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NC Active Transportation Alliance Website

Which do you think works best as the single publicized name for the alliance website? The North Carolina Active Transportation Alliance website is in the planning stages. This page lets you vote on domain names and comment on features you might like on the site in advance. Results are tallied by Borda Count, sometimes called "a consensus-based electoral system" where each choice gets a point for every choice ranked below it. Thus, with 9 choices, a 1st place vote gets 8 points. Please click the title for more info and to rank....

  • Note that if you only vote on the names you really like and leave the rest unranked, you boost those names you prefer, as with no rank at all a name gets no points. The idea is to find the name most wish to promote, and let the rest fall away. Thus, this is a reasonable practice, especially if all are aware of the technique noted here.
  • You may cancel and revote.
  • Please vote only once. Although it is possible to game the system by voting anonymously from various IP addresses, we hope you'll vote just once. The way to ensure one vote per person is to require login, but that would also ensure a lower vote participation and one biased toward people willing to sign up for a website in general, and specifically a webiste about skating and cycling for charity.


eebee's picture

Hootie and the Therons

I'm certainly no expert here, but I do searches for all sorts of weird things on a daily basis...and find them if they are findable, mostly by playing around with language and how I think other people would phrase things. In my experience, an actively updated website with optimal keywords are more important than any url, and I know I'm preaching to the choir here. Initially unpronounceable actor or band names become incidental if the content is there; Charlize Theron and Hootie and the Blowfish sound like normal names now. A shorter url is more convenient, but honestly if it's in my history the computer completes it a few letters into it, so I can't claim laziness in preventing me from going there. Folks may not have a clear understanding of just what "NCActiveTransportationAlliance" stands for from the website name alone, but hopefully the immediately visible and up-to-date content would leave no doubt. 

I guess my point here is that it's hard for a handful of people to say what others would do to find a website, and their ensuing thought process. But I think most people agree on SEO, right? I personally dislike a string of letters and NCATA.net to me is utterly forgettable and insignificant. But that's just me.

Having said all that it's surprising how many people I know don't even use Google for searches. So I'm gonna take myself out of this discussion again.

roadskater's picture

Fishing with the Right Bait for the Pond, Stream, Hatch...Online

Good stuff there, particularly about content that's actively updated with care especially in the words in the title. Human readable is nice, but human findable is first. Once they find it, hopefully they will want to read it. But if they never find it, it doesn't really matter how beautifully it reads.

With the domain names, different names are better at different times and in different conditions. Sitting around meetings with stacks of papers about, people quickly get to the shortest, easiest thing to say even if it's NCATA (like Encarta spoken by a tidewater ferry operator!). The acronymble will love NCATA.US or .net. But we don't own the .com so the forgetful and distractible may never get there.

I think of the situation where on a Thursday night the alliance gets some coverage on WUNC-TV, or during drive-time, there's a mention on WUNC or WFDD radio. Without a pen, like a scene from Memento, I try to remember...NC (OK I got that, focus, focus, focus) one more word "Active" (focus, where's the pen, honk, burgers burning, whatever). I think NC Active sticks.

Announce the .org if you think it pretty, let the .com work for you when they forget how pretty it was.

The longest NC ones might work if people actually remembered the org name but DIDN'T type out North Carolina and left off the Inc at the end. The NCActiveTransportation ones are good and I think they'll find plenty of use. ActiveTransportation.US is a good name to keep from going pornoceutical, but not as useful in my view for this NC-focused group.

Some people hit some of my sites with two-word type-in names, but really, build a community, keep it active and you can call it anything, like flikr, ebay, youtube, facebook, amazon and lots more. but still short is good if it sounds like something pronounceable, especially.

Global top ten Alexa ranking

There's a lot of social networking, email use, email group use, and of course searching to connect in those names...


...and switch the order for USA sites...

Overall, I say NCActive.com or .org. Most importantly, we own the namespace for .com and .org for NCActive, NCActiveTransportation, and NCActiveTransportationAlliance. That's good. And this is all "decide what you like then justify it" talk anyway, right? I think my view unlikely to win!

