Even before they’ve launched, the creators of a new digital news service for Philadelphia are showing they can discard a bad idea in a hurry. Which is why that forthcoming service — previously named Brother.ly — is now BillyPenn.com.
Critics had sniffed at the former name, nicknaming it “Bro.therly” and suggesting the moniker was exclusionary.
"One complaint was that the name had a male connotation," founder Jim Brady wrote in a blog post announcing the change. "Some people asked whether the site was going to be only for 'bros,' and whether it would cover women as well. Honestly, we didn't worry too much about that. The Greek translation of 'Philadelphia' is 'brotherly love,' so that concern seemed overcomable."
The bigger problem, he said, is that only outsiders use the term "City of Brotherly Love."
Thus the shift to "Billy Penn," named after the statue atop City Hall — and the curse that supposedly was cast on the city's sports franchises once new skyscrapers were built to rise higher than the statue's head starting in the late 1980s. Supposedly, that curse was broken by the placement of a miniature Billy Penn figurine atop the Comcast Center in 2007.
BillyPenn.com is proceeding toward a fall launch, Brady said.