devi: (bookish)
[personal profile] devi
Hello Livejournal - I know we haven't talked in a while (though I'm rubbing shoulders with many of you on Twitter and Facebook), but I am no longer capable of objectivity on this. As names for the website of a freelance proofreader/editor/occasional print designer, do any of these appeal to you? Or really not appeal? Boxes tickied are appreciated. Comments even more so.

[Poll #1540094]

I’ve been making a website for my freelance proofreading/editing/layout work – something that people can click on from my Daily Info ads, for example. It’s nearly done and I’m really pleased with it. But as ever, I’m making heavy weather of naming the damn thing. When I try to name something one of two things happens. I get all wound up about finding the exact right name, and the more I get like that the less likely it becomes that a good one will occur to me. Alternatively, I think of a name I like, fall in love with it and lose my objectivity, when in fact it’s not so great for the task in hand. (I'm fine at suggesting names for other people's things. It's when they're my own that it goes wrong.)

I wanted something that would convey the abstract text-wrangling I do as though it were tangible real-world work, because this is how it often feels in my head – like I’m rolling up my sleeves and tuning up an existing text like an engine, or hammering out a new one till it’s the right shape. I’ve always had a fascination with old printing presses and industrial machinery, and I wanted a name with a whiff of smoke and a smear of soot or grease to it. The design of the site features an image of rows of old metal type blocks. “The Word Works” was my working title. I liked the suggestion of a word factory and also the alternate meaning of words that worked as they should. But: there are practical address-related problems with this. The closest .com I can get to this is “”. I found this on, a website of domains which have recently become free. I briefly got excited about this and then started to realise there was a reason it was in the domain-name dumper.

I wanted an address which was the same as the actual name of the site, and I didn't want to refer to it as “Word Works Web”. If I was a stranger trying to find this site after being told about it in the pub or wherever, I’d probably try numerous variations on and then maybe google it, if I hadn’t already given up at this stage. I would never remember the extraneous –web bit.

And it sucks from a search point of view: there’s a number of writers’ groups called Word Works out there, and a couple of Bible organisations, and is the site of a freelance IT copywriter very like my own site. I can imagine people even thinking it was me, until they scrolled down as far as the dude’s name.

It's only really on the list because I'm wondering if you'll see the same problems with it as I do. this is... all right, but I’m not mad keen to get a – all my sites are hosted together at Dreamhost, whom I love and am comfortable with, and they don’t do , and if I wanted to host it with them I’d have lots of transfer faff. If I even can point a domain at them. And if I didn’t, I’d have to learn the idiosyncrasies of a new hosting provider, and have a separate bill. Which may not be that big a deal, admittedly, but I guess the point is that I’m not excited enough about the name to make the faff seem worthwhile. Also, the .com version is quite similar to what I'm doing. I think this sounds sort of awesome. I was thinking of hot-lead printing presses (Monotypes and Linotypes), and how printworkers would make type blocks as they needed them, melting the metal in a furnace and turning it into letters or lines in moulds, then melting them back down later. I also have a nice logo idea for this one.

But I wonder: does it convey fiery awesomeness or disorder – words melted down into a shapeless mess? I like this for similar reasons to the above, but... I dunno. Would it sound cool to someone who doesn’t have my weird printing/typeface fascination? sort of an afterthought. I like the polished/shining implications of it.

Of course, there's always the other route: the dull-but-serviceable name made up of bits of my own name and the word "editing", and such. But a) it's dull, b) no bugger can spell my name, c) because my surname ends with "ne", a combination of that and "editing" is going to have "need it" in the middle. Hey, subliminal advertising! Not really.

Edit: I am now being tempted by ''. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME

Date: 2010-03-19 01:29 pm (UTC)
juliet: My old PowerBook in pieces all over the desk (tech mac insides)
From: [personal profile] juliet
I really like burnishedwords, because of the polishing implications.

wordworksweb is Not Good imo. It sounds somehow clunky and not like the website of someone who is good with words.

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Date: 2010-03-22 08:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree, wordworksweb doesn't scan well, it'd get mistyped, and transposed and people would give up and move on to another site, given how fickle web surfers can be.

