Should the name of this BlackBerry action symbol be Nova, Noti, Burst, Spark or Splash? Vote Now!

By Kevin Michaluk on 14 Aug 2012 03:34 pm EDT
BlackBerry Nova, Noti, Burst, Spark or Splash?!

Yesterday we asked the CrackBerry Nation to submit names for what the symbol above should be called. More than ever, BlackBerry has put this symbol front and center recently, featuring it in BlackBerry India's Action Starts Here marketing campaigns. All powerful symbols should have names, and us BlackBerry users know just how powerful this symbol is. When you see it, you click (or tap) it! Previously, we've heard BlackBerry employees refer to this symbol as the "splat", but from what we've gathered that was more of an internal and unofficial name for it. It needs a better name. And this time it's the BlackBerry user community that will pick it!

We got a huge response from the community on this one, and the team spent hours going through the suggestions picking out the best ones and narrowing it down to a top five for the community to vote on. There were a lot of clever suggestions in the mix. In the end we decided the chosen name ultimately had to be short, memorable and fitting with the take action spirt of the symbol. 

The Finalists and their stories...

Nova - Member morlock_man suggested Nova, which works on a couple of levels. Nova is latin for new (as in new message) and the symbol does look like a star, where both Nova and SuperNova's astronomical definitions tie in nicely too with action. When your BlackBerry starts to blow up with incoming BBM, text messages and emails, you can say "My BlackBerry is going Supernova on me!" A couple people pointed out in the comments the Chevy Nova marketing tale as a reason to not go with Nova (No va in spanish means "no go" so the Chevy Nova never sold well in Latin America), but that story has been debunked so we think Nova is definitely still in the running as an option. 

Noti - Member seb.hebert suggested Noti, which we also like a lot. Noti is short for notification, and is pronounced "no tee". Simple. Clean. Fun to say. It is what it says.. a notification!

Burst - Member TTune suggested Burst, as in star-burst, or burst of energy or burst of activity. And BlackBerry Burst has a nice ring to it. It definitely fits both in to the visuals of the symbol resembling a star, and the premise of Action Starts Here.

Splash - Member iron willer suggested Splash. Splash brings together "splat" and "smash" in one and it works with the visuals of the symbol. Gotta love how this one has history to it. Splat being the original unofficial name for the symbol, and longtime readers know how much we love to CrackBerry Smash stuff around here (heck, we even had a CrackBerry Smash app back in the day for the Storm).

Spark - Member black.rhino suggested Spark. We like this one too. A spark sets of a chain of events, and this symbol definitely does just that - it is the spark of the BlackBerry experience that sets your thumbs a blazing. And between the red color of the circle and the asterisk, it fits the visual. Sort of like striking a match... getting a spark. 

So that's the five finalists. Whichever one you like most, vote for it above! There were many other great suggestions, but these five jumped out as the most powerful and memorable and fitting. We had to narrow it down and think we did a good job on that (we know not everybody will agree, and that's ok). So that's it. Thanks to everybody for submitting their ideas... now let's see which one the community votes for as the winner!

Reader comments

Should the name of this BlackBerry action symbol be Nova, Noti, Burst, Spark or Splash? Vote Now!


I'm replying to this post only because I want everyone to see it, because, well, I'm a narcissist

There seems to be a large negative reception to the idea of naming the splat anything at all.

Guys, this is marketing. Take something common, put a name to it, and get people talking about it. Taking advantage of something like this would be a great way to get a little bit of momentum in the brand with very little effort.

Why so many stuffed-shirt comments about just calling it an asterisk? Heck, someone even copied/pasted the definition. the answer: Because asterisk doesn't sound good in a commercial. Nobody talks about getting an asterisk unless they're talking about exceptions in sports scores.

Now a spark... imagine the commercial you can build around that simple word. Imagine that commercial being really powerful and effective. Now imagine it being played during the superbowl, near the time BB10 devices are released.

Now imagine that commercial with the word asterisk. pretty lame, huh? Heck, even splat sets RIM up for failure jokes.

Okay. Thanks for reading. Back to your regularly scheduled negative comments.


These all suck majorly, did you really enjoy writing this up or did you just pick the first 5 comments people left on that other poll?

Don't try to CHANGE ur mascot after it has been defined,

Go with something that actually makes sense if you are going to go with anything at all

+Agree. These five all blow.. (no offense meant). They are not memorable or something that I would be able to trademark or copyright.

I agree, these don't make any sense. "Look over to where the Novi is and tap the icon" just sounds weird. Not a fan of any of these.

i still can't help but think of the Greendale Community College flag every time i see that symbol. I'd almost rather call this symbol "The Anus" than any of the 5 above.

honestly " Action Now " sounds good to me...
not really a fan of the other names posted.

.. the symbol is Red round shape with star inside it.

SEED: are most likely come in round shape

PLANT: represents the star symbol within the SEED.
( Perspective view from above. )

RED COLOR: is no mistake common sense means " ALERT "

....I voted for " SEED " my suggestion. the chosen above does not make sense to me...

