The Name Inspector has written about a couple specific blog names (TechCrunch, How to Change the World), but hasn’t really talked much about the genre of blog names. That’s partly because blog names are all over the map. They show no single conventional naming style, because what we call blogs can be like so many different things: diaries, resumes, newspapers, magazines, literary journals, and companies come to mind. But there are some common patterns. Here are a few notable blog naming styles, with examples from the Technorati Top 100.

Blog names based on authors’ names

Surprise! A lot of blogs are named after their authors, sometimes with a clever twist, sometimes not. This reflects the roots of blogs in what were essentially online diaries. The top two names in this category, Huffington Post and Daily Kos, put the authors’ names into newspaper-style titles. Others, like Michelle Malkin and Kottke.org, just use the authors’ names unadorned. Some folksy titles put the author’s first name in a simple descriptive phrase, as in Seth’s Blog or Joel on Software. Those that aspire to cleverness incorporate the author’s first or last name into into a coined title: GigaOM, Scobleizer, Automattic, etc.

Disarmingly self-deprecating blog titles

Some blog names poke fun at their authors, often by implying that they have nothing to say or are, by virtue of being bloggers instead of “real” writers/journalists/whatevers, hard to take seriously. Of course, these names are always used with a wink that says “I’m reclaiming and defiantly flaunting an epithet”, and usually have a positive spin as well. TreeHugger is a good example of that–it’s a term normally used to belittle environmentalists, but embraced by one here. Hot Air is not only what we call a certain kind of puffed-up nonsense, but can also suggest speech that is fueled by righteous anger. The name instapundit.com implies that any jerk can set up shop as a commentator on the web, but also promises up-to-the-second analysis. And, with its condescending feminine/diminutive ending, Wonkette suggests frivolity, but gives off a flirty, playful vibe appropriate for its content (plus it’s just funny).

Short, catchy content-oriented names

These coined single-word names make a pithy connection to a content niche: Gizmodo, Engadget, TechCrunch, Lifehacker, etc. They’re a lot like the names of companies or popular magazines.

Descriptive, boring content-oriented names

Some blog names just put it on the table with a thud. Official Google Blog and The Unofficial Apple Weblog are excellent specimens of this variety.

Arty names

Some blog names have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes them kind of arty or literary sounding. Ars Technica achieves this via highfalutin’ Latin, and A List Apart makes enigmatic use of the syntactically interesting word apart (remind The Name Inspector to write about the name Six Apart one of these days).

FUN! names

Some blog names just want to have fun. Boing Boing, Explosm!

Ironic gee-whiz names

The ironic use of corny expressions of enthusiasm and praise is pervasive on the web. We see this in blog titles like Neatorama, and in blog subtitles or taglines like A Directory of Wonderful Things (Boing Boing) and home of fine hypertext products (kottke.org).

Earnest calls to action

Some blog names are achingly sincere about changing the world: Think Progress, How to Change the World, Creating Passionate Users, Jihad Watch, and NewsBusters are all good examples.

Names covered with cheese

The web can be a pretty cheesy place, and some blogs and their names wallow in it. icanhascheezburger.com, The Superficial – Because You’re Ugly, Something Awful: The Internet Makes You Stupid, and Go Fug Yourself, anyone?.

The Name Inspector is sure there are many more types of blog name to discuss, but must go convince himself that The Name Inspector does not fall into the same category as Official Google Blog.

[tags]blogs, blogging, blog names, blog naming, technorati[/tags]

4 Responses to “What blog naming style do you use?”

  1. on 17 Aug 2007 at 11:30 am Will

    I love the sports blog names “Kissing Suzy Kolber” and “Free Darko”.

  2. on 17 Aug 2007 at 8:50 pm RogueTess

    Mine has a personal and an “insider” meaning. Three of my passions are singing, surfing and knitting, which are abbreviated as SSK. In knitting parlance, “slip slip knit” creates a decrease from two stitches to one that leans to the left, hence my subtitle “musings of a slightly left-leaning suburban knitter.” … guess you had to be there … but my knitting friends totally get it.

  3. on 17 Aug 2007 at 9:30 pm Service untitled - Douglas

    I named my blog Service Untitled because I couldn’t think of a good name. :D

  4. on 06 Oct 2007 at 3:42 pm Sheff

    I named mine ‘http://www.yourekillingmyserver.com‘ because my name gets misspelled all the time.

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