Hotmetaltype is great though, as is thewordforge. I think the "the" at the start of the latter name gives the site distinction, and I can already think about layouts :)

Date: 2010-03-19 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I really like the afterthought. :) It sounds like you've worked on the words, then polished them well, it's also likely easier to do SEO stuff with as burnished is likely a less used word, but that's just gut feeling, I have no research on it. :)

Date: 2010-03-19 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmm, good point. Having the top hits for "wasted epiphanies" has made me realise the value of an unusual website name.

Date: 2010-03-19 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I ticked in the boxes before reading the justifications and broadly agree with what you're saying. To me the front runner from that list is probably "the word forge" as it conjures an image of taking a rough project and working on it to completion, which "molten"/"burnished words" doesn't necessarily do. At the same time it doesn't conjure a misleading literal image like "hot metal type" could. The addition of "web" on the end of "word works web" makes it sound like a long-established small printer trying to crack into the internet without knowing how it works. "Burnished words" sounds pretentious to me and makes it sound like you'd pay much more attention to design than less glamorous tasks of proofreading and editing, and "Hot metal type" sounds a bit Shoreditch-trendy. "Molten words" does sound good but (as you say) it can convey an impression that you'd lose interest in the words once they start cooling down - i.e. at the necessary and tedious fine revision and conclusion stage.

That's just what I thought, for what it's worth. I hate finding names for this kind of thing. I generally go for abstract/unrelated names which have some kind of personal and/or family connection. A middle name, village where your ancestors come from, that kind of thing; they've been good for me.

Date: 2010-03-19 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is brilliant stuff - you're bang on the money about the misleading literal image. I'd been feeling vaguely that this was a problem but you articulated it. Also the web-clueless printers - that made me laugh because it's so true.

I can see the abstract-name thing, but I've got fixated on finding a name made up of well-known, easily-spellable words. It's the "can it be shouted in someone's ear at a party?" factor.

Glad to help!

From: [identity profile] - Date: 2010-03-19 02:31 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Glad to help!

From: [personal profile] juliet - Date: 2010-03-19 02:46 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Glad to help!

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Re: Glad to help!

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Re: Glad to help!

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Re: Glad to help!

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Date: 2010-03-19 01:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like the idea of forging words! But if you're after a .com I like hotmetaltype best, because there's nothing about METAL that isn't ace. Or something. I'm feeling very silly today, please keep this in mind :D

Date: 2010-03-19 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
\m/ \m/

RAWK... or something.

(Good to see the Prog-Off return, by the way!)

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Date: 2010-03-19 01:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The trouble with 'the X works' is that there are loadsa sites like that already (I know 'cos I contemplated exactly that some years back!). Forge is nice but again quite similar to a lot of other things I've seen, and you mention the .com. I far-and-away like moltenwords best - more interesting and lively, and I don't think it conveys chaos - rather, transformation. Alchemy, innit. Verbalchemy.

Date: 2010-03-19 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Verbalchemy: I love that.

(It appears that "" is available... :) )

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Date: 2010-03-19 01:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
wordworksweb is unwieldy to say, plus all the other negative things you said.
I like thewordforge, but like you say, isn't ideal, especially as the .com version is taken by someone in a similar field.
Hotmetaltype sounds cheesy as anything.

I like the other two, with my favourite badge going to burnishedwords. Because you put the polish on them :)

Date: 2010-03-19 02:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! And yes, cheese is a potential issue.

Date: 2010-03-19 01:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
hotmetaltype seems too strongly associated with HoTMetaL ( to me. Maybe that will diminish with time.
I like the sound of moltenwords, but I'm not sure it describes what I'd want done to my words that you were working on - more appropriate for a writing-based enterprise.
I like burnishedwords and thewordforge though.

Date: 2010-03-19 02:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmmm... old web-authoring methods don't really have the same appeal as old printing presses, do they? Give it 50 years...

Date: 2010-03-19 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like best - it's got a pleasing assonance to it. I rly dislike. the web in that feel like a tautology, and very 1995-ish. And I think it's ambiguous-sounding. Is it wordswork, or wordworks? Not very tell-someone-down-the-pubbable.

Date: 2010-03-19 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And, sorry! I hit post before I meant to. hotmetaltype and moltenwords (the former partic.) seem a bit teenage-boy-ish. Fire! Melt! Extreme!

