Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What's in a name?

This blog is published under the name Sensotrend. This post explains how that name came to be, and also asks for your opinion.

First of all, I wasn't really selecting a name for a blog. The idea of writing a blog was not my original idea. The original idea was a software product for managing all the data relevant for the treatment of my diabetes. So I'm more searching the name for a product or a service.

First, I started to think of relevant words. Diabetes, data, graphical, visualization, ... Having written some of them down, I started playing with abbreviations, misspellings, connotations, and double meanings. Including 'viz' to the product name could, with the help of a suitable slogan, associate the name with visualization - and also wizardry.

I also thought a lot about whether the name should be Finnish, English, both, or neither. I played around with words ending with 'sto', for instance. In Finnish, many words for places where you store things end with sto (for instance, storage room is varasto, library is kirjasto, where kirja means book, and atlas is kartasto, where kartta means map). The syllable sto would also refer to storage for people preferring English. I like the idea. However, this product is not about storing the data. In fact, it is quite likely other solutions will be used for actual storage of the data, and this solution is used for presenting it and exploring it. Still, in case I need to build a solution for hosting the diabetes data online, the name for that solution is likely to end with sto.

One name I quite liked was diagraph. It would present my diabetes data in graphics. However, it being an actual word in several languages, it might not be identifiable enough. Even more importantly, the internet domain name was already selected for corporate use. Another major thing to consider when selecting a name. There are many more, I know. The name of the product should be easy to remember, easy to spell, short enough, and it should not get mixed up with any bad word in any language.

Anyway, one morning on my way to work, I thought of Sensotrend. It felt good enough, at least for now.

The trend part, for me, tells that the solution presents and helps to find trends from the data. The first part refers to the blood glucose sensor, but also to sense - the product helps making sense out of trends. This might not be obvious to other people, though. The name also teased me right away with ideas for a logo. The O in the middle allows me to indicate the product is about diabetes - at least for the diabetics, who recognize the diabetes symbol (I know I still need to negotiate about the use of the diabetes logo as part of a commercial logo). And the domain was available, and a quick google search found nothing relevant. Finally, it should be easy enough to pronounce and remember. (Update:  I just ran the Google search again, and this time found traces of a Sensotrend trademark, which seems to have been expired. This may require further investigation. I wonder why I did not notice those when considering the name for the first time...)

I still consider this a work name for the product. It might well change for the final version. However, I'm happy enough with it to get this blog published under that name.

How about improvements? Personally, I think it still feels quite technical. I believe the name for the product should perhaps have more emotion to it. How about a name that said "Hey, you're in full control of your diabetes, you have all the power to change it for the better, now let's do it together!" I don't think you can read all that from Sensotrend.

Any suggestions? Would you care to share how you feel about the selected name, and what connotations it invokes?

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