Let the Best Name Win

Monday, June 30, 2014

Creativity = Money

How much the right name is worth to you?

With the latest release at BootName, we are introducing an official process for name seekers to offer monetary rewards to attract some serious creative talent.

We have set a minimum reward of $100 for the user who proposes the winner name, and a minimum of $70 to be distributed among all supporters of the winner name, but you have the option to offer bigger rewards.

Rewards are pre-charged, and winners will be paid directly to their bank accounts.

To kick things off, and for the sake of dogfooding, we're trying to name a new service we are ready to start testing, so this is your sweet chance to prove your creativity and maybe make a $100 out of it. The project is simple group emailing, with mail-merge and tracking

 Don't forget to tell your creative friends.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Check available domain names without leaving BootName

We've added a small feature to BootName that we hope you'll like.

Domain names availability is often the number 1 requirement for a name, in fact, when I am trying to name something, I'll start the brainstorming on a domain name checking website, and I suspect many people do the same. This is why this week, we added a small tool to BootName to help with the brainstorming process of everything that has an available domain name.

The new button in the menu has a very simple, small-screens-friendly form to check any domain name, and since you'll be trying many names, the tool will keep a list of all available domains for you.

Happy names hunting. Love to hear any feedback.

Monday, November 4, 2013

BugMeNot... You can now create guest name projects

Do you hate it when sites ask you to signup first thing, before you even know what you're signing up for?

We do too.

This is why at BootName we show everything to guest users, and only ask them to login when they need to take action.

We are taking this to another level, you don't need to login or signup anymore to create a name project, by default, guest users can create guest projects, which are fully functional projects that are ready to be used.
You can even edit and manage your guest project as long as you keep that browser window that created it, and at any time in that browser window, you can login or signup to claim the project as forever yours. Get a taste of what a name project looks like before you signup! 

However, proposing names and voting on names still require users to login, this is - mostly - to protect projects from ugly automated spam, but we're working on a solution to enable guest participation as well.

What do you think about guest participation? should we make that an option? should it be moderated?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Make non-responsive sites look a bit better on phone screens

Do you often open links on your phone only to reach a website that has no mobile-awareness and you end up with tiny fonts you can never read, trying to zoom in and out to read and navigate?

I can't believe some respected sites out there are not yet giving small-screens the attention they deserve, one that truly surprised me recently is Hacker News, we've posted about BootName on it and I needed to check the site few times, on my phone of course, and it looked horrible. Trying to find the cause of this, to my surprise, the Hacker News site didn't have a viewport meta tag. While I understand that using viewport on some traditionally-designed websites could make it behave worse, I find that the majority of sites will just get more readable if they had a "device-width" viewport.

To test this, I created a small bookmarklet that injects the tag into any page:

javascript: var d = document, h = d.head || d.getElementsByTagName('head')[0]; var m = d.createElement("meta"); m.content = 'width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0'; m.name = 'viewport'; h.appendChild(m);
the link version (VP) - You can drag this to your bookmarks bar

If you're in Chrome, you can toggle the visibility of your bookmarks bar using Ctrl+Shift+B (Or Command+Shift+B on Mac)

Warning: All the bookmarklets mentioned in this post will reset some of the styles that websites already have, it might introduce some oddities. Use at your own risk.
Here's how Hacker News looked before and after on my Android Chrome:
Without the viewport After the viewport

Applying a JavaScript bookmark on a phone can be tricky, read below on how to do it on Chrome
One tiny CSS library that I absolutely love is normalize.css, it makes browsers render HTML elements consistently and in line with modern standards, so I thought why not inject that too:

javascript: var d = document, h = d.head || d.getElementsByTagName('head')[0]; var m = d.createElement("meta"); m.content = 'width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0'; m.name = 'viewport'; h.appendChild(m); var b = d.createElement("link"); b.href="//cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/normalize/2.1.3/normalize.min.css"; b.rel="stylesheet"; b.type='text/css'; h.appendChild(b);
and the link version (NZ)

Hope you find this helpful... Now continue reading only if you're a typography nerd.

The same inject method above can be used to force a font-face on websites that fail to pick a readable font, or if whatever font they picked isn't working on your system, believe it or not, Hacker News (again!!) renders with a serif font on my Ubuntu!
Some websites (like Wikipedia), choose to render with what default fonts you had setup in your browser/system, this is cool because you have control of that and can choose the font that you like the most.

