Domain Name Scrabble


Domain Name Scrabble is an entertainment format involving improvised startup pitches we created for the blogger conference re:publica in 2008.


Normally, made-up words aren't allowed in the game of Scrabble. In Domain Name Scrabble, however, audience participants were explicitly asked to form new words with the available lettered tiles drawn from the bag, with the goal of coming up with as-of-yet-unused domain names. (How else could Web 2.0 businesses like xobni and weebly have arrived at their opaque monikers?) Once a player formed a word on the board, he or she immediately had to deliver an improvised venture capital pitch for that domain name, including its meaning, the service offered, and its main features. At the end, a jury determined the winner, taking into account the numerical word value and, of course, the performance of the pitch.


We came up with the idea and format for the improv game and hosted it at the conference.


Prominsing new domain names, created by participants at re:publica 08. Photo: Holger Dieterich