It's all in a name. Or is it?

About a year ago I decided to start a coworking space here in Alaska. I figured it needed a name, so that it could grow and be referenced. That name is CrankSpace. As luck would have it, one of the first things I realized, was that I actually didn’t want to start a space, I wanted to build a community. And eventually, when our community needed it, we would find a location to house it.

So a year has gone by and we have a name which presumes we have the one thing we actually don’t - space - and, I feel, vocalizes a value I don’t see in that one thing. At least not direct value.

My question is this: Does it matter? I would love for it to be a community decision, but despite being at it for almost a year, we don’t have much of an active one yet. I feel I’m losing connection with the name because it promotes values I don’t believe in and fear it having a negative impact. My fear in changing it is loss in recognition, perceived flakiness or lack of viability. Not sure what to do with this one.

TL:DR - I feel our name doesn’t fit our goals anymore. Does it matter?

Job

Glad to hear that, Randy. My hope, other than to get help, was to highlight an issue others might have or are having to face. Congrats on your growing community by the way!

What was the effect when you changed your organizations name? Both within the group and outside? It sounds like you already had a decent following at the time you made that decision.

One of the things I also realized in creating the name on my own, is that I had potentially missed out on a great opportunity for community involvement. Had I waited, the community could have helped come up with the name and as a result felt a stronger connection with it. My only issue with this is how do I go about that now that I have a name, and one that I feel is not suitable to continue with? The only viable solution I can think of for a scenario where the community-to-be helps pick is one where I keep the current name and wait until said community grows before we change it.

I just don’t want to rename it now, on my own, only to be in this same situation another 9 months from now. I could do something generic for the time being - E.g. Alaska Jelly Group - and wait for the community. Though I feel changing it (generic name) and then changing it again (community derived name) will have negative side effects.

There is also the distinct possibility I am overthinking this. But I feel like it’s an issue worth talking about.

···

On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:19:34 PM UTC-9, Texrat wrote:

It’s an interesting topic to me, Job, especially since it hits home.

Over a year ago I started to pull together a local maker community in my area. After many coffee shop meetups, several people settled into a collection of leaders. At initial meetings that subject of identity came up, and I had thoughts similar to yours: I felt we needed to build community first, then start a physical makerspace once we had an organization established. I also believed our org name should identify the community first, space(s) second.

I was outvoted at first and we came to be Fort Worth Makerspace. Over time, as our purpose evolved more to favor community education powered by partnerships, everyone realized we wouldn’t be just one physical space ultimately but many. In fact we are working on two now, partnering with a library and university respectively. And so everyone else changed their mind to abstract the organization from physical spaces-- our organization became Tarrant Makers, named after our county to identify our physical reach.

So I can understand your dilemma. Your name, brand, identity-- whatever you call it, it creates an image in the minds of your community, customers, partners and sponsors. You have to think deep about who and what you are, what needs you intend to fill going forward, how you wish to be perceived. It sounds like you already have a good idea which way you’re going to go. Hope my rambling helped.

Randy

Tarrant Makers

On February 20, 2014 at 12:06 AM Job Sonnentag <[email protected] > wrote:

About a year ago I decided to start a coworking space here in Alaska. I figured it needed a name, so that it could grow and be referenced. That name is CrankSpace. As luck would have it, one of the first things I realized, was that I actually didn’t want to start a space, I wanted to build a community. And eventually, when our community needed it, we would find a location to house it.

So a year has gone by and we have a name which presumes we have the one thing we actually don’t - space - and, I feel, vocalizes a value I don’t see in that one thing. At least not direct value.

My question is this: Does it matter? I would love for it to be a community decision, but despite being at it for almost a year, we don’t have much of an active one yet. I feel I’m losing connection with the name because it promotes values I don’t believe in and fear it having a negative impact. My fear in changing it is loss in recognition, perceived flakiness or lack of viability. Not sure what to do with this one.

TL:DR - I feel our name doesn’t fit our goals anymore. Does it matter?

Job


Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected] .

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

Randall (Randy) Arnold
Developer and Enthusiast Advocate
http://texrat.net

+18177396806

There is also the distinct possibility I am overthinking this.

This. :slight_smile:

If you had hundreds of people who knew about what you were doing and you suddenly changed the name, this might be a bigger deal. But as you’ve said, you don’t, so I think you’re putting the cart before the horse, big time.

Involving the community in the naming is great, though I wouldn’t let it hold you back.

