What's in a name ...
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Alfa ... how it all started

(Conversation between Willem and his webmaster)

"Is there really anything for me to tell", he asked me (his future webmaster) a few weeks ago, when he told me about his plans to build a website. "There are already so many sites", "all that information is killing us", "We're snowed under with information, images, text, pictures, ..." were some of the arguments he was using to convince himself not to build a website. "On the other hand", he said, "why not ... ?" I know ... that's a rather silly counter-argument ;-), but ... why not ?

After a while, when the idea took shape (which shape wasn't decided yet) they brainstormed hours, days about a name. Their brains, or what should be considered as brains, were almost exploding. The flag should cover the cargo. What the cargo was going to be and, consequently, how large the flag should be ... no idea at all. Very soon, one thing was clear : a lot of names already existed. The names that looked original at first sight (theinter.net, winter.net,summer.net,myinter.net, ...) were less original than they expected. They all were ... already in use, they all arose once from the brain of a future webmaster that was original at that time. Info.net, Myinfo.net, ... ditto ... you can go on for hours. He was close to despair. Don't exaggerate of course ... close to despair ... it's only a website. No live depends on it.

I stopped counting the times I thought "Get a life !" Even his girl-friend and his colleagues were involved in it, or should I say dragged into it. In season (and out of season), during every coffee break at work, at home while they were eating, you name it ... Always the same question "Tell me ... did you come up with a name already ?". It gave me the jimjams. You can say sitewithoutaname.be was the first impulse to what it should become ... a flag that was large enough to cover the cargo. But that name referred too much to singerwithoutaname (a former female singer who called herself Singer Without A Name). After mature consideration ... removed from the list.

And finally, thanks to the first impulse of one of his colleagues, his girl-friend scored ... whatsinaname.be It was an original name (because it didn't exist yet :-) and, but it's very likely he added that reasoning afterwards ... a name restricts you, draws lines ... this is it ... His girl-friend's intelligence reached an unknown climax ;-) when she came up with ... the Latin expression ... "nomen est omen", a name defines your destiny. As you can see ... the sky is the limit when it comes to explanations.

He finally found a name ... whatsinaname.be, and now ... the content. There was one advantage : a very large flag to cover a cargo that isn't defined yet. We know we started but do we know what we started on ? We'll see ... (One of his favourite sayings).

(his webmaster)

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