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WE'RE REACHING THE END OF THE INITIAL PHASE

WEBWATCH

What do you call yourself?

Years ago, lots of architects started translating their sometimes laborious practice names into initials. Laborious in the sense of Skidmore Owings and Merrill, which became simply SOM.

The initials - not acronyms, which are initials or the running together of shortened names to form a real word - were popular because people might confuse you with, say, ICI or BHP, to your advantage. I don't know if anyone ever did.

The fashion now seems to be to use your colloquial name. Like FaulknerBrowns, which was once FaulknerBrown Hendy, Watkinson, Stonor. And, of course, Grimshaw. But there are still lots of initials about. And they look a bit wan as web names: Like www. abcd. co. uk or www. abcdarchitects.co. uk. Memorable. Not.

And what about the suffix? Do you go for dot com or dot co dot uk? Or could you go for something like dot biz? That choice might say something to clients, but also to potential staff. So perhaps the detatched-sounding dot org? Or do you lobby ICANN, the internet naming body, for the suffix dot arc? Too late; it's already a general computer suffix for 'archive'.

What about dot prof?

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