stems from a family that emigrated here from Bavaria. It’s pronounced croy’zin and sounds like poison. I’m hoping that my new blog’s new name will be good a good tonic for its success with readers.

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2 Responses to “Naming a Blog (Again)”

  1. Melanie Sherman May 5, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

    Mark,

    Thanks for putting me on your blogroll. I agree with you about your new name change. I like Croisan View, but are you sure it is pronounced that way, really? I mean, look at how we pronounce “Willamette” and “Willamina”. LOL Nice blog.

  2. meh2meh May 6, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    😉 My bike riding buddy teaches at Willamette Univ. He’s from NYC. The only way he could learn to pronounce it correctly was by repeating to himself: “It’s Willamette, goddamnit.”

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