• Suggestions please

    From time to time we think about changing the blog’s name. There are advantages and limitations to the current name. It’s known, but it doesn’t convey what we do. It’s a legacy name, originating from when I was an anonymous blogger on a personal finance site. There, I was The Incidental Economist, and I was so because I have no formal economics training and fell into a branch of economics sort of incidentally. (Cute,  huh?)

    One, though not the only or most important, reason we have never changed the name is that we have not come up with a good alternative. It’s not enough to be a good name. It has to be a unique one, not used by another blog or media source. Ideally it would suggest something about our focus: relating health and health systems research to policy.

    I’m not promising we will change our name, but if you have any good alternatives to The Incidental Economist, let us know.


    • FWIW, I like the current name.

    • Leave the name alone. Once the brand is established, there is no need to change. My Coca-Cola contains no coke; my Swiss cheese has never seen the Alps.

    • I think you should keep the name.
      It’s an interesting name (and it’s probably still true that you haven’t had formal economics training even if you have had a lot of real world advice from all of us amateurs on this site).

    • Your mother says she likes the name.

    • I always thought that the site’s name implied that you guys were experts in the medical field who discussed economics but that wasn’t your main gig. More or less as you first intended, but with healthcare. It is a good name. And it is usually a bad idea to change.

      If you had asked me before you started, I would have advised getting rid of the “the” at the beginning of the URL. That brings up an important distinction: do you plan to change your name or your URL? Again, I think that would be a mistake. I always tell people to pick a general name for their websites. And they rarely listen. But you guys are in a good position, actually. Imagine if you had named the site “financeeconomics.com.”

      How about FraktCarrollAndFriends.com? AvikRoyEducationFund.com? Or more seriously: HealthcareNotes.com. HealthEcon.com. Those two are available, but there are very few similar ones that are. Here’s a general idea: something based on “Mainly Macro.” I’ve always thought that was one of the great blog names.

      Good luck!

    • I think the name is great. It’s what people know you by, and that’s more important than anything.

    • Austin, I also agree that there is triple-entendre use of the current name, I am one of the people who know your history and know where this came from, but most people think about the name from what Frank says above (one of the meanings). FWIW, I also think it would be a bad idea to change the name. It still is the case that the main authors are NOT PhD’s in Economics, and as someone with a PhD in Economics, it doesn’t hurt the analysis or impact of the blog one bit.

      So, consider if you like, but I wouldn’t change it,

    • As a Star Wars fan, it’s worth keeping just to maintain the acronym

    • I like the current name. For whatever reason, it reminds me to consider the incidental externalities that no one has yet considered. Every time I see it it reminds me to ask “yeah, but..”.

      But if you were to change it, it’s not like I’d stop reading. But, I agree with the Star Wars acronym comment.