Frequently Asked Questions
What does Naming Force do?
- Naming Force hosts naming contests. Clients come to us when they cannot come up with a creative name for their business, product, or website. The site utilizes crowdsourcing, using the public to accomplish a task normally solved by an agency.
How long does a contest run?
- Contests have three phases. In the first phase namers are invited to submit names. For a standard contest this lasts 7 days and 3 days for optional "rush" contests. In the second phase we use the power of the crowd to rank the name submissions. Namers are asked to participate in this voting. Our voting system is designed specifically to bubble the good names up to the top and weed out the weaker names. Namers have 3 days to complete voting to help rank the names for the client. Phase three is where the client reviews the names and chooses a winner. The client has 7 days to choose a winner.
What happens if the client doesn't choose a name in 7 days?
- In the event that a client doesn't choose a winning name in the allotted time, we split the full award between the top two names/Namers. The top two names are determined to be a) the two client-favorited names that fared the best in the voting, or b) the two overall names that fared the best in the voting if the client did not favorite any names. We refer to this as a consolation award, but it is the full amount of the contest award.
- A Namer's Naming Score score determines the Rank of Namer they are. The higher the Naming Score the better. To determine the Naming Score we calculate the ratio/percentage of "good" names to "bad" names, based on the voting, and turn that into a score. A Naming Score of 0-24 makes a Namer a Cadet. A Naming Score of 25-69 makes a Namer a Corporal. A Naming Score of 70+ makes a Namer a Sergeant. Each Rank has different features and different name submission limits. The Naming Score is calculated primarily of voting results on names in the last 30 days. Some other factors also influence your Naming Score, such as liked and client-chosen names. Your Naming Score can fluctuate daily. See the next section for an explanation of that.
Why did my Naming Score drop suddenly?
- Since the Naming Score is a rolling 30-day measure, based on the voting results, it's recalculated every day. A Naming Score could change every day. We do average the score across 3 days in order to smooth the variance from day-to-day. Other factors such as liked names, client-chosen names, and votes being cast today could also affect your score during a given day. But mostly, Naming Scores will move up or down overnight. If exactly 31 days ago you received a bunch of good votes for your names, which helped your Naming Score, you will "lose" those votes today. You must maintain a high level of names in order to maintain a high Naming Score.
What are the Namer Ranks and what can each do?
- Cadets are Namers who have a Naming score of 0-24. Cadets can submit 2-4 names per contest.
- Corporals are Namers who have a Naming Score of 25-69. Corporals can submit 4-8 names per contest. Corporals gain the ability to submit 3 duplicate name challenges per contest, the ability to communicate with the client via the client chat module, and the ability to "bomb" (skip) weak names during the voting process.
- Sergeants are Namers who have a Naming Score of 70+. Sergeants can submit 8-15 names per contest. Sergeants gain the ability to submit 5 duplicate name challenges per contest, the ability to "bomb" (skip) weak names during the voting process, and the ability to mark one name per contest as a Medal of Honor (which is highlighted to the client). Sergeants are tasked (optionally) with approving duplicate challenges.
What is the voting all about?
- We don't want to just deliver a thousand names to the client. We want to be able to tell the client which of the names have real potential. By getting votes from the crowd we can weed out the weaker names and bubble the better names to the top. These rankings are shown to the client as a suggestion, but clients can still view all names. We also use the votes to identify strong and weak Namers and adjust their name limits accordingly.
What do you mean by "surplus" in regards to voting?
- Once you meet the voting requirement to unlock additional names, any votes you make will be surplus. This simply means these votes are above the required amount. Since your vote count is a running 30-day count, having a surplus would mean you won't have to come back tomorrow and vote to maintain the required amount of votes. A surplus of votes is good to have.
What is the bomb icon during voting?
- Corporals and Sergeants can use the bomb button when both names are undesirable. Click the bomb button and both names receive a -1 vote. Use sparingly.
What does it mean when my name has a star icon next to it?
- The client has marked this name as a "liked."
I was notified that the client "liked" my name but when I sign in I don't see the star icon. Why is that?
- The only way clients can sort through names is by liking or rejecting them. Some clients will like names that they are considering then shorten the list by un-liking some of the names later. This is the only way that this scenario would happen.
What does it mean when my name has an X-out icon next to it?
