Monday, April 4, 2011

You Tell Me: What's In A (Blog) Name?

A few months ago, when I first joined the world of social media, I also made the decision to start this blog. The intersection of YA lit/media and psychology was a pretty obvious one for me. What wasn't quite as obvious: what to call it.

I consider myself pretty good with words, but I'm not someone who comes up with snappy little turns of phrase effortlessly. And there are lots of blogs out there with exceptionally awesome names. Just a few of my favorites:

Lydia Kang's The Word is My Oyster. Seriously--this is extremely clever, saying so much with just a few words. Which pretty much defines Lydia's blog, actually.

Matthew MacNish's The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment. Apart from the great use of alliteration, this title also encapsulates the nature of the blog and the messy, discombobulating nature of the query process itself.

Meredith Barnes's La Vie En Prose. This is a relatively new blog by Janet Reid's literary assistant, but it's already packed with useful information about the agenting and publishing business (including some great advice about blogging). But its name ... ah, so very stylish and witty. What you would expect from the "Exhibit-air of Flair in the Lair."

When I was trying to come up with a name for my blog, I knew it had to be something psychologically-oriented, but I wanted it to be kind of intriguing as well. I'm not sure if I succeeded. The Strangest Situation is a play on psychologist Mary Ainsworth's "The Strange Situation," a procedure psychologists use to assess the quality of the parent child bond:


I thought "The Strangest Situation"  was relevant to my roots as a child psychologist, but it also sounded like a fitting name for a blog that discussed the mix of psychology and literature, particularly in the vibrant, emotionally fraught realm of YA.

Now, you tell me: What are some of your favorite blog names and why? Does a clever blog name draw you in and get you to take a look? Does it matter at all? Have you ever been disappointed by the content of a really cleverly named blog (if you answer this in the affirmative, for the sake of courtesy, PLEASE don't name names here)? If you have a blog, did you try to come up with a clever name for it? Does the name of your blog reflect its content?

Be sure to check out Laura's Mental Health Monday post and Lydia's Medical Monday post!

26 comments:

  1. Hello, good post thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I did try to come off clever. (don't know if I succeeded) The "em" in my title represents me backwards, which is how I usually feel. Anyhoo...your title was intriguing, but your posts keep me coming back because besides being interesting, you offer the flip side...instead of you seeing in our minds, we see inside yours. Good stuff in there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I couldn't really thing of a name or a unifying topic when I started my blog, so I went with the literal, and vague: My bloggish blog thing.

    Now I like it.

    What bugs me is when people change the name of their blog to something I don't recognize (even though the URL is the same). One of the agents I follow did this, and while the new name is more "professional", I loved the old one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I actually don't notice the names of the blogs I read. I know that might seem silly, being a writer and all, but I usually check out the first post I see and then the blog archive to find out how active the blogger is.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love names that are a play on words or a twist on a common phrase. I'm not talented with those things, so I go for straight forward.

    My blog title, Diamond, Yup Like the Stone, was a saying my friend uses. Whenever she'd give my name to a prospective client, they'd ask her to spell it like they couldn't believe it was Diamond. So, she'd say, "yup, like the stone," to convince them it was truly Diamond.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think my blog name just came about naturally. Some of my favorites are Misadventures in Candyland and Matt's TQQQE too- both great blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think it took me 2 hours to come up with a neutral but suitable name for my blog. I have come across blog names that made think it was a desperate attempt by the blogger for attention and yet the content was not less than expectation and i have seen some that were quite boring.

    ***Hope my honesty doesn't make people jeer at my own blog****

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yay, I would love for you to psychologically review a character of mine for my WIP. Would communicate via e-mail to you soon.

    ReplyDelete
  9. ohman! that video reminds me of working in the church nursery!!! :)
    i'm often embarassed by my blog name... i didn't really put any thought into it. oops! but it's so cool to learn where yours came from! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fun post, Sarah! Actually, I thought I was being clever when I made up my title. For writers, it's a no-brainer what the title means. But I actually get a handful of followers who think my blog is about the Bible. Seriously. Even if you look at the subheading or a single post, you can tell it's not religious.