I'm still all about Noti - +1

Yes, we need a "spark", but for marketing......? No, Noti can and will work.

1.) When I hear "Nova" I can't help but think of webOS

2.) I do not mean to feel like a poor sport, but the icon is an asterisk. I feel almost as if we had an icon with an exclamation mark, and we were trying to come up with a new name for an existing symbol :)


"An asterisk (*; Late Latin: asteriscus, from Greek: ἀστερίσκος, asteriskos, "little star")[1] is a typographical symbol or glyph. It is so called because it resembles a conventional image of a star. Computer scientists and mathematicians often pronounce it as star (as, for example, in the A* search algorithm or C*-algebra). In English, an asterisk is usually five-pointed in sans-serif typefaces, six-pointed in serif typefaces, and six- or eight-pointed when handwritten. It can be used to censor vulgar words or objectionable text.

The asterisk is derived from the need of the printers of family trees in feudal times for a symbol to indicate date of birth. The original shape was seven-armed,[citation needed] each arm like a teardrop shooting from the center.

In computer science, the asterisk is commonly used as a wildcard character, or to denote pointers, repetition, or multiplication..."

Allow me to condense your comment down to what I came here to post:

It's a star. Contrive all the ridiculous marketing names you like, but this symbol has always been known as a star (as well as "asterisk"), and will always be known as a star -- and that's what everyone will continue to call it despite what any marketers or internet polls may decide.

"Burst" is the best segway listed (Blackberry Burst lol) but i would rather "Alert" or "Asterisk".. i can see the need for a unique name for "Patent Reasons" though lol

Honestly who's going to go out and say "oh I just got a Nova, or splash, or noti, or spark or burst". You will look stupid and the general consumer will think you're an idiot.

Its just a notification icon indicating you got a message at this particualr application such as bbm, sms or fb.

That's my opinion but each to there own.

i also did not like any of them..its weird to put then in a sentence as other said...sorry can't vote this time..

May the best win.. all the best fellas


BB 9780 white os 6

BB Playbook 32gb os

+1 for noti. I believe it can be a good marketing campaign material, but will be a better material if it is added with an icon as it really is an icon. So I think Noticon will spread more than just Noti. Noticon = notification icon. Or Noticon = not just an icon. Because mostly the interaction with the blackberry universe starts with the notification icon ;)

With that I hope noti wins the vote but to be suggested to RIM as Noticon =D

Since you didn't give us the option to vote for its current name, I picked Spark. Would rather see it called Splat personally though.

Most of the names sound OK when isolated. But... when you include them into instructions etc. they lose their bite.

That's why SPLASH is the best of the bunch (imo).

Locate the SPLASH ICON

Tap on the SPLASH ICON

You will notice the SPLASH ICON located next to blah, blah, blah

One way I looked at it was to put it into action. So I thought that "I sparked u" worked.

But how about another option.... after all this is an Alert for BlackBerry...




Why rename? SPLAT emerged organically because it was the most appropriate name for it. Why try to force a rename? Go with what worked.

Sorry, I think all of these choices are terrible. My write-in is definitely "Notification asterisk" or some variation on that, something that has "notification" in it. I previously suggested "Action item" in reference to Fight Club, but that was mostly a jest.

Dear adam and anyone agreeing with him, please see my response to the first post.

In summary, calling it the Notification asterisk is the surest way to drop the ball on an opportunity to get some recognition out of something that BBs offer and every BB user is familar with

Calling it a Notification asterisk would be like calling Kleenex a facial tissue. Sure, you're right. But you're so wrong.

It's a new message indicator. Calling it a splat or a burst, or a noti or a nova, or anything that doesn't implicitly mean "new message indicator" in some way is just distracting.

Showcase the little red splat. Show how universal it is used across BlackBerry messaging indicators. New twitter message? The twitter icon now has a little red asterisk on it! New email? Same thing. New Talkbox? Same thing. I'm not saying you shouldn't call it something. I'm just saying that whatever you call it, should mean what it IS, not what it looks like. Not be some abstract label that means nothing.

Blackberry in and of itself doesn't represent what it is. But successful branding is what allows us to talk about a blackberry and not our wireless communication devices with keyboards and/or touch screens.

There is nothing wrong with branding. You know branding issuccessful when people understand what you're saying when the words make no sense.. Eg blackberry, spark

Just like when Prince changed his name to the symbol.. There was no name required.. You knew exactly what you were getting when you saw it. That by itself is powerful.. Keep it simple; it doesn't need a name.

I almost took back what I just said when I saw this one.. I like newbie! Like newB! Rim should not name it. But I think newB(newbie) will catch on unofficially with a life of its own.

Wow StarCon didn't make the cut I thought that was a sure shoein.

Its a star and a icon guess there should've been an explanation with it.
Say StarCon and one can't help but immediately know what you're referring to.

Congrats to the finalist!

The blacker the berry the sweeter the use...

I really couldn't vote for any of them. None of them were fun to say or resignated with BlackBerry.

I suggest we keep it simple and throw "Ping/The Ping Icon" into the mixed.