- This name has been rejected by the client.
Why am I sometimes able to submit more names than my quota?
- You are given 5 free rejected names before they start to count against your quota.
What does it mean when my name has a shield next to it?
- The shield icon means that we've blocked one or more names from being submitted that were deemed to be a duplicate of your name. You can hover your mouse over the shield to see the number of duplicates we've blocked. The icon and count are shown so that you can understand the good work the duplicate detection code is doing to protect your creative ideas.
What does the purple Medal of Honor button do?
- Sergeants are allowed to promote one of their names to the top of the client's name list. To select a Medal of Honor just hover over the name row and the Medal of Honor button will appear. Click the button. These promoted names appear at the top of the client's list of names prior to the voting phase. This is a way to make sure the client sees your best name and gives them a chance to "like" it.
The client rejected all of my names, why can't I submit more?
- Our goal is to provide high quality names for our clients. If the client has already shown that they have not been impressed with your names we don't want you to keep submitting more similar names.
What do the colored bars next to my names stand for?
- The colored bars represent how well your names fared in the voting process. To protect the client's interests we do not reveal the order of the voting results. The colored bars are a way for us to show you how well your peers liked your names without revealing the exact order that the names finished the voting in. The colored bars are bright green (great), lime green (good), yellow (average), orange (poor), red and deep maroon (needs improvement).
What does the A-F grade on CONTESTS mean?
- The A-F grade on a contest is how the client has rated the overall success of the names so far. An F grade relaxes the naming quota restriction for new and under performing namers, allowing the contest to receive an influx of new names.
What does the A-F grade on the DASHBOARD mean?
- The A-F grade under My Grade on the dashboard represents how well your names are faring in the contest. You earn a good grade, A-B, if the client likes your names or your names do well in voting. If the client hasn't liked your names and your names have not done well in the voting, you'll earn a C-F. This grade has no affect or correlation to your Naming Score. This grade also has no affect on whether or not you will win a contest.
How will I be notified if my name is chosen?
- If your name is chosen you will be emailed.
Where can I see who won a contests?
- All contest winners are posted to the winners page. These winners are also posted to Twitter and Facebook.
How will I be paid?
- We send payments via PayPal to the PayPal email address specified in your Namer profile. This address can be changed in the Profile section of the site (Top-right of site > Profile > Edit Profile). Once you have a W9 on file payments are made instantly when you win a contest.
Do I have to submit a W9 in order to get paid?
- Yes. We do require a W9 before any payments are made. This is the best way for us to stay compliant with Uncle Sam. A link to the W9 form will be sent when your name is chosen. W9's can be sent to us through fax or email (preferred). This information is emailed to the Namer when their name is chosen.
- No. Since all of our payments are made through PayPal, and PayPal is required to report (qualifying) payments made to individuals, we do not send 1099's.
- Unfortunately, no. It's an income tax issue. Our accounting department has suggested we avoid this to maintain the site operation simplicity.
Why can't I edit some names?
- Once a client has liked or rejected a name we lock the content of the name by disallowing edits.
What are examples the different name styles?
- Real (Apple, Amazon, Target), Misspelled (Segway, Flickr, Digg), Compound (Firefox, Facebook, SnapChat), Phrases (Stumbleupon, MySpace, Park'n'Ride), Blends (Skype, Instagram, Zillow), Made Up (Kodak, Plaxo, Zumba), and Acronyms (AOL, IBM, BMW)
- The duplicate blocking code follows the exact rules listed below in the FAQ answer below. The code does not mistakenly block names; it simply follows the rules we've defined for it to follow. Corporals and Sergeants may challenge duplicate detections, which sends the match to a peer for review. This is how we have decided to handle the reality that any computer making decisions about similarity will sometimes have false positives. The biggest rule namers overlook when comparing two names that they think aren't similar is removing all of the client's keywords (words used in contest description, industry keywords, and "maybe use" keywords) before comparing the two names. Since client keywords can be reused by everyone, these words are removed before names are compared. Often, when names consist of multiple client keywords, two names that don't appear similar become very similar after you remove these words. We do not respond to emails about duplicate name blocking scenarios on a case-by-case scenario. Every block can be dissected if the time is taken to follow the steps below. We have built a peer review system for solving any issues with the duplicate blocking being overly sensitive. If you are a Corporal or Sergeant you can submit a duplicate challenge which will be reviewed by a peer (Sergeant). This is the only and final solution to any concerns about the duplicate code being too sensitive.
