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A close friend of mine is due to have a baby very soon. In a couple of months, this new little being will walk the earth (well, not walk just yet).

Beyond the obvious gender discussion (which always ends up in excitement, whichever gender it actually turns out to be), we talk names.

Finding the right name is important. Whether you are birthing a real-life baby or a chatbot, you must find the right name. Since I have already solved that problem for my friend (told him to call his baby Alex, obviously), I thought we could look at naming chatbots together.

At ubisend, we get to name all the chatbots we work on. The reason is we almost always work under strong NDAs and cannot mention anything in public. So, we end up having to use code names for all our bots. And, as people do, we make up funky little names for all these amazing chatbots we build.

Hopefully, the process we go through to do this will inspire you as well. Trying to find the best name for your chatbot? Follow these few steps/rules!

Important: do NOT follow these steps/rules to name your baby, you bunch of geeks.

 

Almost human

When it makes sense, I like to give chatbots an almost human name. Granted, this doesn't always work but when it does it sounds really smart.

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Someone at ubisend came up with the best one ever for one of our builds. So good, in fact, the company we were building it for ended up adopting the name for their official release. Thus, I can't even share it here (NDAs and all). What a bummer.

Examples:

iDa, a chatbot that teaches you to speak Russian (Ida is a girl name, 'da' means yes in Russian).

iRis, an optician appointment booking chatbot (for obvious reason).

 

What does your chatbot do?

A great way to name your chatbot is by relating it to what it actually does. What is its purpose? What does it help its users do?

Example:

TranslateBot, a chatbot that automatically translates content you send to it.

GetFitBot, a chatbot that keeps you motivated. (EDIT: Turns out this name exists! It's a Telegram chatbot you can test here.)

 

Avoid brand names

Here's what not to do: don't have any brand mention into your chatbot's name. Don't even try to be clever about it.

The only caveat is, obviously, if you own that brand. If you are TripAdvisor, then, by all means, call your chatbot the TripAdvisorBot.

Example (of what not to do):

BotteryBarn, a chatbot that helps you find home furniture (a play on Pottery Barn, a famous furnishing company in the US).

 

Avoid being too descriptive

Now, I know I am sort of contradicting my previous to last point, but this is important. Nothing bores me more than a super-descriptive chatbot name.

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It is cool to use what your chatbot does as a starting point. Just don't make that the entire chatbot name, c'mon!

Example (of what not to do):

Learn Knitting Bot, a bot that teaches you how to knit. *yawn*

 

Be funny

Got it? Be funny. Not that hard, damn it.

Really, though, try to have fun with it (unless your bot is something super serious like medical or tax-related). Most of your users will have their very first chatbot experience with yours; make their experience enjoyable.

 

Alright, your turn

What is your chatbot's name? What cool names have you heard? What terrible chatbot names have you cringed on?

Share with us on Twitter!