Frequently Asked Questions
What does Naming Force do?
- Naming Force hosts naming contests. Clients turn to us when they cannot come up with a creative name for their business, product, or website. The concept is called 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. You will be 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 is invited to review the names and choose 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 faired the best in the voting, or b) the two overall names that faired 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.
- To determine your Naming Score we calculate the ratio of "good" names to "bad" names, based on the voting, and turn that into a number. Your score determines what Rank or Namer you are. The higher the Naming Score the better. A Naming score of 0-24 makes you a Cadet. A Naming Score of 25-69 makes you a Corporal. A Naming Score of 70+ makes you a Sergeant. Each Rank has different features and different name submission limits. The Naming Score is calculated primarily of voting results on your names in the last 30 days. Some other factors also affect your Naming Score, such as liked and client-chosen names.
Why did my Naming Score drop suddenly?
- Since the Naming Score is a rolling 30-day score based on your voting results, it's recalculated every 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.
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, the ability to request new keywords to be added by the client, 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 (optional) 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 treat them accordingly. 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 faired the best in the voting, or b) the two overall names that faired 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.
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." Although this may not mean it's going to be chosen, it's good to know what types of names the client likes.
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 group 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?
- The client has marked that they do not like this name. The names do not disappear from the client's dashboard, they just become grayed out.
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. It's just a way to make sure the client sees your best name and gives them a chance to "like" it.
What do 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 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 by revealing the top names we do not reveal the order of the voting results until after the client has a) chosen a name or b) passed the allotted time to choose a name. 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.
What do the A-F grade (My Grade) on the dashboard mean?
- The A-F grade under My Grade on the dashboard represent how well you're doing in the contest. The grade is a collection of how many liked names you have as well as how your names fared in the voting process.
How will I be notified if my name is chosen?
- If your name is chosen you will be emailed.
Where can I see whose name was chosen on the 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 will send payments via PayPal to the PayPal email address specified in your namer account. This address can be changed in the Profile section of the site. Once you have a W9 on file with us 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. All 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 operations simplicity.
Why can't I edit some names?
- Once a client has liked or disliked 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. 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. 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 re-used 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 when you remove these words. We do not respond to 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, 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 of 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 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.
- If the client adds a word in the "consider using" list this word is ignored when comparing names for duplicates. These keywords are actually removed from the names before they are compared to each other. Words from the contest description are also added to a hidden list of keywords to ignore. There is also a master/global list of common words that are ignored 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 naming 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 hosts naming contests. When you cannot come up with a creative name for your business, product, or website, we can. Your business name search ends here. We have thousands of creative people waiting to submit names on your contest. The concept is called crowdsourcing, using the public to accomplish 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 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 blind 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 is invited to review the names and choose a winner. The client has 7 days to choose a winner.
- We do not offer refunds on contests. 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. No refunds are made for any reason. Guaranteed 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 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 blindly 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.