Interesting feedback in the last thread appreciated.
So more discussion on the thought process.
First thing to understand is that SC.com in its current format is unsustainable. Structurally it is falling apart and needs significant work to be repaired. I could look to find volunteers to repair it(we've been on the hunt many times) or I suppose I could put together a kickstarter campaign to raise some capital (I don't have the time so again I need volunteers to actually do the work). Those two things could resolve the technical aspects but the would be a one time fix, getting a quick infusion of repair but then leaving it as my site, broadcasting my opinions and being the well documented central gathering point for the movement.
We have tried bringing in other people to work with SC.com in the past and it has not been successful. Part of what all the readers love about this site is the intimacy of the conversation and the fact that it is somewhat off the beaten path. While this is really a great thing it also results in a product that is difficult to get others involved in on a long term and consistent basis.
My goal is to guide the site in a direction where it retains that intimacy, but at the same time has more commercial appeal to the point where it can attract a core of additional writers, generate some small operational revenue from advertisements (nothing substantial, doubtful it would be enough to pay for design or maintenance but it could offset the cost) and have enough of a polished appearance that it can be taken more seriously by guys like KJR and ESPN710.
All of this could be done under the SonicsCentral brand and I can still consider doing it. I really think that a fresh brand is necessary to establish a new core of people who have some ownership as a result of "being there since the begining". Letting them be a part of the setup and equals in the equation with me, not being secondary role players which would be pretty hard to do since my seniority on this site is so established. For that reason, looking for a fresh start I began looking at new names with people.
So what goes into a name? There are a lot of factors.
Availability is always key, not just of the website but also of similar sites (.net, etc), twitter, facebook, etc.
IMO a name has to be able to roll off the tongue easily to be included in conversation. If you can't talk about it you cannot identify with it as casually. Sonicscentral.com does a good job of that.
The area where I think this name struggles is visual identity. There is no inherent symbolism that comes to mind around the word "central" that I can use in any productive way. It is tough to make shirts or hats, it is tough to spread messages in a way that have dramatic feeling of theme.
I've been at this a long time and I have really seen this in action. Save Our Sonics had a great name but suffered in viral spread because we did not have effective visuals outside our logo. SonicsGate came along and established itself as not only a name, but a brand and a movement. That was magnified when the guys at Casual Industries incorporated the theme of "Robbed" which evoked so much emotion and took the brand that much further.
The ArenaSolution brand was specifically thought out and designed to be something different. Much more corporate, less street appeal but safe for the people who attached their name to it. It has served extremely well in that regards.
"Rising" is a great word that can be applied in multiple visual and emotional ways. The concept of the Sun Rising. "Rising from the grave" gives us some ownership and ability to play with the Zombie Sonics identity. A phoenix "rising from the ashes". Teams "rise" from the cellar to playoffs. They "rise above adversity". All of these things can be incorprated in fun ways that increase the overall spread and visibility of the site, contributing to its growth and allowing it to exist long term. Having those fun visual options will allow me for example to work with Casual Industries towards some kind of "robbed" type shirt concept that they can run with and I don't have to directly oversee. The momentum they could potentially generate with that campaign keeps the site relevant without relying on my involvement. I'm open to ideas of how "central" can be used in similar fashion)
Regarding the short term nature of it I think that is really putting the cart before the horse. Really how long would it be before "rising" is not appropriate. A team is "on the rise" (wow, another use of the word) when they come up from last place to have a dominant rookie. They are on the rise when they take that rookie and make the playoffs for the first time. They are on the rise when they make it deep into the playoffs and they are on the rise when they try to transition from winning the title to dynasty status. At that point we can change the name to SonicsTranscendant and all retire.
I get the emotional attachment. Sonicscentral has been a part of my life for a long time. I think this is the best way to guide the site towards sustainability while still preserving its essential character and for me and some others involved to get a fresh and sustainable start.
Feel free to throw out suggestions.