The Name of the Blog

Once you’ve given something a name, you’re generally stuck with it. Does that apply to blogs, too?

Here’s how this one got its name.

As an Opera Mini user, I wanted to participate in the Opera Mini forums at my.opera.com—initially simply in order to sort out some bugs I was experiencing with Opera Mini.

This entailed creating an account there, in order to could post. That had the effect of creating a place to blog. That reminded me that I’d been thinking for a while about trying out blogging.

I didn’t yet know what I would want to write about, so what should I call it? I remembered there was a song called A horse with no name, so the blog became A blog with no name.

Then I realised I needed to continue the blog elsewhere. But it seemed a bad idea to have two identically-named blogs. So this one became The other blog without a name.

That was meant to be a temporary title: once the posts were transferred, I’d rename the original one The old blog with no name and this one would revert to A blog with no name.

It irritated me a bit that I inadvertently got a word “wrong” in the change: with no name became without a name. But the rhythm of the words woould be spoilt by “correcting” it.

So far, I’ve not persuaded myself to change it. Is it a good idea for websites, even ones without a name, to change their names? And it’s quite a nice non-name . . .  On the other hand, I think of a certain orchestra which named itself after some biscuits, and I don’t want to be stuck forever with a name I find I dislike . . .  Any thoughts?More seriously, people who searched for “no name” to find articles on the old blog won’t get sent to the new one. But if I change the name of the new one, people who are used to that will use the wrong search, tiny handful that they are.

Maybe I’ll just leave it as it is for now.

8 responses to “The Name of the Blog

  1. Tim, Here’s why I think names (for blogs, pets, things) are important: if you don’t give it a name, it’s like you’re saying it isn’t worthy.

    One thing I always do when starting a new novel is to give my characters names. Not place-holder names, but real names that will be part of their identity, part of their personality.

    So, when I see a blog entitled “The Other Blog Without a Name,” it makes me feel like the owner can’t be bothered with naming it, that it isn’t important enough to waste time on, that perhaps the owner lacks self-esteem.

    A name tells me the owner cares about his words and the people who take the time visit. This is, of course, just my two cents worth. 🙂

  2. Ah—well I think there are several reasons I like A blog with no name as a name.

    The first is that I like wordplay.

    The second is that I like paradoxes like “This sentence is untrue”, “I choose not to believe in free will” and “the set of all sets which do not have themselves as members” (the Russell paradox). A self-contradictory name is fun . . .

    The third, maybe more important, is that if something doesn’t have a name, you’re forced to take it for what it is: there can’t be prejudices about what it’ll be like. For example, deciding not to worry about whether to call something music or not enabled me to enjoy the sounds of avant-garde music. Similarly, there used to be a radio programme over here called The Innocent Ear, where some music would be played and its identity only revealed after it was heard.

    And a fourth, even more important one, is that by not having a “defining” name, the thing is free to develop in whichever direction it wants. To me that somehow feels more respectful than imposing a definition on it. That could act as a constraint, when the important thing is exploring the ideas wherever they go. It’s as though they have their own identity and it’s my job to discover it . . . without feeling an obligation to weigh up what I write against the name of the blog. (On the other hand, I weigh it up very critically against the ideas I want to express, so as to express them as accurately as possible . . .)

    So actually the name represents a lot of things that I care about, which I think is why I’ve not changed it significantly. Whether people pick that up is of course another matter; you could be argue that if they don’t, then the name hasn’t actually expressed them.

    This is interesting🙂

    And the problem is that I’m much more attached to A blog with no name than to The other blog without a name, but unsure about changing it back to the one I prefer . . . This is beginning to sound like a decision though, isn’t it?

  3. LOL. All your arguments are reasonable.

  4. And longer than the original post . . . ! (Well I’ve not checked, to I might be wrong about that.)

    It’s interesting bacause your comment made me think more about why I’d chosen the name, and simply telling the story of how it arose didn’t really mention any of the real reasons at all!

    So thanks for making me think🙂

  5. Maybe I should call it The Carefully Unnamed Blog?

    The original has the subtitle but a developing personality, but WordPress doesn’t seem to believe in subtitles.

  6. Excuse me, how do you change your blog name???
    I’ve been looking all over the HELP and blog settings and I can’t seem to find a way to change it. It’s been quite frustrating…

    Mine is so stupid: Coldreader’s Weblog. I have better ideas for names than that!!

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