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Weedle Rebrands to SkillPages

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DateFriday, January 21, 2011

Weedle Rebrands to SkillPages 

Irish Social Network Ditches Weedle Brand Less Than One Year After Launch



SkillPages_Iain_MacDonald.jpgWeedle, the Irish based social networking platform which is designed to create new opportunities for people by enabling anyone, anywhere to be found by people who need their skills, has undergone a complete rebrand less than one year after launching. From today, the website is known as SkillPages.



There is a train of thought amongst online CEO's that having a quirky name is a reality of the online world. In his recent newletter, outspoken Jason Calacanis, CEO of Mahalo, said naming a start-up is critically important to its success. Citing names such as Google, Yahoo, EBAY, Meetup and Yammer as examples of unique domains with six letters or less and generally easy to spell, Calacanis explains that landing a short dotcom domain name isn't easy, but (like Weedle) certainly not impossible. Calacanis goes on to say that he bought for $11,000, for $30,000, for $70,000, for $15,000 and for $7,000, and whilst these figures may seem a lot, it's small change to a VC who is investing $500 - $1m.



But unless you have a first-to-market service like Amazon, eBay, Twitter, Flickr and Google, and therefore less competition, or a substantial marketing budget to keep reminding people you are open for business, it can be argued that having a name which does not point to what you do is a risky strategy and in a world which seems saturated with competing services, will not lend itself well to the task of building a loyal and regular user base.



If you have both (first-to-market and descriptive), so much the better. Take Facebook, LinkedIn or SlideShare. You can instinctively guess what they are about.



But according to SkillPages CEO Iain MacDonald (pictured), talking to this morning, poor user adoption was not the reason for their rebrand saying numbers exceed forecasts, although, rather strangely for an online network, he declined to divulge the site's users for "competitive reasons."



MacDonald said that he and COO Michael Gallagher chose the Weedle name because of its availability as a two-syllable dotcom and because they just wanted to get on with it. He defends the misnaming of the site as having little or no affect on their business. On the contrary, Caelen King, experience gained the hard way with a rebrand from RevaHealth to WhatClinic last year, strongly advises start-up internet entrepreneurs to think very carefully about the names they choose as rebrands are extremely expensive, disruptive and potentially damaging (more).



Even Calacanis says: "Once you have a contender, make sure you have a name that's built to last!"



Whether one choses to accept MacDonald's reasons for the rebrand, the name SkillPages is a much better option for the company. It's descriptive and memorable and ought stand the Enterprise Ireland backed company in good stead for the future.



SkillPages have also announced several new features today. Amongst them is the ability to create a SkillPage with its own unique web address e.g. Users can update their SkillPage in seconds, enabling a rich demonstration of your skill in action using text, photos, video, documents etc. Users are now able to include links in their updates to their contacts' SkillPages, showing who they work with.




Visit SkillPages Here.



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