Examining the names of Web 2.0 startups: part 1 (#1-3) ~ Bad Product Names

Friday, May 4, 2007

Examining the names of Web 2.0 startups: part 1 (#1-3)

First of all, what is Web 2.0? There is no official definition for web 2.0, it is just a concept. It does not even represent a new place on the web; one cannot "look for web 2.0" specifically, it is just an extension of the current web ("1.0"). Web 2.0 mainly represents the concept of user-generated content. Examples of such sites are Myspace and Facebook. However, the idea of user created content is nothing new. Internet forums and discussions have predated web 2.0. It is mainly used as a buzzword to throw around when creating sites that employ user-generated content.

Why the need for this marketing buzzword? Will there even be a such thing as web 3.0?

Here are my reviews of Business 2.0's Top 25 Web Startups, part one. Note that I don't consider ALL of these names to be bad, nor do I know what all of these companies actually do. These are just initial impressions of their names.

1. StumbleUpon

Of all the names on the list, StumbleUpon is probably the best one overall. It is a very functional name: it does just what the name implies. Members use the site's toolbar to stumble upon various websites according to their interests.
Pros: functional name, very easy to remember, can be verbed
Cons: somewhat lengthy name, but often referred to as "stumble" by many users

2. Slide

Slide is a site that allows you to embed slide shows into blogs or profile pages. However, I didn't particularly think of slideshows when I saw the name Slide.
Pros: name is short
Cons: name can be ambiguous

3. Bebo

Made-up words are quite risky: they have the possibility to give the wrong first impression. This is the case with this site and the following one. Bebo is a social networking site that is similar to MySpace. The name unfortunately does not give any clue to its purpose. At first glance, it sounds more like a child's toy or game and it is quite embarassing to mention to others. That's not a good quality to have when you want to get the word out about your site.
Pros: name is short
Cons: name is embarassing to say, doesn't have anything to do with the service offered


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