Much as our staff likes the name of our publication, Open Media Boston, we're toying with the idea of changing it. Naturally, you all will be wondering why we're even considering such a move. Well, we're just starting the process of building a new website (finally!), and if we're ever going to change our name, now would be the best possible time to do it. When I first came up with the name in July 2007, I had a few reasons for choosing it over other ideas. First, I wanted something that fit with the spirit of the then-emerging online community news media. Open. Descriptive. Blunt. Kind of geeky. Second, I had - and still have - aspirations to spread the OMB concept to other cities. So I wanted a fairly generic name that would make it easy to do that. Third, although we had a left-wing editorial line from day one, I didn't want to saddle us with some dated, clueless, and cliched name like Workers Hammer (and yes, there really is such a publication) or whatever.
Fourth, even though the fortunes of Boston's Independent Media Center branch Indymedia Boston were already on the wane in that period, I wanted to indicate that we were a new left-wing metro news outlet being launched in the same spirit. But with a different editorial policy and mission. I also wanted to make it clear that we were open to publishing work from the general public, but only submissions that met our editorial standards.
So, I went with Open Media Boston. After floating it around to a bunch of my friends. Who responded positively to it.
Now, here we are. It's 2013. We're approaching our fifth anniversary in March. In July it will be six years since I thought up the name and began work on this project. And the staff has been mulling it over and we're trying to decide whether we want to stick with it or go with something new.
I mean, sure, we've developed some good "brand recognition" with our current name.
But we wonder if another name might help us grow faster. Of course, other moves we're making - like consistently paying staff reporters and building the aforementioned shiny new website - will doubtless help us even more.
Still, I thought I'd put the word out that we'd like to hear ideas for a new name for Open Media Boston from our viewers. We've been thinking about it for a couple of weeks and we still haven't come up with anything that sounds better than OMB.
We're not going to run a contest or anything, since we're not sure we'll end up changing our name. But we'd love it if our loyal viewers threw some ideas into the ring.
So, let's see what you all can come up with. If you have an idea, just send us an email to info [at] openmediaboston [dot] org and put NEW OMB NAME IDEA in the subject line. If we end up deciding to change our name, and use yours, we'll give you full credit. Enshrining your name in the "Honor Roll of the Chariots of Fire" (name that reference!) that we've been threatening to start since our inception.
You can also just comment on the thread for this article on our Open Media Boston Facebook page ... which we'd have to change along with the rest of our social media presence, if we go with a new name. D'oh! But that's ok. We'll cross that proverbial bridge, if and when we come to it.
And if you really like our current name, let us know that too. We're just floating a trial balloon here. We can't afford fancy corporate marketing research; so this is how we go about getting feedback from time to time.
Thanks in advance for any help you all can offer us.
Jason Pramas is Editor/Publisher of Open Media Boston