When I announced my intended name change some days ago and invited suggestions my brand “Dr. Touch” had served me well as a placeholder since end of January 2009. With some drawbacks. First it is hard to get people to associate iOS development with it, secondly it sounds to some as the job title of a registered sex offender.
Starting out it made sense to make this a personality-based blog. I wanted to be your friend in development, somebody you would come to in times of need, somebody you would trust to share your story and business with. Undeniably this got a bit of recognition with the heterogeneous community, as my excursion to a conference in Seattle was able to prove. This landed me several great projects, the biggest of which you’ll see unveiled in the next few months.
BUT, I never got the kind of recognition I was really lusting for. While I’ve been busting my iMac, all the other iOS Developer Stars where writing books, being invited to speak on conferences and had their apps featured up the app store and down the iPhone blogs. Time to re-evaluate what I really want to achieve.
What is it that YOU want?
If fame is out of the question because the air up there is too thin, then what is it that I should set my sights on at this stage? What am I doing well? What do I like? What content of mine is appreciated the most?
1000 unique visitors per day tell me that at least some of my blog posts continue to attract a steady interest. The 10 hottest landing pages currently are:
And this order does not change very much. It’s only when an article, like the one on backgrounding, received a treatment by TUAW it gets catapulted into this list. What does this list tell you about my interests or rather the interests of my readers?
I see: understanding difficult concepts, fixing problems resulting from unnecessary complexity on behalf of Apple, and 30% my source code products. That almost sounds like a plan to me. So let’s pretend that I planned it like that all along.
The Genesis of Cocoanetics
A new name changes everything, it’s like a new uniform that you don the first day as member of a Starfleet crew. The funny thing is that I had it slumbering in me already without being aware of that. It burst out of me like the proverbial chest cracker when I called for suggestions: “… studying to become a Doctor of Cocoanetics …”
Right then and there I had coined a new word. A while after I had published the article I reread it (like most narcissist bloggers would do) and then Cocoanetics moved into my conscious consciousness. I immediately googled for it and was astonished to find that there where exactly zero entries. I registered the domain and re-checked after a few days and then the only entries where my original article plus some sites that are mentioning my domain registration.
I received about a dozen or so suggestions for domain names, but most of them where variations of “Dr. Touch”, some ok and some really fruity. But honestly I had fallen in love with the new word. The best ideas are the once that you think you had yourself.
So, announcing the winner of the new name competition: me. ME ME ME. Sorry, but thanks for playing.
I like about the name that it still has a bit of a scientific touch. I consider learning iPhone development a science. Also I think it’s fun to play mentally with the collision of Cocoa (like the development framework we use) and Genetics (pieces of code that are the program for something larger). To mind comes a picture where you see a DNA strand that upon closer inspection turns out to consist of Objective-C code.
So: out with the arrogant Doctor who thinks he’s something better. In with the Cult of Cocoa. And no, that’s not meant serious, I’m not going to found a religion. Unless … would you be willing to join?
We need a new Design
I asked the twitterverse for some recommendations for good designers because obviously a good name also needs a good site design. This is the first time that I’m actually hiring a professional to design something for myself. One of the first recommendations was Clockpunk Studios and they responded swiftly, professionally and courteously. UNLIKE two other designers (who shall remain unnamed) whom I had to beg for an answer, only to get a snarly response from one and a rejection from the other. So that made the decision rather easy.
Jeremiah Tolbert from Clockpunk Studios sent me a questionaire to fill in some sites from within the same area of business and so I compiled a list of other blogging developers, again with the help of some crowd sourcing. So I went through the list and noted what I like and what I don’t like in terms of design choices: colors, typography, layout, flow etc.
Here’s the list in case you want to spice up your daily dose of Cocoa:
If you know any more then let me know in the comments. I also invite comments about the name. What associations does it provoke in your mind?