More general advice around naming: it sounds like you’re trying to name the “thing” you’re doing. Coworking, "crank"ing, jelly-ing, etc.

To riff on Randall’s post, which I think is a GREAT illustration, notice that their new name doesn’t describe what they do but who they are. It tells you something about the people and what they care about, rather than naming a specific effort.

That’s what makes a good name: when it describes who you’ll find there. Those people may do a variety of things, from coworking to teaching to socializing to who the hell knows but the things they have in common won’t change dramatically.

So:

  1. Stop worrying about a name change. I assure you that more people won’t notice than will. People are just as concerned about in their lives as you are about your name…and you can be 100% sure that they care more about their problems than yours. :wink:

  2. If you’re gonna rename, work towards a name that describes the people instead of what they do.

-Alex

···

/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 1:49 PM, Job Sonnentag [email protected] wrote:

Glad to hear that, Randy. My hope, other than to get help, was to highlight an issue others might have or are having to face. Congrats on your growing community by the way!

What was the effect when you changed your organizations name? Both within the group and outside? It sounds like you already had a decent following at the time you made that decision.

One of the things I also realized in creating the name on my own, is that I had potentially missed out on a great opportunity for community involvement. Had I waited, the community could have helped come up with the name and as a result felt a stronger connection with it. My only issue with this is how do I go about that now that I have a name, and one that I feel is not suitable to continue with? The only viable solution I can think of for a scenario where the community-to-be helps pick is one where I keep the current name and wait until said community grows before we change it.

I just don’t want to rename it now, on my own, only to be in this same situation another 9 months from now. I could do something generic for the time being - E.g. Alaska Jelly Group - and wait for the community. Though I feel changing it (generic name) and then changing it again (community derived name) will have negative side effects.

There is also the distinct possibility I am overthinking this. But I feel like it’s an issue worth talking about.

On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:19:34 PM UTC-9, Texrat wrote:

It’s an interesting topic to me, Job, especially since it hits home.

Over a year ago I started to pull together a local maker community in my area. After many coffee shop meetups, several people settled into a collection of leaders. At initial meetings that subject of identity came up, and I had thoughts similar to yours: I felt we needed to build community first, then start a physical makerspace once we had an organization established. I also believed our org name should identify the community first, space(s) second.

I was outvoted at first and we came to be Fort Worth Makerspace. Over time, as our purpose evolved more to favor community education powered by partnerships, everyone realized we wouldn’t be just one physical space ultimately but many. In fact we are working on two now, partnering with a library and university respectively. And so everyone else changed their mind to abstract the organization from physical spaces-- our organization became Tarrant Makers, named after our county to identify our physical reach.

So I can understand your dilemma. Your name, brand, identity-- whatever you call it, it creates an image in the minds of your community, customers, partners and sponsors. You have to think deep about who and what you are, what needs you intend to fill going forward, how you wish to be perceived. It sounds like you already have a good idea which way you’re going to go. Hope my rambling helped.

Randy

Tarrant Makers

On February 20, 2014 at 12:06 AM Job Sonnentag <[email protected] > wrote:

About a year ago I decided to start a coworking space here in Alaska. I figured it needed a name, so that it could grow and be referenced. That name is CrankSpace. As luck would have it, one of the first things I realized, was that I actually didn’t want to start a space, I wanted to build a community. And eventually, when our community needed it, we would find a location to house it.

So a year has gone by and we have a name which presumes we have the one thing we actually don’t - space - and, I feel, vocalizes a value I don’t see in that one thing. At least not direct value.

My question is this: Does it matter? I would love for it to be a community decision, but despite being at it for almost a year, we don’t have much of an active one yet. I feel I’m losing connection with the name because it promotes values I don’t believe in and fear it having a negative impact. My fear in changing it is loss in recognition, perceived flakiness or lack of viability. Not sure what to do with this one.

TL:DR - I feel our name doesn’t fit our goals anymore. Does it matter?

Job


Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected] .

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

Randall (Randy) Arnold
Developer and Enthusiast Advocate
http://texrat.net

+18177396806

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

Thanks for the reality check, Guys! Alex, the naming advice is MUCH appreciated! Randy, you are totally right; thanks for the reminder! I think properly expressing the “what”, “why” and “whom” is something I need to work on.

···

On Thursday, February 20, 2014 11:00:06 AM UTC-9, Texrat wrote:

Thanks Alex, and I agree: I don’t think Job has much to sweat.

