Sep 18, 2008

The Name of the Game

A blog's name is a very large part of its identity. It is the author's 'face' to the masses, her signpost on the busy highway of webbitude, and the map that gets drawn whenever someone wants to spread the word about her blog. That's why, when wise bloggers write about how to get yourself started, they draw attention to the importance of choosing a name.

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What's in a name?

Points of Convergence was named for a relatively simple concept. We who play World of Warcraft with the kind of love and dedication that has kept us in the game for literal years face a challenge that is new to modern society. We live in two worlds at once, bound to each by responsibilities both assigned and assumed. We need to go to school or work. We need to go to raid or gain levels. We need to pay bills and make soccer practice. We need to grind Badges and study Hunter specs.

Demands from the real world become comparable to demands from Azeroth and Outlands, forcing us to walk a very fine mental, physical, and emotional line between one and the other.

That's why I wanted to create a blog to write about the points where these two worlds meet; to try to remind everyone that there is more bridging Azeroth and Earth than a login screen. The inspiration that comes from our second home can create beautiful art, touching fiction, wonderful crafts, and even lively social discourse. The every day needs that come from our first home can be met in healthful and intelligent ways without forcing us to sacrifice one life for the other. It seemed only natural to me that a blog about these convergence points between our two homes was named... yes... Points of Convergence.

However, with the self-hosted blog in the works, I've encountered an unexpected weakness in the title: it doesn't translate very well to an ergonomic URL. Now, at this point, we could digress into a discussion of what makes a good, 'ergonomic' URL, but I don't want y'all to fall asleep and drool on my web page. Suffice to say that I want to adhere to three simple rules for the new site's URL:

  1. It should be clearly evocative of the blog title.  Bonus points if it can also be evocative of the blog's purpose and its larger affiliation to the World of Warcraft.
  2. It should be reasonably short and easy to type. Length is more acceptable than it used to be, but I would like to adhere as much as possible to a K.I.S.S.philosophy in the new blog. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) Shorter is better. Also, if you have to pull out a dictionary to spell my URL, I have done something wrong (and possibly educated you :) ).
  3. It should be available. More and more, people are 'speculating' on the URL market, which means that the finite combinations of meaningful URLs are slowly being claimed. A lot of perfectly good options are not options because they're already taken. 

A PoC by any other name...

stockvault_9399_20080103Herein lies the problem. www.pointsofconvergence.net (.com is taken) rather forcefully violates the second rule. It's long and tough to spell. Of course, every possible version of 'converge' or 'convergence' or 'PoC' was claimed back when the internet was a baby at Al Gore's knee.

Thus, I have been stretching the old right-brain to try to come up with some decent (though perhaps less obvious) alternatives, either through creative rescramblification of Points of Convergence or through... yes, renaming the blog. It's not something I would choose to do lightly, but when your ergonomic URL is at stake, you need to consider all feasible options.

Here's some of what I've been brainstorming:

URL:  pointsconverge.com

URL:  ptsofconvergence.com

URL:  weconverge.com

Name: Arcane Tomes
URL:   arcanetomes.com

Name: Beneath Two Skies
URL:  twoskies.net

Name: Nexus Points
URL: nexus-points.com

I have my favorites and my less-favorites. I also have a longer list with some that are downright crazy. What I'd like to know, though, is what you think. Which of these could you see yourself typing in that browser bar*?

* HA! As if anyone actually types URLs, any more. Hello, Google and Feed Readers. :)



6 comments:

Auzara said...

Nexus points is my favorite of the list. It still alludes to your original name and has a wow flavor.

Aleathea said...

I have followed your blog since your first post last January.

The name, Points of Convergence, was the first thing that drew me. It was one of those "Why didn't I think of that, it is so perfect!" kind of names.

Auz makes a good point that Nexus Points alludes to your original name with a WoW flavor.

I also like the name, Beneath Two Skies. It hints at the duel worlds in which we dedicated WoW players exist.

Rest assured, whatever name you choose I will continue to be your devoted reader.

Anonymous said...

I have to go with arcanetomes.com Twoskies.net is nice. The nexus one, well, I can't recommend anything with a dash in it even though, like you pointed out, barely anybody types in URLs anymore. But suppose you ever want to write your URL in the street with sidewalk chalk. Do you really think anybody's going to catch that dash? Let's not be foolish, now.

-Roo@wetheplayers.net

Rhoelyn said...

Thanks for the opinions, all, and thank you for the support, Aleathea. :D I will take what you've all pointed out into consideration as I make the final decision and get the new site ready to release.

Much appreciated,
~Rhoe

Rhoelyn said...

I do wonder how often one finds oneself writing their URL in chalk on the street corners, Roo. ^_^ Maybe I'm doing something wrong in my marketing strategy!

Auzara said...

you know... now I'm considering writing my website url in chalk beside all the gamestops....

chickgm.com should do well in sidewalk chalk....