What’s in a (lousy) name?

By Steve Outing

Microsoft’s online classifieds service (described by Gary Price as “Social Networking + Free Classified and Event Listings”) went to public beta recently. It’s thought to have been designed as a “Craigslist killer.”

Expo logoThe service currently is called Windows Live Expo, a name that surely was decided on by groupthink. While under development you may have heard it referred to as “Fremont.”

Now, Microsoft indeed may develop this into the next big step in online classifieds. But I don’t think it’s going to get much traction with that obtuse (and boring) name. As I went to write this item, I had to back to the site to remind myself what it’s called.

Google. Yahoo! Craigslist. eBay. … I think that having a good name can have a profound effect on an Internet company — as long as the product or service is good, of course. Even if Microsoft shortens it to Expo … blah. And just how does that conjure up the future of commerce? I’m not sure if Windows Live Expo is just a temporary name. I would hope so, or the service is doomed.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!