The boards at BtN are name boards in a very literal sense; very few of the members are actually asking for help naming a child, and most discussion seems to center around names in the hypothetical. This might be due to the rather young (for name message boards) main posting contingent. Many members are 14-20, however, a good amount are older adults. They tend to like classics but are generally very accepting of different styles, sometimes to the point of plain bizarre: Blackbird, Mojave, Crow, Galadriel et cetera have all been discussed there, although I’m not sure that anyone there would actually give the name to a child. (I think Blackbird is beautiful as a guilty pleasure, myself.) This fanciful outlook is probably possible because most people are not attempting to name actual children. The board seems less trendy than most, but more trendy than some of the real namesnob communities; this is probably because you do not have to sign up to post, which leads to a lot of bored 13 year olds who think that Huckleberry is so kewt lol!

The board culture is very accepting of others, almost to the point of under-moderation (in my opinion). Banning is seen as an extreme last resort, and some members who have said inflammatory things are still allowed to post. Of course, whether you think this is good or bad is up to you. Most off-topic discussion is centered around specific questions members have , e.g, Should I dye my hair?, What might be wrong with me, I’m sick, What are you looking forward to? etc, and updates in the lives of members. The format of the board is very different than most others; replies are hyperlinked under a thread, which leads to a bit of isolation between replies. The grammar, spelling, and general level of discourse are good, with most mistakes coming from members whose first language is not English, and honestly, can’t blame them. This same multiculturalism makes the board an interesting learning experience, both on other cultures, and their names. I can’t speak to how close knit the community is, as I don’t really know. There are no privacy settings, so many members are loath to state their real names and personal details about their lives. This does definitely lead to the more question oriented format, since updates aren’t detailed.

Go to BtN if you just want to talk names, or are a younger teen looking for a place to fit in. If you have eclectic, slightly highbrow tastes, this might be the place for you. Having been a member myself (I don’t post much at all anymore), I can recommend it wholeheartedly.

One Response to “Behind the Name Message Boards”

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