Patricia Handshiegel

Digital Dish covers the ins and outs of an Internet executive moving into the television arena. Disher Patricia Handschiegel is the founder of Stylediary.net, which she sold to Stylehive.com in November 2007. She has a background in Internet infrastructure and technology business, was an advisor to Kaboodle.com (sold to Hearst in 2007), and has contributed as an entertainment/media business writer for Venturebeat.com. She’s also been an early visionary of professional Internet TV content since 2005 and is currently an advisor on several entertainment/Internet projects. Always an entrepreneur, she had a highly profitable babysitting monopoly at 11, lent her writing skill to students at 17 and landed her first published national article at 23.

She has also worked as a ghost writer for a national TV correspondent. At 22, she was recognized nationally for promoting the growth of women’s hockey and advised companies on creating hockey products for women. She’s been quoted and profiled in dozens of media outlets since and is currently developing two book concepts. A serial entrepreneur, she plans to continue to build Internet, entertainment and media companies, with the goal of promoting social change and charities. She is currently involved in the use of technology to help find missing and abused children, and has contributed financially to TheJoyfulChild.org and other organizations. She is the founder of Look|Shop|List.com (in development).


Digital Dish

How Names Can Hurt You in Web Business

August 13, 2008 7:00 AM

Strike TV

In the offline world, we are exposed to and engage with brands just about everywhere we turn. In the online world, it’s a bit different. You never casually pass by MySpace as you might pass a McDonald’s on your way to work. You don’t regularly see Starbucks to the point where you think about it and stop in.

Instead of being seen and heard, brand names are typed into an address bar or search engine. If it’s passed onto another person, it’s spoken, e-mailed, posted or sent via instant message.

This means anything that’s difficult to say or spell, or has unusual wording, can make it difficult to find your company online. It can make or break your online efforts more than you think.

I ran into this situation recently. I wanted to reference a new Web show that had a long and tough-to-recall name. I could only remember one word from the title, so I tried a combination of it with a few others to see if I could pull it up.

It worked. If it hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have searched again. I believe that’s the way most users are online: If something is too difficult to find, they’ll move on.

With how challenging it is to drive traffic to a Web site, and how vast the Web is, a name—and whether it’s easy to remember, say and spell—can mean everything.
A name that helps a user quickly understand what a site has to offer also can be helpful.

The name "Crackle' wouldn’t conjure up the idea of Internet television, but Mania TV and Strike TV tell the audience exactly what to expect when they hit the page. This can help make user adoption easier. Why make it harder than it needs to be?

I believe the same rule applies in other areas as well. For example, episodic Web video content is referred to by some as “Web shorts” and by others as “webisodes.” Video over Internet is called Internet TV, broadband TV, broadband video, Internet video and other variations, all of which mean essentially the same thing.

I think the industry needs to be specific to help the audience better grasp these concepts. The sooner people do, the easier it can be. One thing is certain: In the online game, a name can be very important.


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Comments (1)

Nice post Patricia. Absolutely agree that a good web show name, especially a unique name is essential in the search-driven web these days.

Take a look at a show like "Border Patrol" or "Foreign Body." Both of these shows perform terribly in search. They are just too general. You have to throw in "web series" to the search just to get close.

Then look at a show like "The All-For-Nots" - no false positives there. You get a highly-relevant results list.

To comment on your last part, at Tubefilter News we refer to the space as Web Television. And the short-form shows are web series. We don't like to use the term webisode (or mobisode) as it alludes to inferior or throw-away content. Instead, they are episodes, it doesn't matter that they are 5, 7 or 10 min long. They are just as relevant to the story as a 22-minute network TV episode.

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