To answer one of your questions Job: as I noted, many disagreed with me at first regarding naming, mission, etc. And when it finally dawned on our evolving Board of Directors that we did need to redefine ourselves as Alex describes, there were a few who were disgruntled at the development and we lost some board members. So I misspoke when I said “everyone” realized the need.

But here’s the thing: don’t worry about naysayers, or people who can’t get on board with your vision. They’re always going to exist. You have to lead something you’re passionate about, and that passion is infectious. As long as you’re able to clearly sum up WHAT your vision is and WHY it developed into what it is and WHOM you are seeking to serve, people will break your doors down to get involved. That’s what we’re seeing. It also helps to have interesting projects or goals; people will cheerfully volunteer their time if you’ve identified what THEY are passionate about, and those things fit into your mission.

Focus on the community members who are drawn to your vision (or at least want to understand). As for those who don’t understand or complain, a little listening will help you determine who WANTS to understand vs the usual concern trolls. :wink:

Randy

Tarrant Makers

On February 20, 2014 at 1:10 PM Alex Hillman <[email protected] > wrote:

There is also the distinct possibility I am overthinking this.

This. :slight_smile:

 If you had hundreds of people who knew about what you were doing and you suddenly changed the name, this *might* be a bigger deal. But as you've said, you don't, so I think you're putting the cart before the horse, big time.

Involving the community in the naming is great, though I wouldn’t let it hold you back.

More general advice around naming: it sounds like you’re trying to name the “thing” you’re doing. Coworking, "crank"ing, jelly-ing, etc.

 To riff on Randall's post, which I think is a GREAT illustration, notice that their new name doesn't describe what they do but **who they are**. It tells you something about the people and what they care about, rather than naming a specific effort.
 That's what makes a good name: when it describes **who** you'll find there. Those people may do a variety of things, from coworking to teaching to socializing to who the hell knows but the things they have in common won't change dramatically.

So:

  1. Stop worrying about a name change. I assure you that more people won’t notice than will. People are just as concerned about in their lives as you are about your name…and you can be 100% sure that they care more about their problems than yours. :wink:
  1. If you’re gonna rename, work towards a name that describes the people instead of what they do.

-Alex

  /ah


  [indyhall.org](http://indyhall.org)

coworking in philadelphia

 On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 1:49 PM, Job Sonnentag <[email protected]> wrote:

Glad to hear that, Randy. My hope, other than to get help, was to highlight an issue others might have or are having to face. Congrats on your growing community by the way!

What was the effect when you changed your organizations name? Both within the group and outside? It sounds like you already had a decent following at the time you made that decision.

One of the things I also realized in creating the name on my own, is that I had potentially missed out on a great opportunity for community involvement. Had I waited, the community could have helped come up with the name and as a result felt a stronger connection with it. My only issue with this is how do I go about that now that I have a name, and one that I feel is not suitable to continue with? The only viable solution I can think of for a scenario where the community-to-be helps pick is one where I keep the current name and wait until said community grows before we change it.

I just don’t want to rename it now, on my own, only to be in this same situation another 9 months from now. I could do something generic for the time being - E.g. Alaska Jelly Group - and wait for the community. Though I feel changing it (generic name) and then changing it again (community derived name) will have negative side effects.

    There is also the distinct possibility I am overthinking this. But I feel like it's an issue worth talking about.

On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:19:34 PM UTC-9, Texrat wrote:

It’s an interesting topic to me, Job, especially since it hits home.

Over a year ago I started to pull together a local maker community in my area. After many coffee shop meetups, several people settled into a collection of leaders. At initial meetings that subject of identity came up, and I had thoughts similar to yours: I felt we needed to build community first, then start a physical makerspace once we had an organization established. I also believed our org name should identify the community first, space(s) second.

I was outvoted at first and we came to be Fort Worth Makerspace. Over time, as our purpose evolved more to favor community education powered by partnerships, everyone realized we wouldn’t be just one physical space ultimately but many. In fact we are working on two now, partnering with a library and university respectively. And so everyone else changed their mind to abstract the organization from physical spaces-- our organization became Tarrant Makers, named after our county to identify our physical reach.

So I can understand your dilemma. Your name, brand, identity-- whatever you call it, it creates an image in the minds of your community, customers, partners and sponsors. You have to think deep about who and what you are, what needs you intend to fill going forward, how you wish to be perceived. It sounds like you already have a good idea which way you’re going to go. Hope my rambling helped.

