October 05, 2006

Reap what you sow

After three full days I guess I should talk about the how the launch of pipes|drums has gone. So far so good. Paid subscriptions already number in the hundreds, and there are about twice that number of readers who have registered, I hope so that they will use the Comments feature available on the majority of articles.

I’ve received many messages about the name change, which only two other people in the piping world knew about before it was unveiled on Monday evening. It was difficult to part with the previous name, a brand that I had created, designed, trademarked and fostered for 18 years. But after consulting with one of Canada’s top trademark and intellectual property lawyers the decision was to take a different direction.

And it seems to have been the right thing to do. The “value” of a brand that is solely on the net is perhaps much less than what I had imagined, especially since redirecting visitors to the pipes|drums URL is invisible. No one appears to care too much about what it’s called, and the content, as always, is the key to its success.

That pipes|drums is independent, as I’ve said before, is very important. Even if the publication had retained the Piper & Drummer name, it would carry the baggage of the PPBSO’s print publication, which the organization’s executive administrative group contends it wants to produce in some print form in the future. It’s actually a relief to be free of that misperception of association that some people inevitably had with Piper & Drummer Online. I can only assume and hope that the PPBSO’s executive based its decision after polling its members.

But the whole success of the name-change makes me think of pipe band names. Top bands used to cling to their titles, often refusing to allow sponsors to encroach on their identity. The thought was that judges would be confused and they wouldn’t get the results they deserved. Bands, too, have shown that it’s the content that matters. No one really cares what the name is.

Produce the goods: reap the rewards.




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