It seems every common word or short sequence is owned or parked. Does anyone have any advice for the best way to come up with a decent .com domain name?
We are going to launch an HTML5, cloud hosted app for the social retail of books through forums, communities and mobile apps. Its features include the option to pay-per pages/chapter, offline reading and touch UI support.
However, we're still not 100% on a name. We resorted to words we would like to associate with our app, for example we 'light up' pages the viewer has bought. Then taking a word like light we found synonyms/translations which sound good and fired them at a domain registrars search with various prefixes/suffixes.
Would love to hear:
1) Your recommended methods of coming up with a name
2) How you tested your domain name
How I choose a domain name:
For example - If you named your company "Olib's Pizzas", but quickly realized there's no money in pizzas and more money in milkshakes and you want to switch, you're going to have more work to do and money to spend than if you just named your company name "Olib's"
I've also read a great blog post by Noah Kagan about why "Mint" was a great name for a financial services company, because short domains are trusted more, and therefore Mint was more trusted than Wesabe.
Test the domain name Remember Test: The best way to test your domain/company name is to tell someone it at the beginning of a conversation, then ask them 20 minutes later what your company name was. If they remember, you probably have a good one.
Grandma Test: Tell someone old your company name, and see if they can actually remember it. If it passes the Grandma test, your have a really good name.
Spelling Test: The last test is to call someone on the phone and ask them to spell out your domain name. If they spell it wrong (Twittr -> Twitter) then you probably need to pick an easier one.
I believe there are very few single syllable domain names left unless you want to use some outrageous spelling.
You may have decided to pursue the branding option from the start, but it worth reminding others that there are still many opportunities for SEO domain names for your product/service. A tool such as Market-Samurai can help you identify keywords/phrases with relatively high traffic and low competition.
As for the branded domain options, it is far too easy to get lost in the crowd. Consider using other countries' top level domains to get something sexy like Google (goo.gl) and others (about.me) have done.
I personally think that you should commit to a few ideas, buy the domains, and then create an online survey to ask people (preferably your target market) which one they like the most.
Your approach otherwise is good. I believe, for example, Google is a misspelling - another alternative to the foreign would approach.
My personal opinion is that "VALO" is GOOD, "BOX"...not so much. There are several strong "box" brands out there like Box.net and DropBox so using that would be the equivalent of starting a social network or similar site call HandBook or FacePad.
I hope these ideas give you some inspiration.