Invites You to Talk About Your Passions invites

With Twitter becoming more and more of an echo chamber and LinkedIn lacking in conversation what it offers as a networking tool, it can be difficult to find a place on the web to provoke frank conversation, receive honest feedback, and develop professional relationships for co-creation.

Namesake, a Los Angeles-based startup, is hoping to fill that void. Founded in January 2010 by entrepreneurs Brian Norgard and Dan Gould as a place for professionals and creators to match ideas with opportunities and resources, is still in private beta (to get in now

Based in a small office in the Hollywood Hills, Namesake is the third startup for Norgard and Gould, who previously cofounded NewRoo, a content aggregator acquired by News Corp in 2006, and Twitter advertising tool

As a Namesake user, you can build a profile with a full bio and embedded video, or choose to keep it simple. Users can follow conversations passively, participate, and initiate their own. Conversation activity on the site streams in real time on the main page.

Questions and topics recently active in conversations on the site range from the Peter Thiel-inspired “What is it about the world that you know is true that everyone else doesn’t understand?” to “…here’s my washed, dried Beef round top round steak, what shall I do with it?” and “Anyone got tips for staying active in social media… while still being productive & getting tons of stuff done?”

Namesake also features live chats, one afternoon for example, author and USC Marshall faculty member Dave Logan is leading a conversation on tribal leadership. A live chat earlier that day featured LA-based serial angel investor and BetterWorks founder Paige Craig.

Try Namesake out for yourself — get in while it’s still in beta by visiting

Originally posted May 26, 2011 at LAist.

To ‘Google’ — now legit

“Google” was officially added to the most-stringent of grammarian resources, the Oxford English Dictionary in recent weeks.

To google” has been considered by other resources — and of course casually — as a legitimate verb for quite a while now.

But now that Merriam-Webster has confirmed to Google’s verbage, I’m left wondering — along with Neil at InfoWorld — if ever the verb will lose its copyright-mandated capital “G.”

The bad news, as far as this concerned, is the long standing predecessors in official tech lingo: The capitalizing of both the “W” on “Web site” and the “I” on “Internet.” But neither of those are verbs, so I’ll ask, how long did it take before the capital “X” was slashed off “to xerox?” (Granted, xerographic is a similar word, but the word “Xerox” itself is most definitely protected).

UPDATE: The L.A. Times reports that Merriam-Webster has defined “google” — small “g.” Good news from the fine newspaper that is not afraid to divert from AP style, commonly using website (one word) and internet (small “i”) as well as the pathetic “Southland (not in reference to the Lynyrd Skynyrd song).