Has the time come to rename this blog?

February 12, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 3:20 pm   Category: The Thang

Naming a blog is a lot like naming a band. I’ve named a lot of bands in my day, but only one blog. It was pretty common in the past for me to do a couple of gigs under one band name and then change to a more appropriate name based on the sound and personality of the band. I’ve been thinking about changing the name of my blog now that it’s been live for about six weeks. So when I saw that Jonathan had mentioned that the name “New Cool Thang” was a little disturbing I knew the time had come… It’s time to seek advice and votes on the blog name!

Of course changing the name has a cost. I’ve been linked to by lots of cool blogs in Bloggernacle already – a name change will waste all of that branding. But then again, I’m a fairly new player in the Bloggernacle and the longer I wait the more the cost will go up. Plus I can keep the same URL anyway.

I’ve come up with an alternative name and I’ll explain the story behind both it and the current name with some pros and cons and let you, my bloggy friends, advise me.

Current name: New Cool Thang
Story: I helped found a ska band at BYU in the early nineties called Sam I Am. We attracted a pretty good following and won the big BYU battle of the bands in early ’92 as voted on by a crowd of thousands of screaming students. The band continued for for an while with big aspirations. Then we learned that Sam I Am was anything but an original band name and if we ever were to get beyond the Provo market we’d need a more original name. The alternative we came up with was New Cool Thang. I liked the name, but alas, it was too late for us to change – the branding was already too established so we eventually switched back.
Pros as a blog name: It’s somewhat jarring and memorable. Memorable is good in marketing. Plus it reminds me that I was cool at one point in my life. And isn’t Splendid Sun a former band name? The practice has a precedent.
Cons as a blog name: Considering the heavily doctrinal approach I’m taking to my posts it is a seemingly flippant name. Can I expect anyone to take my posts seriously with a name like that?

Potential new name: The Most Observant Cub Scout
Story: When I was a young cub scout I went to week long day camp one summer. At the end of the week our group’s camp mother gave each of us special award – mine was the Most Observant award. I was thrilled. Later in life I realized that it might have been the only thing she could think of to praise that annoying kid with all of those questions and comments. But somehow that still doesn’t bug me – I still have innumerable questions and comments in me.
Pros: Based on my content so far, doesn’t that sound like a better name for this blog? It might allow new visitors to actually pay attention to the content rather than being distracted by the rock ‘n roll name.
Cons: Will I lose all the “pop” the name currently has when it appears on a list? Is the name just too boring or long?

So what do you think? Which do you prefer? Gimme your comments on a name because if it’s gonna change this is the week to do it!


  1. These things are very personal (band and blog names). You have to do what resonates for you. Yeah, I think ?New Cool Thang? is goofy (more so as a blog than as a band, however), but if it is you, then stick with it. If it is time to change though, and you want opinions, I think you can do better than the Cub Scout thing. Maybe ?Premarital Sax? – it was saxophone, right :) 

    Posted by J. Stapley

    Comment by Anonymous — February 12, 2005 @ 11:01 pm

  2. I didn’t get into Ska until after my mission, but I’m still a big fan. The Utah Ska scene was awesome. Is there anywhere I could get ahold of some of Sam I Am’s songs? My brothers had a highschool Ska band called Skook that they started up on Logan in 1997 and later continued when they moved to Orem.

    The Most Observant Cub Scout ” is a little long. Most people would probably start to refer to you as MOCS. I don’t know if that is good or bad.

    Sam I am would be a great blog name, but I think it is already taken.

    I don’t know. I’ll post if anything comes to me. 

    Posted by Jonathan Max Wilson

    Comment by Anonymous — February 12, 2005 @ 11:01 pm

  3. No! We’ll all have to change our sidebars!

    Comment by Ronan — February 13, 2005 @ 7:42 pm

  4. Ha! Good point Ronan. And thanks for the initial thoughts, guys. I don’t like the idea of having the blog referred to as MOCS as Jon mentioned (though I?d prefer that than not being referred to at all). And having slept on it I’m not sure the name really matters anyway. When I think about it, I’ve spent last 6+ years working for a company called WebSideStory — names don?t get much goofier than that but the company is taken seriously in the industry and on the NASDAQ anyway. And think of names like Yahoo! and Google — if those aren’t goofy I don?t know what is.