But regardless of the font the website is rendering, you can just change it, this is especially handy if a website chooses to use a zillion font. Just override them:

One of my favorite fonts is Ubuntu, here is a bookmarklet that makes any website use it:

javascript: var d = document, h = d.head || d.getElementsByTagName('head')[0]; var m = d.createElement("meta"); m.content = 'width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0'; m.name = 'viewport'; h.appendChild(m); var b = d.createElement("link"); b.href="https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/t29x6s1rrkjpmjo/ub.css"; b.rel="stylesheet"; b.type='text/css'; h.appendChild(b);
and the link version (UB)

and if you're a fan of Open Sans (and who isn't), here's one for that:

javascript: var d = document, h = d.head || d.getElementsByTagName('head')[0]; var m = d.createElement("meta"); m.content = 'width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0'; m.name = 'viewport'; h.appendChild(m); var b = d.createElement("link"); b.href="https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/rr4cj3hwczd2ubj/os.css"; b.rel="stylesheet"; b.type='text/css'; h.appendChild(b);
and the link version (OS)

Here's Google rendered with my favorite font:

Finally, some sites just don't get it, the font-size and line height rhythm is extremely important for readability, and ideal line height is always 1.5em, here's a bookmarklet that forces a font-size of 15px and a line-height of 1.5em, it could make sections of the site ugly, but certainly more readable:

javascript: var d = document, h = d.head || d.getElementsByTagName('head')[0]; var m = d.createElement("meta"); m.content = 'width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0'; m.name = 'viewport'; h.appendChild(m); var b = d.createElement("link"); b.href="https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/w8pbv6d7xw64g8q/size.css"; b.rel="stylesheet"; b.type='text/css'; h.appendChild(b);
and the link version (FS)

What is your favorite font? know any other tricks like thees? please share

How to apply a bookmarklet in Mobile Chrome:

To use JavaScript bookmarklets on your mobile Chrome browser, choose small names for them (I use 2 characters), make sure you sync your computer's browser to the device browser (unless you want to copy/paste code on your tiny screen). After that, whenever you're viewing a website, start typing the bookmarklet name in the address bar of the browser, and the auto complete will show your bookmarklet, pressing it will apply the JavaScript code.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What would you like to see next on BootName.com?

BootName is looking for your creative thoughts.  We'd like to build what matters to you.

When you go to BootName.com, you'll see a small feedback icon to the right, you can propose ideas and vote on them using that dialog.

We've added some ideas on the list, but we really need you to validate what's helpful and what's noise.

You can also use the feedback dialog to report any bugs you encounter while using BootName, we like it when you tell us that we did something bad, the only right thing to do about mistakes is to learn from them.

We're here and we're listening, and to show our appreciation, we're offering free premium entries for all good participation. Don't hesitate to reach to us with any questions.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Winning the Name Game

You know the Name Game -- that often dreaded experience of having to come up with a name for your latest project... today we are releasing some tools that we hope will help increase your chances of winning the Name Game.

Having the right name for your project is important. The right name gives you something to rally around, it gives you vision for the future and it ultimately helps attract others to your mission.

I've been a part of countless naming sessions for books, companies, startups, products, non-profits, kids, you name it -- and while it is often a fun process, it is often one of the more stressful and expensive exercises that humans undertake.

I've seen startups spin our for months about what to call their company. I've seen relationships ruined over arguments over names. And in the end, people still often pick something they hate. You'd be surprised how many musicians hate the name of their band.

Choosing the correct name can also be more profitable as Tim Ferriss famously pointed out with his split testing of the Four Hour Work Week with Google ads.
But how to really come up with the right name?

Here is the basic process that BootName.com will help you automate.

  1. Brainstorm names
  2. Evaluate names on a number of different criteria
  3. Determine top performers
  4. Choose

We have provided tools so you can create a naming project, invite trusted partners, friends, fans and customers to help (you can also solicit feedback from the community of BootName users). First your group will brainstorm names and then they will be asked to score each of the names on 9 different criteria (free accounts have a basic voting system). Once the results are in, you can tweak the scoring algorithm to your liking and select your winner.
We hope this helps save you some time and money and helps you find a kick ass name for your next project.

Looking forward to your feedback and success!
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