Randy

Tarrant Makers

         On February 20, 2014 at 12:06 AM Job Sonnentag < > > > > > [email protected]             > wrote:

About a year ago I decided to start a coworking space here in Alaska. I figured it needed a name, so that it could grow and be referenced. That name is CrankSpace. As luck would have it, one of the first things I realized, was that I actually didn’t want to start a space, I wanted to build a community. And eventually, when our community needed it, we would find a location to house it.

So a year has gone by and we have a name which presumes we have the one thing we actually don’t - space - and, I feel, vocalizes a value I don’t see in that one thing. At least not direct value.

My question is this: Does it matter? I would love for it to be a community decision, but despite being at it for almost a year, we don’t have much of an active one yet. I feel I’m losing connection with the name because it promotes values I don’t believe in and fear it having a negative impact. My fear in changing it is loss in recognition, perceived flakiness or lack of viability. Not sure what to do with this one.

TL:DR - I feel our name doesn’t fit our goals anymore. Does it matter?

Job

         --

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

         For more options, visit [https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out](https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out).
        To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected]            .
         Randall (Randy) Arnold
         Developer and Enthusiast Advocate

         [http://texrat.net](http://texrat.net)


         +18177396806
    --

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected]om .

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

If I can just add the voice of experience here: I changed the name of a space after it already had members, about a year ago. I did it because the name was just not catching on, nobody was using it except actually in the contract.

So I changed it. I don’t think I even announced the change, I just started using a different name. And as Alex predicts, apparently nobody noticed. They just started using the new name.

That’s not totally true: the government noticed. They called me up and told me to file form whateveritis to register a trade name.

That was the total net response.

It’s just like adopting a kitten: eventually it will tell you its True Name if you are patient. Don’t worry about that. :slight_smile:

Cheers,

Jeannine

···

On Thursday, February 20, 2014 7:06:57 AM UTC+1, Job Sonnentag wrote:

About a year ago I decided to start a coworking space here in Alaska. I figured it needed a name, so that it could grow and be referenced. That name is CrankSpace. As luck would have it, one of the first things I realized, was that I actually didn’t want to start a space, I wanted to build a community. And eventually, when our community needed it, we would find a location to house it.

So a year has gone by and we have a name which presumes we have the one thing we actually don’t - space - and, I feel, vocalizes a value I don’t see in that one thing. At least not direct value.

My question is this: Does it matter? I would love for it to be a community decision, but despite being at it for almost a year, we don’t have much of an active one yet. I feel I’m losing connection with the name because it promotes values I don’t believe in and fear it having a negative impact. My fear in changing it is loss in recognition, perceived flakiness or lack of viability. Not sure what to do with this one.

TL:DR - I feel our name doesn’t fit our goals anymore. Does it matter?

Job

Definitely helps, Randy. Thank you for posting.

Lol! That’s awesome, Jeannine! Thanks for sharing.

Job

···

On Friday, February 21, 2014 8:29:25 AM UTC, Jeannine wrote:

If I can just add the voice of experience here: I changed the name of a space after it already had members, about a year ago. I did it because the name was just not catching on, nobody was using it except actually in the contract.

So I changed it. I don’t think I even announced the change, I just started using a different name. And as Alex predicts, apparently nobody noticed. They just started using the new name.

That’s not totally true: the government noticed. They called me up and told me to file form whateveritis to register a trade name.

That was the total net response.

It’s just like adopting a kitten: eventually it will tell you its True Name if you are patient. Don’t worry about that. :slight_smile:

Cheers,

Jeannine
On Thursday, February 20, 2014 7:06:57 AM UTC+1, Job Sonnentag wrote:

About a year ago I decided to start a coworking space here in Alaska. I figured it needed a name, so that it could grow and be referenced. That name is CrankSpace. As luck would have it, one of the first things I realized, was that I actually didn’t want to start a space, I wanted to build a community. And eventually, when our community needed it, we would find a location to house it.

So a year has gone by and we have a name which presumes we have the one thing we actually don’t - space - and, I feel, vocalizes a value I don’t see in that one thing. At least not direct value.

My question is this: Does it matter? I would love for it to be a community decision, but despite being at it for almost a year, we don’t have much of an active one yet. I feel I’m losing connection with the name because it promotes values I don’t believe in and fear it having a negative impact. My fear in changing it is loss in recognition, perceived flakiness or lack of viability. Not sure what to do with this one.

TL:DR - I feel our name doesn’t fit our goals anymore. Does it matter?

Job