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From Jan Lehnardt <>
Subject We need a better slogan
Date Thu, 12 Jun 2014 19:31:06 GMT
Apache CouchDB™ is a database
that uses JSON for documents,
JavaScript for MapReduce indexes,
and regular HTTP for its API

What a bunch of baloney! I only say this because I helped to write and publish this. Noah
and I developed this in the running up of the 1.2.0 release that coincided with the new website
that was meant to be a watershed-the-draught-years-are-over release. I think it fulfilled
its purpose, but it won’t suffice today.

The CouchDB slogan, or byline, or motto is titling all our public communication: It’s the
first thing thousands of visitors on our website see. It is the first line in all our board
reports and it is the introduction in all our release announcements. It’s the one sentence
that gets quoted the most and as it stands it is a wasted opportunity, as it is not sticky,
not memorable and not aligned with our goals.

We need a slogan that rolls of anyones tongue. We need a slogan that captures succinctly what
makes CouchDB unique. We need a slogan that captures our values.

I realise that this is a MAJOR bike-shed and that’s why I am bringing this up here rather
than dev@ for now. I’ve tried dev@ before and it didn’t go anywhere. My strawperson proposal
there was “CouchDB,a database that replicates” and while that is a lot sickier, doesn’t
really help either.

Over drinks with Noah and Dave in Berlin last winter we improvised a few slogans that would
capture the (what we think) value of CouchDB, rather than the technicalities of it. The last
thing we arrived at is “CouchDB puts the data in your hands.”. It isn’t perfect, but
better what we have now and it opens us up to fill in all the background story that we need
to make that claim: capture the ecosystem of Couch-Replication compatible projects and the
distinct values of their interoperability.

What I’d like to see in this group to take this proposal and evolve it into something we
are all comfortable with. We can then prepare all our public facing properties to reflect
the changes and see how that goes.

I deliberately steer this away from a website redesign, or major rework on our messaging or
even a lengthy philosophical debate on “the why of CouchDB” in order to actually just
figure out a better slogan that we can use to move forward.

What do you think? :)


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