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What’s in a name?

March 25th, 2004 · 1 Comment

I read it first in Phil Ringnalda’s blog and then in others:
You’re a Handsome Blog, What’s Your Owner’s Name? :

Sam Ruby reports being confused by meeting Dave Shea and Matt Mullenweg, when he wouldn’t have had a problem with meeting The CSS Zen Garden guy and photomatt.


Even though I know I’m not getting to know a whole person, just the parts that you choose to publish about you, I still think of you as people, not as publications, and it’s your personal voice that attracts me to your blog. And the way I know people is by their names (even if their name is StavrosTheWonderChicken – I don’t care what’s on your birth certificate, just that it be a name-for-you, not a name-for-a-thing-of-yours). So, would you mind reminding me of your name in your feed?

The point he is emphasizing is that of blog name versus author identity. Would someone who meets Julie Leung identify me with Seedlings and Sprouts?

From time to time, I consider why and how I’ve named this blog. In fact, all winter I was wondering why I had named this Seedlings & Sprouts.

Here are the reasons I had in mind last July when this blog was born:

1) I named this blog in the summertime, when I’m excited about the garden, my hands digging in the dirt. So plants were on my mind. Before I chose this title, I rejected a couple others that were also about botany.

2) But beyond my hobby, I wanted a name that would convey how I was feeling and what I was experiencing, the season of life where I find myself. I wanted a title that would express my life as a mom, but also the growth I was encountering as a person, spiritually and emotionally.

3) I liked the idea that Seedlings & Sprouts conveyed an image of growth. Young children grow. Gardens grow. And I also saw this blog as a place where my writing could grow. Where I could start small essays that could serve as seeds for future pieces.

4) I wanted a blog title that would communicate a little about the culture and area where I live. Seedlings & Sprouts to me captures a bit of Bainbridge Island: the love of gardening and organics, the farms and fields, the rural and wild. When I think of seedlings, I think of young trees. Sprouts brings to mind alfalfa on sandwiches, beans in stir-fry, and little green leaves in the garden.

5) Finally, I enjoyed the little joke that this blog title is: Ted’s nickname is Sprout.

So that’s how this blog got its name. At times I wonder if I should have made another choice.

But I don’t know what else I would have named it. “I Married a Geek”? “Growing up little geeks” “Julie Leung’s Laboratory” Ah, my art with words seems to fail me when trying to title this blog.

As far as naming this blog after myself explicitly: I didn’t want to do that. My name is common. Growing up, I usually had at least 1 or 2 other Julies in my classes. And Leung is a name I share will thousands, if not millions – someday billions? – of people. While living in Silicon Valley – and here – I have had to identify myself well when calling my ob/gyn or insurance agent: my doctor in California had 3 Julie Leungs as patients! Googling my name, I find myself as well as many other Julie Leungs living around the world.

But perhaps Phil Ringnalda is right and I should put my name in my feed. I am noticing, as my blogroll is getting bigger, that I don’t know the names of many I am reading. I’ve begun to add the BloggerCon II registrants to my aggregator. And I’m realizing, as I am scrolling through the RSS feeds, that I don’t know who these writers are. I may meet them in person soon and not be able to associate them with their words. I know their blog title but I don’t know their name. I’m sure if I read long enough I will learn more information. But at the moment, new to these blogs, I wouldn’t be able to tell the authors apart in person, even with their names.

Then again, how important is a name? I’ve noticed that more often than not, when writing on this site is quoted, my name is used rather than Seedlings & Sprouts. And for the blogs I know well, I do think of both the blog title and the writer. For a few, the blog name is the author’s name. But for others, I think the blog name adds some humor, spice, intrigue or description. Julie Leung as a title seemed blah: why be boring?

Lis Riba recommended getting business cards printed for BloggerCon II , and through moxie’s link I found some with an interesting pattern appropriate for Seedlings & Sprouts (I like this one with the leaves) And Ted and I are discussing whether I should get my own domain name (then I wouldn’t have to share statistics with Ted…can’t decide if that would be good or bad ;))

But I’d like to know what anyone else thinks of this blog name. Should Seedlings & Sprouts stay? Go? Be pruned? Uprooted? If I should change it, any suggestions? Please let me know. Thanks.

Tags: blog

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Anita Rowland // Mar 26, 2004 at 6:59 am

    I think now that you’ve been using this name, might as well stick with it. I confess (and you already know) that I link you by your own name. I didn’t know that Ted’s nickname is Sprout, though I know that he uses that as a nick. I found that confusing in #joiito and thought that it was you in the chat room.