Yes, it’s true: we didn’t pick the easiest name in the world. A toddler can murmur “Google” until it drives her father mad (especially if daddy is Bill Gates), but “Spokeo” is a little trickier. I’ve talked to longtime Spokeo users who have been with us for years and still mispronounce the name. It’s perfectly understandable: those three pesky syllables are ripe for conflicting pronunciations, and the somewhat mysterious meaning of the name itself only adds to the confusion.
Well, I’m here to set the record straight, once and for all. Before we get to the meaning of the name, let’s go over the pronuciation and some common mistakes.
The most common misprounciations we hear are the following: Spoke-oh, Spook-oh, Spooky-oh (har har), Spo-KAY-oh, (emphasis on wrong syllable), and my personal favorite, Spokey.* Spokey sounds like a loveable cartoon character!
The correct pronuciation, however, is fairly simple:
1. Spokeo is a search engine that organizes people-related information from public sources. Spokeo offers four types of searches: name, phone, email, and username.
So there you are. Three syllables: “Spoke” (as in, for example, a girl spoke). “Ee” (as in, for example, me). “Oh” (as in, for example, Oh man, that’s strange, a girl just talked to me!**).
Remember those three syllables, put an accent on the first one and you are well on your way to making our hedgehog proud.
While pronunciation can be tricky, grasping the meaning is easier. Think of the spokes in a bicycle wheel. At the center of the circle lies the hub, where the rods or bars collect and radiate outwards. For us, this is a helpful visual metaphor for what we (and other Web 2.0 websites like Facebook or YouTube) are trying to do: connect people. If the wheel is the globalized/digitized space where we now make our homes, Spokeo is a hub where people can meet, share and connect. Make sense now? I hope so.
*Okay, fine, I only heard it once.
**This example is, sadly, drawn from personal experience.