The Weather Channel is teaming with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s Hydrologic Prediction Center (HPC) to name winter storms in the US starting with the 2012-2013 winter season. [more inside]
Before naming your startup, read this. "This guide is divided into three, independent sections: Why Bad Names Hurt You, Coming Up With Names, and Examples of Strong and Weak Names." [more inside]
Rename the VLA (Very Large Array)! The famous desert radio telescope, made of a bunch of independently movable giant satellite dishes, has just finished a ten-year upgrade and they're holding a contest to pick a new name in celebration. Deadline December 1. (via Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy, which mentions another naming contest, for schoolkids in the US to pick a name for the GRAIL satellites)
Thousands of new products and businesses every year need names. The creation of these names, is a business in itself, and is usually a pretty secretive process. But Igor, a naming and branding agency, offers a surprisingly detailed and illuminating primer on the naming game. Igor describes how they do it and who they’ve done it for. Igor’s naming taxonomy charts for various products (including one for the company names of naming companies) help illustrate the research portion of the process. Check out: studies of successful names like Pepperidge Farm’s cookie names, and why AT&T Canada’s name change to Allstream was a bad idea. And don’t miss Igor’s two blogs (metablogged here): Snark Hunting, “all about naming and branding in popular culture” and Wordlab, on “naming and branding issues.” For fun, try Wordlab’s own tongue-in-cheek naming tools, like the Drug-o-matic drug name generator, Name Your Band, and the Morpheme generator.
The name "Firebird" was chosen by Mozilla to rename their Phoenix product. However, Firebird is also the name of a popular and long-standing open-source database project -- and the Mozilla organization was clearly aware of this naming conflict before making their decision. Some feel that such an action, within the context of the open-source community, is unfair and constitutes bad etiquette, at the least. The discussion is ongoing, but LinuxWorld reports that the Mozilla organization has deleted recent message-board comments that criticized their decision.