To D or not to D

Posted by Peter on November 18, 2007

It may not surprise those of you whom we consulted again and again on our name a few weeks back, but, damn, we’re hung up on a single word again. We’re obsessive about (or slow with) the words we choose.

One of the most obsessive/slowest debates we’ve had since the start is whether or not to use the word “dating”, commonly called “the D word” around Sparkker office. (“Office” is also up for debate.) We fear directly using this D word, the word that shall not be named; it’s like our Voldemort or our Yahweh.

It’d suck if the bogey man swooped in and killed us, but it’d really suck if, by using the D word, we started getting associated with or e-harmony. Dating is kinda lame; few people we know really want to do it. Internet dating–i.e. using the internet to set up blind dates for you–is really lame.

Now, before you think we’re judgemental, note that we have lots of friends who met their SOs (or just got play) via conventional dating sites, and are nothing but happy for them. We’re judging the activity, not the people who do it. And before Sparkker, there wasn’t any better way for them to meet new people.

Anyhow, getting back to our bogey word…. So, we think the D word is lame; we think you think the D word is lame; and we don’t really want to be associated with the current category of D services. further, what we’re doing doesn’t really feel like D_____. So, debate over, don’t use the D word.

Except that in trying to describe what Sparkker is, if we simply say “Group D____”, 7 out of 10 people immediately get it. The light bulb goes on. There’s no other 2-word description that gets the point across pretty well. Every other way we try to describe Sparkker ends up a little clunky, the light bulb flickering a bit at best.

So, there’s our conundrum. We should do some proper research on this some day, but for now, we’ll just keep bugging the people we know for their perceptions of the D word. If you leave a comment, we guarantee it will get read, probably about 14 times.

Principal (A word you won’t see us use again)

PS – Wait a second, what about the other 3 out of 10– what do they think Group D_____ means? 2 out of 10 say “orgy”, thinking they’re being funny. (Many of our friends made this joke. We’re judging the joke, not the people who made the joke.) 1 out of 10 says–we think seriously–“oh, it’s for swingers.”


2 Responses to “To D or not to D”

  1. Brandini said

    Point understood. My take on using the D– word and this conundrum the Sparkker team is facing:

    As an old facebook vet myself, I’ve gone through the circles of reconnecting with past friends and becoming incredibly sketchy with absolute strangers. I use Facebook–and its inherent versatility–for all types of personal connections. Kosher or otherwise, I tend to really stretch the limits, as I’m sure we all do from time to time. Whether my approaches were completely straightforward or deceptively surreptitious, they all serve a purpose for me. One particular event comes to mind here.

    A while back, I was returning home and got a message from an old friend. A fellow dude, of course (much to my dismay). However, he wanted to go out to the bars and meet up after what had been a long time without seeing each other. In an effort to not sound ‘gay’ or appear desperate, there had to be some thought as to the words he’d post on my wall. “Meeting up” sounded completely wrong for two guys, as did “going out,” “hittin’ it up,” or “grabbing dinner and drinks.”

    Solution: He simply asked, ‘Hey Brandini, do you want to link up tonight?” Link up? What the fuck? I mused for a while, and actually realized this was very solid way to frame it. It said exactly what he wanted to do. It was direct, yet sincere; not too desperate and very much to the point. It was something I thought was quite acceptable for one to say to another. It stuck with me, and I’ve used the term ever since – male to male, of course.

    Anyways, just wanted to add my chunk of change to the pile. Perhaps your users will define and redefine what Sparkker is for them; ultimately, you don’t want to limit or define what your service provides. In the meantime, I’ll consider it ‘group linking’ until I’m told otherwise.

    All the best,


  2. An Advisor said

    If people get it when you say “Group D’ing”, don’t fight it. You’ve got something you can explain in a way people understand in TWO WORDS! That’s not something to run away from.

    It’d be like calling Meetups something else…like meetings or something stupid like that.

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