Wizzard in Bad Spelling/Grammar/Weird Name Round Up – libsyn emerges unscathed

In this age of the internet, Grammar is a hot button topic.  Advocates for upholding proper practice come in many forms including podcasts like Grammar Girl, and grassroots initiatives by Jeff Deck author of The Great Typo Hunt recently covered by NPR.  Dreck himself seems to be fine with the use of creative license in branding, and focus’s his efforts on typos and unintentional errors.

In a fun post last week by Erich Schwartzel the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlighted libsyn’s parent company, Wizzard, for using intentional misspelling as a method for brand distinction.

“In Pittsburgh alone, the evidence is there in Wizzard Software’s extra “Z,” reCAPTCHA’s runaway Caps Lock, Fooala’s love of vowels.”

The article mentions Wizzard along with other Pittsburgh local and national heavy hitter internet spelling/grammar offenders like eBay and Yahoo!.  The challenge of course is for these companies to elevate brand awareness above and beyond the bumps that come with stepping outside of the norm.

Can’t help but think, Libsyn dodged a bullet there.

“LibSyn” sometimes, “libsyn” other times, the shorty name and url for “liberated syndication” has brought us interesting luck over the years.  The name penned by Dave Chekan was meant to convey the grandiose power behind the new media revolution while also catching the wind of web 2.0 catchy company names.  From this point in the company’s history we feel like it was a fitting choice.

But while sometimes bullheaded, we aren’t totally obtuse; we know its tough to spell.  Even in our internal company emails and you’ll see many wild variations of the name.  That is also why we also registered libsin.com…. whoops, who let that one lapse?  Oh Well.

One of my favorite stories touched on in the article involves when in direct reaction to the overuse of “e” in things like “eMail, eMarketing, eCommerce, etc. brands names appeared sans “e”.  Flickr, Tumblr. and even Twittr, which obviously added the “e” back later, are perfect examples of this.  I know this is probably old news for most of you, but I think its this kind of playfulness that illustrates a deeper collective thoughtfulness rather than somethin akin to the “devolution” of modern language.

Early on when we were looking to raise some money to grow the business the general consensus was that we had to move out of Pittsburgh, and we had to change the name.  Having a lucky lunch at Sammy’s Corned Beef with an industry mogul that was stumped as to why we’d chosen the name:  “liberated syndication”, I said, “It’s a grand ol’ pitch of both new and old coming together”, thusly the libsyn/liberated syndication dichotomy.

We are not the only ones in the podcasting space with creative names, i’m thinking of podrac and blubrry of course.  Plus, I think its a pretty well established trend in experimenting with language and image that is definitely not exclusive to the internet world: Just ask Prince.

As always we love the shout outs from our friends at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the article by Erich got us thinking and reminiscing.  We are happy to still be in Pittsburgh and living under the same banner since 2004.  libsyn is a name that many of you have chosen to be associated with and for that we are eternally grateful.

-Dave M

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