The Name Inspector is at Gnomedex right now. Vanessa Fox, who founded Google Webmaster Central and now works at Zillow, just led an impromptu discussion about, among other things, how you become a brand when you have a heavy online presence. That fact has created a new world of naming, and Vanessa has a crazy story that gives us a little glimpse into that world.

First, let’s consider some numbers from David Sifry’s “State of the Live Web” report from April 2007. Technorati is currently tracking more than 70 million blogs, and about 120,000 new ones were created every day during the first quarter of 2007. That means it’s really hard to come up with a blog title (and a blog) that stands out.

Vanessa has found an interesting solution to that problem. She has a blog called Vanessa Fox. Nude. which is found at It does not feature nude photos. It does, however, draw traffic and attention. Vanessa says she doesn’t carry business cards to events like Gnomedex. “I just tell them the name of my site,” she says, “and it’s pretty memorable.” This is a kind of blog naming greatness.

But this greatness was thrust upon Vanessa. She wasn’t the first person to think of attracting web attention by linking her name to the word nude. Someone else thought it would be funny and made a site. But Vanessa says she decided, “If anyone should rank #1 for ‘vanessa fox nude’, it should be me”. So she bought the domain and blogs under it.

Like it or not, this is the world of personal branding on the web.

[tags]gnomedex, gnomedex7, gnomedex7.0, gnomedex2007, vanessa fox, vanessa fox nude, personal branding[/tags]

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