Say hello to Civic Works

Thank you so much to everyone who helped us think through our re-name of TOPP Labs yesterday.  Your feedback and insights were absolutely invaluable to our process.

After a long night and day of deliberations, we’ve settled on our new name. Drumroll please… (and this is obviously unnecessary since it’s in the title of the post)

Civic Works

T-shirt goes to fkh for the winning suggestion.  Thanks Frank!  Hat tip to Peter for getting close, with “Civic Code Werkz” and “Civic Alpha Werkz.”  And I already gave a t-shirt to Noel for finding a way to make “The AWESOME” work as an acronym.  I’m sure someone will find another use for that one someday.

I’m very excited about the new name, as it definitely embodies what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.  We clearly wanted to include the term “civic,” and I really like that “works” has the triple meaning of “the place where things get made,” “the things that get made” and stuff that “just works.”  It evokes the public realm and public service, and gets you excited to go out and make something.  It’s a factory for new ideas, and the foundation for a new civic infrastructure.  Civic Works.  Ahh.

Of course, it’s not without precedent: this Civic Works is an AmeriCorps program in Baltimore, and, as Phil pointed out, it’s reminiscent of GovWorks.com and the movie Startup.com.  But that’s OK.  We’re not planning to promote Civic Works as a standalone brand as we (kind of) did with TOPP Labs.  Instead, it will exist primarily as an internal division here at TOPP, and we’ll focus our branding efforts on the products and initiatives that Civic Works produces.  For that reason, we intentionally left “open” out of the title, as Civic Works will almost always appear in the context of The Open Planning Project, whereas our projects (such as OpenTripPlanner) and initiatives (such as OpenMuni) will stand on their own.

So thank you again for the fun day yesterday name-storming.  Next time I need to name something, I’ll come to you first.

5 thoughts on “Say hello to Civic Works

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