Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Name for the GTD Project: My Web Brain

In a previous post I talked about my new project: creating a new GTD web application. I guess it needs a name. I can be indecisive about names, and I have sat on the fence about this one for a while.

One name I considered was 'Mental Appliance' and While this describes more or less exactly what I wanted to do I thought the domain name was a bit of a mouthful. Also, it makes perfect sense to me, but maybe others from different backgrounds would struggle.

It is the right time to ask - how important is the name? The only thing relevant that I have read lately is from the Getting Real book from the smart people at 37 Signals. In Chapter 13 they talk about using a simple, catchy, and non-ultradescriptive name. And not worrying about whether the right domain name is free.

That was one piece of reading that convinced me to move away from 'Mental Appliance'. For a start:
  1. It is not catchy; and
  2. I kept mispelling it myself whenever I typed fast. I do not want to build a usability flaw right into the name!
So I went back to the drawing board.

I have now settled (I think) on 'My Web Brain' at This does not sound as impressively technical to me but I think it is name which will more easily lend an understanding about what the web application is about:

  1. It is personal - I am not building an artificially intelligent 'Skynet' here. This is something that is to be useful for the user, and not necessarily a social networking collective (ah.. but the possibilities...). It is a tool for personal use.
  2. It is on the web. This might at first glance seem obvious but now anything and everything is on the internet it is probably useful to differentiate it from the users' other (somewhat more capable, for the moment) brain. It also implies the service is 'in the cloud' and available anywhere you can connect to the internet.
  3. It is a tool that thinks - a brain. Obviously 'thinking' is meant pretty loosely and shallowly, but the application is designed to supplement or assist the brain in doing its normal function, namely capturing and remembering thoughts and planned actions.
Right now, especially after thinking it through above, I quite like the name. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Or if you have any comments about the art of naming a web application.

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