    As long as the name doesn’t scare visitors off before even looking at the content I’d be happy keeping it. That is the main consideration for me. I actually have noble intentions for blogging. I hope the doctrinal things discussed can bring, as Alma said, ?some soul to repentance ?. Of course the soul I?m referring to is mine. If the posts and discussions prove useful to others I?ll be even more pleased.

    So I?m leaning to keeping the name of the Thang  as it is. I?ll take more suggestions in the meantime though.

    Posted by Geoff Johnston

    Comment by Anonymous — February 13, 2005 @ 8:50 pm

  5. Jon,

    Regarding Sam I Am music — We resurrected and recorded many of those songs with my later San Diego band Noisepie . The band hasn?t gigged since 2001 but a Google search revealed some lingering links. Click here for a classic Sam I Am/Noisepie ska-punk tune called ?Ayayay?. This link has three other Noisepie tunes. This is a really cool flash video some guy did on a whim because he liked our song ?Bobcat?. One of these days I?ll get the entire 30-song collection back live at Noisepie Land?

    Posted by Geoff Johnston

    Comment by Anonymous — February 13, 2005 @ 8:57 pm

  6. We went through two weeks and probably over 60 names before deciding on the utterly safe and somewhat boring Millennial Star. If you think naming a blog is hard on your own, try to get twelve people to agree on a name — it’s impossible, I tell you.

    M* does have a really nice abbreviated form, though.

    Keep the name, I say. 

    Posted by Bryce I

    Comment by Anonymous — February 14, 2005 @ 7:25 am

  7. Thanks for the vote of confidence on the name Bryce. It’s a little goofy, but then again so am I, so maybe it’s a better fit than I want to admit. 

    Posted by Geoff Johnston

    Comment by Anonymous — February 15, 2005 @ 10:44 am

  8. Well, the name of this blog brings to mind the scripture that says:

    “For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing .” (Acts 17:21)

    I blogged on this subject a couple of times. One was by Dallin H.Oaks (“Powerful Ideas”) and the other by Quentin L. Cook of the Seventy (“Looking Beyond the Mark”). Elder Cook said this:

    “We live in a world where the latest story, the buzz, the hype, the ‘new thing’ is much sought after and then publicized throughout the world. Movies, television, and other media often celebrate heroic gestures, dysfunctionality, conflict, and sexuality rather than the quiet, everyday acts of sacrifice, service, and love that are so much a part of the Savior?s message and example. The wild rush to find the new often tramples on what is true.”

    So, that is what I think of when I see the name of this blog. Can’t say I’d be upset if you changed it, or if you didn’t, but a blog is a very personal thing, and it should be what we want it to be, and a reflection of ourselves.

    Posted by Peggy Snow Cahill

    Comment by Anonymous — February 22, 2005 @ 9:58 pm

  9. Good pull on that scripture! Actually, it kind of makes me like the blog name better because of the ironic nature of the name. The doctrinal subjects I mostly like to blog about are not new and they certainly aren’t cool by Babylonian standards. As long as good saints like you are willing to take a look I suspect I’ll be ok with this goofy (ironic /tongue in cheek) title. 

    Posted by Geoff Johnston

    Comment by Anonymous — February 22, 2005 @ 10:16 pm

  10. I think “Microscopic Giant” is a funny blog name.

    Comment by Finn Orton — June 27, 2006 @ 4:31 pm

  11. “Old Cool Thang” ?

    I like the title fine, Bro. Geoff. Keep up the good blogging.

    Comment by Jeff Day — June 28, 2006 @ 9:50 pm

  12. re #8.
    The new and everlasting cool thang.

    tnaecl –> T’nacle

    Comment by madera verde — June 6, 2007 @ 11:52 am