When I haven't been too busy with my real job, which is actually pretty interesting and consuming, I've been spending weekends working with some other people on a project that until tonight was called Momentum. Despite how much I like the word, however, "Momentum" is a bad name for the project because it is vague (it's relevance to our project requires an explanation) and because it is taken, in common use, hard to work into a domain name, and so on.
Earlier tonight I went to grab a nice cup of mint tea and I ran into Tracy. I told her that we needed to come up with a good name for the project and I proceeded to explain the project to her in some detail for the first time. My explanation basically boiled down to "we continuously collect samples of current chatter on the internet and perform vast calculations on that chatter in order to understand what people are beginning to focus on."
Tracy paraphrased me as follows: "so you're attempting to divine the zeitgeist from the chatter that you see on the internet?". When I responded in the affirmative, she quickly came up with the word "chattermancy". I fell in love with the term immediately for a several reasons. Most important of all, the term describes exactly what we're doing. The "mancy" bit functions as a noun-combining form that means something like "divination", which in turn has always meant "calculation" to me. Another important aspect of the term "chattermancy" is that it doesn't currently exist. I'm completely certain that the term will become a part of the English vocabulary soon because of its relevance to the work that a lot of people and companies are doing these days. The word filled me with excitement. Thank you Tracy!
So as of tonight, I'll refer to the project that we're working on as Chattermancy and many of the facets of the project are going to manifest as applications on the soon-to-be Drupal server chattermancy.com.