What’s in a name?

I mentioned that there was a story that goes with the long delay between mentally committing to doing this blog & actually launching it.  Might as well explain that here so experienced bloggers can make fun of me a little.

I started thinking seriously about doing this in late January 2010, decided I’d like to do it not long after, but then it took me until June to actually get it online.  Why so long?  I couldn’t settle on what to call it.

Sounds silly but I had a real fear that if I picked a name I ended up hating that I would transfer that angst to the blog itself, dooming it to fail since I’m not really a fan of doing things that make me unhappy/uncomfortable/remind me of my own mistakes.  The conventional wisdom about blog names seems to be that worrying over the name is pretty common but that no matter what you pick you’ll eventually get used to it & deal with it.  Those of you who know me best are aware that “dealing with it” isn’t really one of my strong points.

You’d think it would be simple, I’ve been around the ‘net for a pretty long while now so, even though I’m not a blogophile, this should be pretty easy.  Instead, I think it made the process more complicated.

See, for most of my online life, I was known as “MiddleGA”.  That (or some variation of it) was my nickname/screen name for pretty much everything everywhere, a simple reference to my then-location in Monticello.  It was easy to remember, it had a specific relevance, it prompted more than a few good conversations that started with “where are you from”, I was happy with it.  And then we moved to Athens a few years ago.  Uh-oh, that’s not gonna work anymore, and abbreviating Northeast Georgia seemed too likely to get me accused of some sort of racial slur (think about it, you’ll see what I mean).

So that prompted me to use “BehindEnemyLines” when I needed a handle for a new site or forum post or whatever.  Not as obvious to strangers but this one also had specific meaning for me.  It refers to both my status as an arch-conservative living in one of Georgia’s most liberal cities as well as being a Georgia Tech/University of Tennessee household in the shadows of UGA.  I like that one a lot & would have gladly used it for the blog name … except that I had been beaten to it on pretty much every blog hosting site out there.  With spaces, without spaces, adding a word or two in front of it, no dice.

Next in line was another college sports reference, which I use as my XBox Live account name:  “NoDawgsAllowed”.  I like that one okay too, although I didn’t really want to make any of my friends who have the poor taste to be UGA fans feel unwelcome.  But since I always hear the name in my head as sung by the brilliant Thurl Ravenscroft, I figured it was light-hearted enough to pass muster.  (You can hear the clip from Snoopy Come Home I’m talking about in the first 30 seconds of this video).  Naturally that name was either taken or too long to fit at every place I considered hosting the blog.

By this point, I’m frustrated & stumped, and that’s where I remained for weeks on end.  Periodically I checked to see if one of those would suddenly work somewhere, I thought about using one of the names I’ve used for fantasy sports teams over the years — pro wrestling reference “DiamondCutter” or my favorite football play “NakedBootleg” or long jumper call “WaydowntownBang” — but decided they were either too sports-centric or in the case of one of them, already in use.

So this weekend I start fiddling around with possibilities again & must have gone through at least two dozen themes with who knows how many variations.  By the time I got around to the notion of “two cents worth” I figured it was going to be another fruitless exercise.  That was taken, so were quite a few similar alternatives.  I moved on to variations of the eventual winner and kept striking out as well until, mostly on a whim, I tried adding my name in front of it.   Bingo.  And once I got a mental picture of the general concept for the header image you see at the top of the page, I knew I had at least found a name I think I can live with.

And that’s why it took me a little over four months to actually start this. Hopefully now I can move on from the backstory and actually blog about something other than the blog itself 😉


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