Professional Courtesy :-)

Rohit Khare (
Fri, 5 Mar 1999 16:01:48 -0800

Michael (& other spectators):

I've been limping along for too many years with bland monikers for my
consulting business. Originally, it was "Rohit Khare Software", which
wasn't used publicly. Currently, I've been using "4K Associates" for
the ad-hoc teams I assemble for my standards-strategy consultancy
(get it? fork -> forkay like butter-> parkay). In the long term, I
want a flexible corporate identity at the center of a little FoRK
'keiretsu', especially the munchkins-vision (billions of little
ad-hoc transceivers for the rest of the planet). And, to top it all
off, I do have a 'brand' in FoRK, the mailing list, and XeNT, the
hostname of my server.

On top of all this, it also has to have an available domain name... sigh.

So I'm taking a little daydreaming break this afternoon on the
thought that we might chat about it sometime. In particular, I'm
fishing for opinions on the most-far-out possibility, which is the
xent identity.

Originally, it was a spur-of-the-moment anagram of NeXT, of course,
with a hacked logo to match. But over the years, it's been my one
durable moniker. I pronounce it like "cent". I've managed to reserve, .net, and .org. But it still seems weird to me to run with
such a geeky, off-the-cuff name.

With a name like XENT, I feel there's some energy in the X part: XML,
XTP, Xcess, Xcetera. Hey, it could be short for "XML Entertainment"
:-) But am I right in tending towards a logotype, or should I still
be thinking of an image? Again, flexibility: the semantic vacuum at
the heart of xent is a good thing, in that the corporate identity is
a pure mood, and the meaning can be filled in later.

The default hypothesis, though, is 4K ( Heck, I
even got Adam & me corporate platinum AmEx cards and all with it :-)
The idea has been to commission a proper calligraphic hiragana pun.
For example, in India, there's a freaky tradition of writing english
lettering with a crossbar in such a way that it looks like Hindi at
first. So here, it would be joining the letterforms of 4 and K in a
chop. I'm told it's close to a Chinese ideogram for 'fat', which
would be especially choice :-)

And as for FoRK itself, well, we need membership cards, which means
we need a FoRK logo, and the mind reels at the possibilities. Well,
my teeny design-challenged one does... my favorite visual pun for it
would be a simple illustration of a risotto spoon, flat with a little
notch on the side :-)

Live from the RoZone,