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Date: 2010-03-19 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The only two I don't like are wordworksweb (much too clunky) and hotmetaltype because, for a professional woman, I'm thinking that a URL containing the word "hot" brings the wrong associations. Sexist but there you go.

After reading your explanations of the domains, I'd agree that is not great either (mostly I'd be worried about the collision with the .com space). and are both good. Of the two I like "burnished" slightly better: I think it has the steampunkier vibe you're looking for. Plus there's something mellifluous about the way the "ur" in burnished goes with the "or" in words.

Date: 2010-03-19 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh dear, yes, 'hot' is problematic. Thank you. I like what you say about the sounds in 'burnishedwords'.

And I still owe you novel feedback! Sorry! I've been reading, I just need to put my thoughts in a mail. If you're still after feedback, that is.

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2010-03-19 06:31 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-03-19 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like hotmetaltype because I am oldskool and remember HoTMetaL with fondness. 8-) But I agree I'm not sure it would convey the right image if you don't have that or typesetting in mind ("hot" and "metal" possibly have too many other connotations...).

burnishedwords is nice, sounds quite classy. moltenwords sounds more chaotic and a bit emo-poetry IMHO. (Free-associating out loud a bit here, sorry.)

I agree that wordworksweb is the worst of the bunch I'm afraid -- hard to say, hard to remember whether it's wordwork or wordswork or webwordswork etc etc.

I am now trying to resist the temptation to compound the problem by brainstorming more suggestions around the blacksmith kind of theme (wordsmithy? wordmelding?) as I don't think more choice will help you make a decision. :-}

Date: 2010-03-19 02:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Great stuff, thank you. And brainstorm away! I have tried numerous variations on "-smith" and "-monger" and such, though.

Emo poetry: YES.

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Date: 2010-03-19 02:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm afraid I don't like any of them much, possibly because they all have strong associations for me with other things.

Date: 2010-03-19 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Burnished" is one of those words, like "tarnished", that teeny emo arty types use on their websites; I'd avoid it.

"Molten" has a quieter elegance. I love hotmetaltype - it's trendy, they're all short, easily spelled words (unlike "molten", potentially) and it has that clackety typewriter sound. That's definitely my first choice.

Definitely a dot come. Wordworksweb sounds clunky to me; with the additional problem that that's not actually what your site would be called, I'd say avoid it.

Date: 2010-03-19 02:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Burnished: interesting - if I was associating it with a subculture it'd be LARPers/hack fantasy people! But I see your point.

Date: 2010-03-19 02:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh dear, I seem to be out of step with most people, having ticked the two everyone else dismisses (wordworksweb and hotmetaltype).

The burnishedmetal/moltenmetal names just suggest an artiness which isn't what you want in a proofreader, with possibly overtones of bad teenage poetry. WordWorksWeb sounds brisk, and business-like, and as though it'd sort out your typos and send your copy back in double-quick time.

Hotmetaltype appeals to me because I grew up visiting my mum's office under the rumbling clunk of the hot metal machines on the floor above. It's a bit archaic, and suggests that you're someone who knows a bit about the printing industry.

Date: 2010-03-19 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The businesslike thing is a good point, and similar to what [ profile] undyingking has said below. Perhaps I should be going for something that has the same brisk feel to it. Thanks!

Date: 2010-03-19 02:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
CanI be really unhelpful and say that I don't much like any of 'em? Sorry...

wordworksweb is too clumsy.

thewordforge would be OK if you had the .com, but not worth considering in the circs.

The remaining three all to me suggest a creative business – a writer, designer or typographer – rather than the business you describe as a provider of proofreading / editing / layout services. As your potential customer, I don't want you to be an inspired creative genius, I want you to be a scrupulously obedient and obsessively detailed one. (I might even be concerned about you getting carried away with rewriting my text, or redesigning my layouts.)

Really, as a potential client, I want your domain name to express fairly boring professionalism and reliability, rather than coolness. I see the problem with [yourname]editorial services, but what about [whereyoulive]editorialservices, or [flavournoun]editorialservices? I would be more likely to consider them for work than I would these burnished-metal outfits.

