In an ideal situation, a great deal of planning and forethought go into a creative endeavor. You identify what you want the final product to be. You think of the branding, the personality, the motivation behind it. People are paid obscene amounts of money to help major corporations do this very thing for products you barely think about. You would be horrified to learn how much time, money, and energy is spent designing Nerf products. We did none of this and went right to the name.
Your name is a big deal. It literally represents you. It can also tell a lot about you and provide information to others. For instance, if your name is Andrea (an-DREA-uh) I will most likely hate you. Pronounce your name like everyone else. The day before this post was written, Prince William’s son’s name was announced as Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. (That’s pronounced “Louie” with no “s”. It’s French, despite the family being the epitome of English.) If his name was Prince Jimmy Pete Skeeter of Hoboken, he would be forever working at a disadvantage. It’s just not a royal name. Despite any qualifications for leadership, he would be perceived in a very un-king-like way. It would be extremely difficult for him to lead. (For further reading on the influence of names, check out the end of the first Freakonomics book.)
Our name and motivation stem from a conversation in which we pined for a place on the internet that had compelling writing, interesting people, and a wide range of topics. I’m sure Google would have supplied us with countless sites which meet these qualifications, but it seemed like a much better idea just to do it ourselves. We gauged the interest of our friends, decided to give it a go, and started building the site. We went through many names before settling on Soapbox for Nerds. We liked the idea of working “soapbox” in there. We thought it had a cool old fashioned feel, engendering thoughts of orators or old. However, we were limited by what names were available on the internet. Soapbox.wordpress.com? Taken. Ontopofasoapbox? Taken. Fromatopasoapbox? Taken. Other ideas were rejected for different reasons: Thoughts From Atop a Soapbox (too long), Soapbox Revelations (too religious), and Mein Soapbox (too anti-Semitic…although “too” may be an unnecessary word there).
In the end, we realized we are nerds trying to do nerd-like things. We reveled in the now-pejorative nature of the word “nerd” and decided our moniker should embrace it. Thus was born Soapbox for Nerds. We have cast the dice on this new project (undoubtedly a d20, hopefully with decent buffs) and look forward to growing the site, both in content and contributors. So put in your retainers, grab your inhaler, and enjoy.
Dickie has lived in three major mountain ranges in the Northeast and hates heights. Ironically, his hatred has caused him to love something. Coincidentally, the thing he loves is irony. He probably wrote this while he should have been working at his real job. Feel free to admonish him.