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OpenBC to become Xing

It's so hard to keep a secret these days, just ask lonelygirl15. OpenBC, the business and social networking site based in Hamburg, will be changing its name to Xing later this month. This was confirmed in the OpenBC blog after a couple of webloggers found the name in domain and trademark searches. The goal was to have a domain more meaningful in Asia and English-speaking markets. OpenBC wasn't real clear, it sounds like a group of Old Testament historians.

Xing might be a good fit in Chinese (it means "I can do it", so I hear), but I don't think it works as well in English as they think. They are thinking of "crossing" as on traffic signs (Ped Xing, RR Xing). I don't think the abbreviation is used outside of the US. And used by itself, the association with crossing is unclear, particularly if you pronounce it as "Zing". Even if one does think of a "crossing", I don't think the panic of one about to be blindsided by a train is the emotion they are trying to evoke.

On the other hand, it could have been worse. They could have chosen "Xingr".

(Note to self: should I ever be looking for a full-time local employer in the future, OpenBC, er, Xing sounds like a cool place to work.)

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