Choosing a Name for Your Blog

The perfect time to name your blog is after you’ve blogged for a while and really developed a personality around your site. Only after a few months of regular blogging will most agents be ready to give their website a name.

However, the time necessarily to develop a personality (before a name!) doesn’t coincide with the reality of Project Blogger or Google. While it is kind of like putting the cart before the horse, the reality is that the first thing we had to do was develop a name (that included an available URL!).

So, how did we end up at

Here are some of the ideas I planted with Madison to pounder:

  • First brainstorm on ideas, and then (after you’ve assembled a bunch of ideas!) check to see if the URL is available.
  • Make sure it has a community focus (i.e. we’re building a community destination website!)
  • Take yourself out of the URL… Make sure that you’re creating a site that others will want to take part (Don’t name it after yourself or your business!)
  • Think of the niche you want to create with your blog… who are you trying to reach?
  • Are there any local names you can capitalize on? (things like local high-school mascots, community nicknames, community centers, etc.)
  • Keep the URL short and sweat

A good name for a community blog will make a “local” think, this website “get’s it” and at the same time, won’t alienate people who are not local.

After many emails back and forth, we decided to capitalize on the name for Malibu (“the bu”) that is used by the locals (as in, “we’re heading back to the bu”).

However, was already taken (and doesn’t convey any “actionable words” that really tell you what the website is about), so we started thinking of other ways to connect the website name to the community. In Madison’s case, our plan is to have the blog focus on the unique aspects of Malibu. I happen to think that the beautiful beaches and the celebrity element of Malibu are going to be huge drivers of traffic and links into the future.

We tried a whole bunch of different words like “connect” and “community”, and combinations like “BuLife” and “LiveBu” but I happen to think that “inside” conveyed both the exclusive nature of the community along with the opportunity for insight that only a real estate agent can convey. Hence: We decided to go with

Maybe the blog will change focus into the future and the name will “feel” wrong, but thanks to the fact that we’re already seeing some LinkLove (in particular from celebrity bloggers), we’re going to have to live with the name and URL into the future!

Next up: Setting up a WordPress blog from scratch… (I’ve been taking thorough notes! 🙂 )

Changing the World One Banana at a Time

It appears that Rain City Guide has gone to bananas

The following photo baffled me when I first saw it.

How to explain someone linking to Rain City Guide with this photo?


With my curiosity peeked, I noticed that Ed Kohler posted the photo from his Flickr account… Hmm… Who’s Ed Kohler?

Ed is the man behind the the WhereToLive site (which is a decent map-based home search) and the Colorado Home Stop site (which is one of the best map-based home search interfaces I’ve been fortunate to play with!).

Ed emailed me last week to let me know about his Denver-area home search tool and despite my interest, I never got around to talking about it. But on the theory it is never too late, here are some of the features I really like:

  • Lightning fast
  • Photo scroll bar (Mac-style) at the bottom of screen that is connected to the map and highlights listings on map on mouse-over
  • Micro icons get bigger with zoom
  • Like Windermere’s maps, they bring every thing on one page, and aesthetically, it is much cleaner than the Windermere maps
  • Clean Trulia-style filters
  • Pull-down neighborhood search
  • Right-click functionality for zooming
  • Ability to compare homes without leaving the map

The moral of the story is that if you really want to get my attention, simply post a photo of a banana with Rain City Guide written on it and then let me discover it! I’m assuming that Ed is one of the monkey’s behind the banana site, and if so, it looks like he may be willing to help others out with a personalized banana!