The Name Game, Blitz Edition

By Gavin Huang | 10/26/10 11:19am


Douglas Gonzalez / The Dartmouth Senior Staff

Some Dart­mouth tra­di­tions just don't last, and the renowned Blitz­Mail is cer­tainly one of them.

In an­tic­i­pa­tion of the im­pend­ing dis­a­pear­ance of Blitz­Mail, Dart­mouth com­mu­nity mem­bers put forth sug­ges­tions for a new name for the new soft­ware suite that will re­place Blitz­Mail.

A small work­group of Col­lege ad­min­is­tra­tors in­volved in the Mi­crosoft pro­ject will re­view the sug­ges­tions and pre­sent a ranked list to se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tors, ac­cord­ing to pro­ject man­ager Susan Za­slaw. The ad­min­is­tra­tion, in­clud­ing the deans and vice pres­i­dents, will then se­lect the top five to 10 names to be pre­sented to the Dart­mouth com­mu­nity for a vote. Dur­ing the com­ment pe­riod, 57 peo­ple of­fered 69 unique sug­ges­tions.

"We have to rec­og­nize that -- and al­ready we've seen this -- some of the names that have been sub­mit­ted are al­ready trade­marked out in the world, so they're going to have to go on the bot­tom of the list be­cause we won't be able to use them," Za­slaw said. "The idea is we want to pick some­thing that's short, easy to re­mem­ber and that con­veys the breadth of the prod­uct suite."

The suite will in­clude Mi­crosoft Share­Point for file shar­ing, Out­look for e-mail and Lync for video con­fer­enc­ing. While the in­di­vid­ual pieces of soft­ware will re­tain their trade­marked names, the cus­tom name will ap­pear on the suite's por­tal page and will refer to the suite as a whole, Za­slaw said.

Za­slaw com­pares the brand­ing of the soft­ware to the brand­ing of the Barnes and Noble book­store on Main Street with the name "The Dart­mouth Book­store."

"We are im­ple­ment­ing a suite of prod­ucts called Mi­crosoft On­line Ser­vices, so it has that name -- but we want to call it some­thing more Dart­mouth-re­lated," Za­slaw said. "And we want to

have some­thing short and sweet ... to call the sys­tem, like we had for Blitz­Mail, that will en­dure into the fu­ture."

The team has re­ceived many sug­ges­tions that have in­cor­po­rated "blitz" in the new name. Za­slaw said that the team rec­og­nizes the soft­ware's in­flu­ence in the Col­lege and is "com­pletely open" to these sug­ges­tions.

"There have been in­ter­est­ing sug­ges­tions, there have been fun ones," Za­slaw said. "It will be an in­ter­est­ing process to go through them."

The team is ex­pected to have a final name by the end of Fall term. The suite it­self will of­fi­cially be rolled out in the spring.

Gavin Huang