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Medium Makes a Difference

My local NPR station has been pushing their new news site. They put headlines there, and ask questions for readers and listeners to answer, read off these responses on the air, and link to the various staff blogs. Not a bad idea, and not a new one either (and it makes me shake my head a little every time they say it makes a great browser bookmark and never mention its feed).So, all in all, not a bad site, if a little busy for my tastes.

What gets me, though, is that they’re having kind of a hard time publicizing the thing because it’s hard to pronounce distinctly. You see, the local NPR station is MPR, which is hard to distinguish from “NPR” in spoken form. And they keep saying to go to “MPRnewsQ.org,” which could also be “NPRnewsCue.org” or “MPRnewsCue.org” or “NPRnewsCue.org.” There’s really no way to tell by listening.

Coming up with catchy names for things is always hard, but it seems like this is the brainchild of a group of people who were communicating with each other in writing, or who had seen it written in a list before hearing it so that they could never remember a time when they were driving to work and wondering which of four versions of a URL they’d heard.

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