MikeB's picture

Is the fog clearing?

MikeB for those reasons ncactive.com makes a lot of sense, especially for people making mental notes on a website to check out later, and also on jerseys, banners, cross promotion on other websites,etc. (speaking of jerseys - I'd love to get my hands on an RSN one) And it would be cool to roll into an out of state event with a bunch of NCACTIVE jerseys. My original thought was to include all the words possible, making for a long domain name, but hopefully grabbing a lot of extra traffic, but wouldn't such traffic be incidental and just move on anyway; plus the more difficult the name the harder for truly interested traffic to find? MikeB
skatey-mark's picture

Too bad

Too bad activetransportation.com is taken... I think the *.us domains are a waste, personally... Regarding the .com / .net / .org debate... Regardless of the original intent of the domain naming hierarchy, the reality is most people will remember ".com" as the end of the domain name and try that first... Hence the "accidental .com traffic" Blake referred to. I think whatever domain is chosen, it should be one that has the ".com" variation available. Even if we advertise it as ".org" or whatever, we want to be able to catch the people that enter ".com" too. - SM -
roadskater's picture

In My Fog I Had Wondered

I was wondering if I had made any sense. In terms of sales value, fewest number of characters with distinguishable words or terms win in appraisals. ncata.us is very short and that's cool for getting big type on small spaces like tee shirts and cycling jerseys. We use rskr.net, rsn1.net (classic photo site) and rsn2.com for that here. I imagine if someone were on WUNC-TV on a Thursday night (NC night) or on WUNC-radio and they said some website name and I didn't have paper and pen handy. I could remember NC easily, and one other word, and I wouldn't even try to remember .com because I'd figure I'd just keep trying .net, .org, etc., but in reality if something is interesting on those other sites, I might never get there. Since NCTransportation.com is longer, and taken and NorthCarolinaTransportation.com is for sale for $1,550, they're pretty much out, and I don't think those say the key part...active. I certainly want to go with what the board and members say, but my fave is ncactive.com or publish ncactive.org and grin knowing ncactive.com with forward to there when the user misses. also, the .com could be for profit and .org non-profit later on in necessary.
roadskater's picture

Thoughts on .com

When I started Roadskater.net, the .com was taken. I liked the idea of "network" anyway, so I went with it and have kept it even though I now own the .com version and several other varieties. Even after lots of exposure to RSN some (even I) will sometimes accidentally enter .com, so it may be that if we don't own the .com version we may not want to publicize the another version (.net, .org, .us). It's just a thought. If we use NCActive.org and own .com, that's OK; we'd get the correct entries and the accidentally .com ones. If we choose NCATA.net, NCATA.US or ActiveTransportation.US, we'd lose that accidental .com traffic. It may not matter. I like NCActive.com myself, but I liked Walk'n'Roll too!
Bryan's picture


I agree. Drop the NC. Or turn that into a third level domain. Visitors hitting activetransportation.org can be redirected to nc.activetransportation.org until (unless) it encompasses more states or regions.
roadskater's picture

Yo Wilmington!

We need another board member from the Eastern NC area. If you (or anyone else residing in Eastern NC who cares about active transportation) might consider the task, please contact me and we'll put you in the running for it. Thanks for the input on the name!

Another domain name choice

Hi Blake and All, What about leaving off the NC on the website and call it: activetransportation.org/com? That would be my first choice if listed on your poll! ;-) Once folks get there, they will see that it is NC centric. For most, it won't matter anyway because I'm sure there will be information and edumacation that anyone interested in active transportation can enjoy and use. Just my 2 cents... Happy Trails, Bill B.
roadskater's picture


ActiveTransportation.com and .org are taken. I think since we are an NC org it's good to have it up front, but I'm no expert, it's true.
MikeB's picture

domain name choices

Hi All,

Bill B's suggestion sounds really good to me, and using an unabbreviated version of the name would drive even more traffic to the site (I would think), and people could always 'favorite/bookmark' it.   


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