Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, November 12, 2021

Not long ago, I noted how the formerly chic “e” prefix used for early-wave Internet entities — think eBay, E*TRADE, even email — had been supplanted by the new-wave “i”, as in iPhone and iGoogle. I also absently wondered which would be the next letter to come along and signify bleeding-edge Web with-it-ness.

It looks like a less-obvious and more reductive answer has emerged: Instead of adding a letter, the new style is to remove a pesky vowel or two to achieve latter-day branding power.

That’s the methodology used to update fusty old eProject, first named in 1997, to its current re-brand of Daptiv:

Daptiv is a good choice because “it sounds very current,” [Catchword principal Burt Alper] adds, noting the trend “to alter spellings to create distinctions,” citing the Motorola Razr cellphone and the photo-sharing Web site Flickr.

“But since Daptiv is based on a real English word,” Mr. Alper says, “there’s also a sense of stability” that may be missing from more fanciful coined words.

“It’s also short and easy to pronounce,” he adds, “and the dot-com domain was available for registration.”

It’s actually something of a miracle that any semi-sensible URL is free for the picking, what with domain-squatters scooping up speculative letter combinations.

I’ll note that I, myself, am currently working with a prime example of this vowel-less phenomenon: 8trk. Yes, I’m part of the problem (or the solution, depending on your perspective).

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/12/2021 10:45:55 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Internet
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3 Feedbacks »
  1. I think that Flickr was the first to adopt this new style…and while it is somewhat annoying, it is much less annoying than the “e” prefix of several years ago.

    Comment by david — 11/13/2007 @ 01:58:45 AM

  2. I neglected to mention that this letter-removal trick seems to work better when vowels are the ones getting the axe. Cognitively, you can still “read” a name like Flickr and fill in the blank; but it wouldn’t work if they had tried it as “Ficker” or “Flicke”. Another aspect to consider.

    Comment by CT — 11/19/2007 @ 11:55:24 PM

  3. […] Should this site’s URL be lumped into that offending crowd? Let’s remember that “8trk” isn’t completely nonsense-based: It’s a play off the long-departed 8-track tape that once delivered maximum music to the masses — much like this site hopes to do, in a differnt way. And I once pointed out that this site’s name is part of a general vowel-pruning trend on the Inter…. […]

    Pingback by 8trk: An Unclever Web 2.0 Name? at 8trk — 12/06/2021 @ 10:24:36 PM

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