Monday, May 10, 2010

Should I change the name of this blog?

Back when I started this blog about 3 years ago I was coming from an instructor led training background and transitioning into the world of eLearning. I was working on a variety of instructional design projects involving instructor led (face to face) training and beginning to implement eLearning within my organization. I was hot on "Blended" training solutions involving both ILT and eLearning so I thought "Blender - Training Solutions" was a decent name since I was blogging about instructional design projects involving "blended" training solutions but I've never been very happy with the name.

Fast forward to today and you could say eLearning has reached the tipping point within the organization and is now dominating my "To Do" list. I still work on and blog about instructor led projects from time to time but the majority of my work and blog posts are focused on eLearning. The change of focus and dislike of the current name has pushed me to consider changing the name of this blog. Before making any changes I wanted to tap into the wealth of knowledge out there in the blogosphere to make sure I have a complete understanding of the pros and cons involved in changing the name of a blog. Below I have a list of some name possibilities, the pros and cons, and a few questions I have about making this change. I would love your input on whether I should go forward with this and if you have any ideas for what I should call this blog if I do decide to make the change. I'm looking for feedback from a variety of perspectives so you don't have to be a blog or SEO guru to chime in and let me know what you think. Thanks in advance for commenting.

Blog Name Ideas:
  • eLearning Blender - This is the one I am leaning towards since it is a similar name but more focused on eLearning. I blog about a variety of topics related to eLearning so I feel blender is still fitting in the name.
  • eLearning in Practice
  • eLearning in Action
  • eLearning Insider
  • eLearning Dude - This is what I am called within my organization. It sure stuck at work so maybe it will stick as a blog title.
  • Something focused on eLearning in the corporate sector? - Should I narrow the focus even further to "Corporate eLearning."
  • Your Ideas?
Pros and Cons:
Here are just a few of the pros and cons that have crossed my mind. I'm sure there are many more issues to take into consideration before making this change.
Pros
Cons
A Better Name - I don't feel the current name is memorable or very fitting of the content.
Established - This blog has had this name for around 3 years now so it's somewhat established although I'm not sure if many readers remember the name.
Improved SEO - I don't know a lot about SEO but I would imagine having the word "eLearning" in the title would improve search engine rankings.
Mess up feeds - I have some concerns about messing up feeds that are addressed in the questions below.

Questions:
  • Will I mess up my RSS feed? - I'm concerned that I may have to set up a new RSS feed for the new name which would put me at risk of losing current subscribers. I haven't done any research on this yet so it may not be an issue.
  • Will I mess up my "eLearning Learning" feed? - This may be a question I need to ask Tony Karrer but I am hoping changing the name won't mess anything up on the eLearning Learning site.
  • Is there anything else I am not taking into consideration? I haven't done much research on this yet so I am sure there are many more issues I need to consider. If you can think of any of those issues please let me know by posting a comment.

5 comments:

Jupiter said...

I think you're right to choose a new name.

How about E-learning at Joe's (a riff off of "Eat at Joe's). Sort of kidding.

Another thing to consider: what if e-learning is called something else in 3 years?

Mark Berthelemy said...

Hi Joe,

I think you're right to change the name. Particularly because Blender is the name of a 3D graphics and animation application. It's not particularly meaningful to anyone until they realise you're talking about "blended learning" (whatever that means ;-) )

Why don't you just call it Joe Deegan on Learning & Training. That way it'll be a far better fit with the URL - which also makes it more search engine friendly. It's also then much more memorable.

I use Learning Conversations as a coverall name for a lot of what I do, which is why it works for me. I've also got the domain name, which keeps things consistent.

On the RSS feed things:

1) Your RSS feed is generated by blogspot from the URL. It has nothing to do with the title of the blog (unless you change the URL)
2) Ditto the elearningLearning feed. That's taken from the RSS feed.
3) Just keep blogging, so that people know to recognise the new name. To be honest most RSS readers will still keep the old name, until their users change it.

Mark

Joe Deegan said...

Thanks so much Mark and Jupiter. This is very helpful. I think you are on to something with using my name in the title. Not only is my name in the URL but it is also my Twitter profile and every other profile I have online. It would make sense to keep things consistent. I'm going to head in that direction and go with something that involves my name in the title.

Also glad to hear confirmation of not causing problems with the RSS feeds.

Thanks again for the help. The wheels are turning with your ideas.

Tony Karrer said...

Joe - if you only change the name, i.e., the title of it, then it won't cause any problem with RSS feeds or any of that. eLearning Learning will need the new name, but otherwise it will work just fine.

If you change the location, i.e., it's no longer a JoeDeegan.blogspot then it will be more work and likely you'll lose a bit.

I agree that a name change is in order, but I'd highly recommend just changing the name.

eLearning Blender seems like a nice lateral move.

Mike Morrison said...

Hi Joe
Changing name is an interesting idea, however as you said consistency is important.
when we look at things like this we must think about the long term. Sure you may well be more focussed on elearning, however in 12-24 months another project may come along which changes the scope again.
Its more about building a "brand" and showing what you can do.

All of us involved in training trainers and others will need to change and adapt our tools and methodology from time to time.
The world of L&D is a great big cycle that will go around and around.
Creat a focus on categories and applications and keep your name consistant.

keep up the good work
Mike