For tech companies, what's in a name.ly?

Pets.com may have been a failure, but at least you knew what it was. Now tech startups are taking on wacky names that leave customers wondering what it is they do.

Remember the days when a name actually reflected what the company did?

Pets.com may have been a failure, but at least you knew what it was. Similarly, there's no guesswork when it comes to FreeCreditReport.com, Overstock.com, Socks.com, and a bevy of others. Another grouping: the famous oo's -- Yahoo and Google.

More recently there was an era of removing the "e". Tumblr, Flickr, and at one point, Twttr were all spelled wrong on purpose. Then came the "ify" and "ly" bundle. Think Bit.ly, Spotify and Summly.

Every new company needs a URL, but a good one is getting harder to find. 252 million domain names are already registered across the Internet, thus the trend towards quirky names. The Wall Street Journal points out a new crop of tech startups is taking the trend to a new level. Meet Kaggle, Mibblio, Shodogg, and Zaarly.

Will Oremus at Slate magazine, joins Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson to discuss.

About the author

Will Oremus is a tech blogger for Slate.

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