What's in a name?

Paul Boag

I am proud to announce that the Boagworld podcast has won this years .net magazine award for best podcast. However, I do also have some regrets.

It is getting embarrassing now. When I setup the Boagworld website and subsequent podcast it was just a personal side project. The name was a silly in joke. I put no consideration into it.

In the dot com boom I worked for a startup called TownPages. I headed up a team of designers who unsurprisingly enjoyed taking the piss out of me. One of those designers (a guy called Rob Crook) took offence at me having two monitors, while the rest of the team had to make do with one and so coined the term boagworld. He painted me as an empire builder, drunk with power :) The name stuck and eventually I bought the domain. It became a form of self deprecation that referred to my over inflated ego.

When I finally decided to create my own site Boagworld seemed the obvious choice. The site and podcast was me sharing about myself, why wouldn’t I choose Boagworld?

Four years on and it has become an embarrassment. Winning the .net award has particularly driven home how bad a choice it was.

Boagworld has long since stopped being about me. It is about the community and those who contribute to it. The success of the show is down to a whole bunch of people:

  • Marcus Lillington – He didn’t even get a mention in the .net magazine!
  • Ryan Taylor – Who produces the show every week
  • Paul Stanton – Who finds all of our news stories
  • Anna Debenham – Who publishes the show and edits the interviews
  • The interviewees – Who come on the show every other week and share their knowledge and experience
  • The forum leaders – Who make the community such a vibrant and friendly place.
  • Those who leave posts in the comments – Many say blog comments are negative and aggressive. That has never been my experience on boagworld. You guys add genuine value in what you post.
  • Those who contribute to the show – Your questions, jokes, and reviews have added an extra dimension that was lacking for a long time.
  • Our transcribers – Who painstakingly write out a transcript of every interview we broadcast. It blows my mind that people do this for free!

Trust me, this is not false humility on my part. I am more than happy to shout about my personal achievements. However, I have noticed the more I hand control to the community, the more successful the show has become. Perhaps there is a lesson there for other website owners.

So am I going to change the name? Of course not. I think it is too late for that. Anyway I suspect many of you would object. However, it does make you realise just how important it is to get your branding right from the beginning.