- You cannot submit a name that is an extension of another Namer's name. Ex.: If Bravado exists, you cannot submit Bravadomania, The Bravado, etc.
- You cannot submit a name that is a shortening of another Namer's name. Ex.: If Bravado exists, you cannot submit Bravad or Ravado, etc.
- In multi-word names, the first word, if 7 or more characters, is considered the unique word in the name. Ex.: If Bravado Computer System exists, you cannot submit extensions such as Bravado Experts, or New Bravado, etc.
- Any word of 6 letters or fewer is not considered a unique-enough word, and is ignored when considering duplicates. Ex.: If Brava Enterprises exists you will be allowed to submit Bravado Industries.
- In multi-word names, when the first word is 6 or fewer characters, the second word is added to the first word to create a new first word. For example, if The Bravado Corporation is submitted then "The Bravado" becomes the first unique word. This will now prevent names such as The Bravado Incorporated from being submitted.
- In names that include Z's, a search for the same name with an S in place of the Z's will be made. Ex.: If Bravados exists, you cannot submit Bravadoz.
- Spaces, dashes, underscores, etc. are removed when comparing names. Ex.: If Bravado exists you cannot submit Bra Vado.
- A full list of client keywords is created from the contest description (words 5 letters or longer), the client's industry keywords, and the "consider using" keywords. These keywords are removed from both names before they are compared to each other. There is also a master list of common words that are ignored/removed such as "industries", "services", etc. Ex.: If "computer" is a keyword and Computer Consultants Inc exists you can submit Computer Experts Inc.
- You cannot submit a name that contains any of the client's "do not include" words.
Am I allowed to enter a description to my name?
- Although we discourage it, you may enter a description after your name using this exact format: "Name Here - description goes here". That is your name, a space, a dash, a space, then your description. The code will allow this type of description but block other attempts to add special characters.
What does Naming Force do?
- Naming Force offers business naming services through crowdsourced naming contests. When you cannot come up with a creative name for your business, product, or website, we can. We have thousands of creative people waiting to submit names on your contest. This concept is called crowdsourcing, using the public to complete a task normally solved by an agency.
What does it cost?
- The default contest fee is $100. Clients must also pay the amount of their contest award ($250 or $500) up-front. There are a few optional upgrades, but a contest can be started for as low as $350.
How long does a contest run?
- Contests have three phases. In the first phase namers are invited to submit names. For a standard contest this lasts 7 days and 3 days for a "rush" contest. In the second phase we use the power of the crowd to rank the name submissions. We have a voting system designed specifically to bubble the good names up to the top and weed out the weaker names. We give the namers 3 days to complete voting to help rank the names for the client. Phase three is where the client reviews the names and chooses a winner. The client has 7 days to choose a winner.
- We do not offer refunds for any reason. All of our contests result in a winner. If the client does not choose a winner in the given time frame we use our voting algorithm to choose a winner. Guaranteeing contest awards is how we get the best Namers on Naming Force.
When we choose a name, who owns rights to the name?
Does Naming Force check the availability of a name? Can I use the submitted names without worrying about trademark/legal issues?
- Unfortunately there is no national database of business names for us to search. We do however search U.S. trademarks for submitted names. Our site also performs a simple domain check on submitted domain names and the results are shown to the client when they are signed in to their contest page. It's important to note that business names do not have to be 100% unique in many scenarios. The uniqueness of the name often depends on the industry and jurisdiction of your name registration.
Does Naming Force check the availability of a Domain Names?
- All submitted domain names are checked against a registration database. Clients may optionally restrict entries to only unregistered domain names. Clients may also restrict which domain extensions can be submitted (.com, .net, etc)
How Does Naming Force rank submissions?
- We use a complex process of polling our namers on the popularity of submissions of other namers. We use an A/B voting system (Which is better, A or B?). Namers vote over a 3 day period and help us to weed out the weaker names and bubble up the best names. As the voting goes on we whittle down the list of names being voted on to determine which names are the very best. Clients are presented with a list of the top names, and can also view the entire list of submitted names.