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NameCandy.com is Born

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A veteran Web journalist and an author/baby-naming expert have to teamed to launch NameCandy.com, a site focused on celebrity baby names.

The new site, which goes live on Wednesday (Sept. 9), is the brainchild of former iVillage editor in chief Jennie Baird and Laura Wattenberg, the author of the book The Baby Name Wizard and the current AOL column “Ask the Name Lady.” The pair had previously joined forces to create BabyNameWizard.com—an forme iVillage property which became a stand alone Web site in May of 2008.

While that site purports to bring a more scientific approach to the process of baby name searches, including the use of custom baby-name algorithms and linguistics, NameCandy.com is taking a lighter approach, according to Baird.  “BabyNameWizard is for info-maniac parents,” she said. “This is definitely more fun and games.”

For example, the new site will feature quizzes asking users to guess the names of famous celebrity babies, and users can input possible names to find out what celebrities’ children them. Down the road, the site is planning to introduce a tool which grades how sexy specific certain names are.

According to Baird, who previously oversaw women's & lifestyle programming at AOL, the idea for NameCandy.com came as BabyNameWizard.com repeatedly enjoyed traffic spikes whenever various celebrity couples had babies and announced their names—such as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s daughter Seraphina Rose. “There’s been a shift, where babies names have become a cultural touch points,” said Baird. “We even think this site will appeal to young demographics who are not actually naming babies.”

Baird said that initially, NameCandy.com will be promoted through BabyNameWizard.com and via search engine optimization (baby name searches are a huge, consistent source of traffic, Baird says). Advertising-wise, while BabyNameWizard employ a pair of ad networks (including Glam Media), NameCandy.com has signed the birth announcement publishing firm Tiny Prints as its initial exclusive sponsor.