Every afternoon join me for CLOCK WATCHER TRIVIA. At 4pm each day I give you a new question to ponder. If you are the first to correctly answer it, you can win! And it's great fun, as you wait for quitting time to roll around. Missed a question? Want to find out who won? You can get that here: 987theriver.com/pages/trivia.html
And don't forget THE DRIVE AT FIVE...an hour of commercial free music as you head home for the day, plus the traffic information you need.
Twitter: Back when Twitter was in its infancy, it was a nameless program that went by the working name of “Status.” The creators realized how lame and obvious this was so they decided to hold a much-needed brainstorming session. Basically, they wanted a name that captured the mobile aspect of the product, especially the vision of users buzzing in their friend’s pockets at all hours of the day. The first idea, “twitch,” conjured all sorts of strange images and was immediately vetoed. So they whipped out an old-fashioned paper dictionary and looked for words near “twitch.” They spotted “twitter” and fell deeply in love.
Blackberry: When RIM needed a name for their most popular device, they turned to Lexicon Branding in California. According to Lexicon, names linked to the word “email” lead to increased blood pressure, so they tried for something playful and non-deadly. Someone then mentioned that the buttons looked like seeds, and after trying out all sorts of seedy fruits they settled on “blackberry.”
Yahoo: In 1994, before Yahoo was Yahoo, it was a non-searchable website directory with the most incredible name: “David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web.” Unfortunately, David and Jerry turned to a dictionary to give it a much catchier name. Yahoo technically stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle," but David and Jerry insist they really fell in love the general definition of a yahoo: “rude, unsophisticated, uncouth.”
Hotmail: Hotmail was launched in 1996, when everything was described as hot. But actually, Hotmail was originally capitalized as HoTMaiL, which was a not-so-sneaky reference to HTML.
Etsy: The origin of this name had been one of the world’s best-kept secrets until Rob Kalin, Etsy’s founder, blabbed the truth during an interview with Reader’s Digest. He really wanted a nonsense word because the brand was built from scratch. He kept hearing the Italian word etsi, which means “oh, yes.” Its Latin definition is also perfect: “and if.”
Skype: Because Skype is peer-to-peer contact that happens over a mysterious, magical connection, it was originally called “Sky Peer to Peer.” Can you imagine saying to your friend, “Yeah, just Sky Peer to Peer me later.” No you can’t. Thankfully, it was shortened to Skyper. And when they had a hard time getting domain names for that, they cut it down to plain ol’ Skype.