Web service. What’s in a name.

Did you notice how the names of the Web 2.0 services often sound like baby talk?

Overview of online communities

We use most of the above services in our leisure time, so this title humor is a way to attract a large and very diverse audience. It is also a trend, because it is ‘cool’, like it was ‘cool’ some decades ago to call everything electronic ‘thing-o-matic’.
I recently have worked with Wufoo (another baby name, or rather a dog sound), an online service for creation and management of electronic forms. (The last, I admit, sounds much more boring than woof-woof.) I was surprised to see the following examples of humor in their pages. I refer to the sub-titles.


What would happen if Microsoft Word welcomed you in the morning with the words ‘New Document. To boldly go where no one has gone before’. Or your Excel menu bar started with ‘File. To be or not to be’. Would you be amused? Would you take such a desktop software seriously? So what exactly is going on? The fact that a tool is on the Internet, makes us perceive it differently and the toolmakers get away with things we probably would not be amused by on the desktop. The online tools usually come for free or for a small fee, so we easily accept this bit of developer humor. But would you buy an expensive expert software for your PC if it was called Pic-a-boo, especially without the addition of ‘Pro’ or ‘Maker’?

‘He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Un commentaire pour “Web service. What’s in a name.”

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