    Anyway, I've always found the blog titles that play on "right" and "write" so fun.

    ReplyDelete
  11. When I came up with my blog name, it was a no-brainer. I used my name, because I was trying to develop my "brand" and make myself easy to find.

    Most people didn't/don't do this and come up with clever names, like the ones you've listed. I honestly, would prefer the "names" to be the people's name because sometimes I can't remember whose blog is whose! Some of them always stick out thought, like Candylands, TQQQ, Ink's blog, and yours. ;-)

    ~JD

    ReplyDelete
  12. You know, unless the blog title is really amazing, I usually only pay attention to the writer's name. That being said, I really do love the title of Meredith Barnes blog and I'm glad you highlighted it. It looks beautiful written too:)

    ReplyDelete
  13. My personal, family life blog has secret name origins, so I can't share. But it's a secret hiding in plain sight and I like that. My new, writing blog is called "Muse of Fire" a la the Henry V prologue in which Shakespeare wishes for better technology to present such a sweeping, epic, historic drama to his audience.
    I write historical fiction and have found the ultra-modern Internet to be my most useful resource. Also there's this whole e-book and new media phenomenon going on these days, and I just thought "what would Shakespeare have done with all this technology?"
    Not that I'm Shakespeare, but anyway, I thought it was clever. The subtitle is "historical fiction meets 21st century technology."
    Now, if only I would update more than twice a month, people might actually start reading the thing...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Like some of the others above, a blog's name doesn't often pique my interest. I usually stumble upon blogs as they are featured on other blogs, or through the comments they leave on other blogs. It's only later, once I've read some posts and have seen if I like the content, that I even glance at the blog's name.

    Many writers appear to use their name for their blog's (c.f. Justine Dell above) when they are looking ahead to creating a "brand." In the long run, this is probably the most effective titling. I love Matt Rush/MacNish--but I have the hardest time with all those "q" s and can't seem to consistently spell quintessentially (think I got it this time!) In my mind it's "Matt's blog."

    ReplyDelete
  15. Blog names that catch my attention are either hilarious or really clever, like the ones you mentioned in the post. I chose my own after realizing I am *quite* obsessed with... being lazy. Not sure if I'll ever stop...

    *blushes*

    I think my blog's content relates to laziness whenever I speak of TV shows and movies. And procrastinating. So yeah, it fits :)

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  16. The thing is, I love great names - I even thought mine was clever. THEN I learned that it is easier to find and use if you use your author name in the URL address. Oops. :D So, I make sure to link through Twitter and my webpage so that it all points back to "Paranormal Point of View."

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've always thought Annette Lyon's blog, The Lyon's Tale, is brilliant, because it uses a play on her name to say a TON, especially since she's a fiction author.

    The title of my blog, Making Moments, came from something of an epiphany I had while trying to balance all the stuff in my life with family, the idea being (hopefully what people get from it) that for the most important things in life, you MAKE time for the special moments.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I do pause for blogs with interesting names, but the post titles are what pull me in. However, Lisa has a very good point: yourname.com is easier to use and you can't outgrow it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. A clever blog name does indeed grab my attention. It's like looking at a great cover for a book. Once you see it, you just know it'll be good!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I didn't know what to name my blog either. So I named it after myself. Creative, huh? :D

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm with Emily. I don't notice blog names so much. I pay more attention to the writer's name.

    ReplyDelete
  23. My blog name is shared with Obama's but I didn't realise that when I started. It's full of ephemera, just like me!
    Some blog names are really clever and amusing but really it's the content and the connection I feel to a writer that pulls me back again and again.

    ReplyDelete
  24. LOVE great blog titles, but I have to say, it's the content that determines whether I come back to read more than once. I think your blog title works, and that's a good thing in combination with serious and useful subject matter (and sometimes just fun stuff, too).

    ReplyDelete
  25. hi miss sarah! i like cool names on blogs but that not mostly why i go to them. mostly i got from a post someone does on my blog and that how i get knowing people. for my own blog for sure its just a good name cause it bout my world and the stuff that in it. i didnt do much thinking on it cause its just what i wanted to call it.
    ...hugs from lenny

    ReplyDelete