According to an internal memo obtained by the New York Times, the leaders of MSNBC.com, the apolitical joint venture between NBC and Microsoft, are thinking about changing the site's name because too many people associate it with the left-leaning cable network. In the memo, MSNBC.com's president says that naming both the web site and the channel the same thing is "brand insanity." But so is the solution that's being offered.
From the Times:
Under the current plan, the MSNBC.com Web address would become a site exclusively for the cable channel, fulfilling the channel's desire to have an independent site to promote its programs. The existing news site, called the "Blue site" internally, would move to a new and as-yet-undetermined Web address.
Giving up a Web address as popular as MSNBC.com is highly unusual; it is akin to a business closing a bustling storefront and posting a sign that asks customers to visit its new location. For a Web site, at least, the new location is only a click away; nonetheless, MSNBC.com may risk sacrificing years of built-up brand loyalty by coining a new name for the news site.
As a lazy person who has to use the web a lot, I think I speak for my fellow sloths when I say "change your name at your own peril." A couple of years ago my best friend got a new e-mail address when her last name changed after getting married. I wonder what ever happened to her.