(Of course, none of that may be relevant if your potential client is not much like me :-) but yswim...)

Date: 2010-03-19 02:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I might even be concerned about you getting carried away with rewriting my text

This is an excellent point, and one I'd been vaguely mulling over. Perhaps having something colourful is actually counterproductive - and perhaps the layout sort of work doesn't belong on this site at all. Hmm.

Date: 2010-03-19 02:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I completed the poll before reading your notes, which would have changed my mind!

Other people have said all of this, but the 'web' does make wordworksweb sound very 1990s, and three more Ws preceding it is too many. I like thewordforge best, but acknowledge your reluctance to go, and it does have the implication that you're writing the words rather than editing them. If I saw then I would actually expect a site about letterpress printing, now that it's fashionable.

That leaves moltenwords and burnishedwords, which to me have the same connotations that [ profile] j4 describes. Good luck choosing!

Date: 2010-03-19 03:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Word Forge, out of all of them, sounds a little portentous and self-aggrandising, possibly because it focuses on the means and not the object of production.

So I went for the ones which focused on the latter, and of the two I reckon moltenwords works better. It emphasises that the material you're dealing with can be changed and adapted to suit the client's needs (which burnishedwords doesn't quite achieve). Overall I reckon it sells what you do better than all the other suggestions.

Date: 2010-03-19 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Interesting, thank you. I think a lot of this discussion comes down to the question of whether an implication of change to the stuff I'm working on would be attractive (like you're saying) or offputting (like what [ profile] undyingking is saying about being worried I'd get carried away with rewriting). In the first case 'molten' is good, in the second I think 'burnished' works because I'd just be polishing a shape that was already there.

And I think I need to be more focused wrt what the site's actually about. If I'm designing something I need to have those implications of flexibility and transformation and stuff, but if I'm editing something that's already been created, they might be actively bad. I think what I've actually got here is two websites. Ho hum.

Date: 2010-03-19 03:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm writing this without reading other comments, so as to not sway my first impressions.

"" It doesn't trip off the tongue, and as a sentance the three words don't mean anything, and as a potential customer I would never remember what order they went in or which one had an "s". So no.

"" I like this. The three words mean something together. It also is a nice description, I think, of what you do.

"" Maybe. Would be fine, no obviously objections.

"" Again, maybe. Tbqh though, I'm obviously not as clever as you, as I don't quite know what "burnished" means, so maybe it would allienate a few people, or just confuse them.

"" This makes you sound like a sexy rock chick, and I would expect a totally different sort of one to the one I think you intend. I would avoid.

Hope that is some sort of help.

Date: 2010-03-19 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sexy rock chick - indeed. She probably shops at Hot Topic. And skates.


Date: 2010-03-19 04:06 pm (UTC)
ext_34769: (Default)
From: [identity profile] I really rather you didn't. Any domain with the word "web" in it implies online only, and a rather old-fashioned online only at that. It's ok. I should like it more than I do; I think it's the definite article, which people will probably have trouble remembering - they'll try to go to instead. To me, this implies unformed and unfinished. I like this a lot. "Burnished" is classier than "polished", and implies a high level of quality, while still having a faint air of whimsy about it. Enh. It's a great domain, but I expect it to have downloadable fonts or pictures of movable type or something.

Date: 2010-03-19 05:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, it's the unformedness that was bothering me.

Date: 2010-03-20 10:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sounds nicest and rolls off the tongue best.

Date: 2010-03-20 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I haven't read all 49 comments yet, but those are great names. I especially like moltenwords for the same reasons you do. I'd definitely ditch wordworksweb. The idea is good, but you don't want to be sending business to your competitors.

I wonder, though, should you be thinking of something that identifies people with you? Something like "the word girl" (haven't checked if it or derivatives are available) suggests someone who gives personal service rather than a faceless agency, which is an impression one could get from some of the others.

Date: 2010-03-20 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Funny enough, as I considered all the advice, I was wondering the same thing as in your last paragraph. I'd like to convey personality without being all in-your-face like some of my suggestions. It turns out "" is available...

Have I missed the deadline for your Lego cartoon thing?

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2010-03-20 06:18 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-03-21 11:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Fave is burnished words, followed by the forge one. Least fave is the web one.

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