>My friends on facebook exploded when I asked people about using “Hacking Education” as the title of my project website. I was told, from CS professionals, fellow hackers, and educators that the name was, “Provocative” but also, “Negative” that it implied “something illegal” and the idea of being “Unprofessional.” Here’s the thing, I’ve totally fallen in love with the name. I’m going to try and look for something that I love better because I can see pretty clearly that calling the final website “Hacking Education” will be loaded with a lot of baggage that a new website doesn’t need. So, I’m asking for help with the following steps.

A. Identify my message, what is it that I am trying to say.
    What is my core message
    What tone and mood do I want to imply
    What sub-messages should be implied,
        how can my brand prime visitors for the messages I am trying to send?
B. Identify issues with the “Hacking Education” Name
    What unintended messages am I sending about my intent
    Can I overcome those unintended messages, or are they inherent in the layperson’s understanding of the words
C. Find a better name
    It needs to convey all of A
    without conveying any of B
    While still being interesting.
    And keeping me in the background

I’m adding some strange criteria here, but I think when we look at the name’s I’ve considered they’ll become more clear.

When I first came up with this idea I was going to name it “Mr. Redbeard’s Classroom” My dad and I really liked it, until I started thinking about some of the implications and assumptions I’d bundled into that. First off I was making myself a Star, which is not what I wanted at all. While I may be producing video lectures, they shouldn’t be starring me, the content must be the star. If I push myself into the foreground then I am taking time away from my goals. This name also implies that this site will be a classroom, with a teacher, and tests, and quizzes, and don’t pass notes to your neighbors. It aligns the site with a status-quo that I want to be compatible with, not a part of.

The second name I’ve looked at, Hacking Education, implies many things I think of as good. Solutions to problems, valuing autonomy, avoiding boredom, Free and Open content. It also implies some things that are less good. That the site is about something illicit or illegal. That last one is a mixed bag, teenagers tend to like rebellion and being “edgy” but parents, teachers, and district IT guys who manage the blocklists at school don’t. The name will definitely draw attention, but probably the wrong kind.

The trick is tricking a balance, between being provocative and interesting, having a URL that is easy to type, and conveying the message I want to. This is obviously going to have to be a much more calculated decision than I thought.  Well if it was easy to do this kind of thing it would already be done.


  1. Email Teaching Open Source list(subtask- write a clear goal of what you want to do with their content, and why this will help their project.)
  2. Write a review of the articles you’ve read so far
  3. Hit the library and find some scholarly sources.
  4. Tech eval(Due Jan 26)
  5. Check the standards and see if Revolutionary war, or World War II is more appropriate for this project.
  6. Post my original “hacking education” paper, and make a clearer statement of intent.
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