It flows great with any phrase - being used as a noun or verb plus people wouldn't have to think so hard about why its named that. Its a classic.

Kevin if you look at the comments I also suggested Noti although I wasn't sure which way to spell it. I'm guessing I was beat to the punch?

I kinda prefer "asterisk". I guess I'm just "a square".
From the list I like Burst, Spark, and Splash.

I voted burst. With burst, you get the alliteration ... Blackberry Burst .... b, b, b, .... sounds good and rolls off the tongue. Spark is good. Spark something new ... yada yada. Splash ... I guess...

P.S. I still think RIM should go forward with those "Just taaaaap!" nfc commercials.

Looks like maybe a run-off is in order seeing the spread. Drop the lowest or lowest 2 and do another poll.

If its long name could be ActionIcon, or Act-Icon (without the hyphen, added that to emphasize the capitalization ala BlackBerry, but the font makes it look funny - ActIcon), we could call it the

BlackBerry "aCon" or "ACon".

After seeing the original post and now the poll, I have to go with Spark.

1) One syllable
2) Sounds exciting, the start of something, like Kevin says
3) "No" as a starting syllable (in the case of Nova or Noti) doesn't give a positive vibe, as some have commented before.

I think naming it anything is excessively unnecessary, but I'll vote for spark because it kind of looks like one on the device's screen size, and its the only name there that doesn't sound ridiculous in use ("next, click or tap the spark to see your new message") and what have you.

What about Philip? Apple has siri we can have Phil or Philip( like a Philips head screwdriver aka a tool to get SH*t done.. (too corny?)

Philips head screwdriver sucks bad. Almost as bad as the slot screwdriver (which sucked so bad, even the inventor was ashamed to put his name on it.)

You wanna get sh*t done? Use a Robertson. Another ingenious Canadian invention.

OK, you can say I'm nuts if you want, but since you wrote yesterday that RIM employees call it the Splat, I actually really like that name.

It's fun, kinda quirky, defines what it is... I like it!


i like splat. i don't think any marketed name will catch on at all. I voted spark, but still sounds a little childish. Really, i don't see it becoming adopted by the general consumer... Maybe if it becomes part of the official BlackBerry vocabulary and best practices for developers.. maybe. but even then, I don't know how much value this has on the overall brand value. The icon itself is absolutely priceless,.. the naming of the icon is very difficult. None of these suggestions do it justice.

I think 'STAR' would be the best name to use. The symbol does look like a STAR ! And I like the way it sounds when someone asks, "How many STARS did you get"?

I don't like the sound any of them either, to be honest. I don't think they're something I'd use on a regular basis.

Nova doesn't really work other than as a name. It doesn't really sound like it should be used in a sentence to refer to a notification.

"I just got a 'nova' from App World, I wonder what Apps have updated?"

Just doesn't sound right.

Splash goes with the "flow" of BB10. The flow of BB10 is so fluid and on going like waves. You only have to stop the flow for the "Splash". Now, that is a commercial.

All choices above in the OP are terrible, they do not align with any of BlackBerry strategies or the current image BB 10 that RIM describes (flow, peek, etc). The average consumer needs something catchy they can relate to that symbol which must relate to the experience described in the vision of BB 10. I know this is all unofficial but buzz starts from somewhere and Crackberry always has that influence on the BlackBerry loyalists and readers. It just doesn't feel right saying any of those things in public.

The notification symbol is the phone communicating to the user that there is something new to see, read and respond to. I'd suggest "look" "focus" or "point" as the phone is trying to get you, the user, to focus and look at certain points of the phone.

Spark is awesome.
When I read Spark, I thought of: "Sparking a conversation".

I have conversations on my BlackBerry via Email, BBM, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It is really fitting and to @black.rhino, great thinking.

I don't care what this symbol is called. It's a relic, totally redundant when every other smart phone has the infinitely more useful habit of showing you how MANY new messages you have in a little red circle. RIM keeping hold of this outdated hangover from a bygone era is symbollic of what is wrong with the company. I don't want a "splat" on BB10, I want to know how many new messages I have.

You obviously don't own a BlackBerry, because if you did, you'd know that the number of each type of message is CLEARLY shown on the home-screen!

Splat is used to show exactly which application is communicating with the customer... Nice try at bringing the conversion down to the 'pathetic troll level' though!


bump? takes cues from internet/forum language - an act of pushing content to the top of a thread - or feed... alliteration makes it's play if it had to... a blackberry underneath something would create a bump... information and content is bumping through to the surface of the display...

Spark?! Come on people. It doesn't seem to relate to a real blackberry (the fruit and flavor) like Burst or Splash.

Would have far prefer something like "act", this is the blackberry act, and it's time for action!

I'll vote for whatever isn't copyrighted and doesn't end up in a lawsuit.

That said, Noti is weak sauce. Although I like the hidden conotation that it's NOTi (like not an iPhone), it just doesn't have that je ne sais quoi.

Nova doesn't bring to mind anything at all except crappy cars. Burst is too generic and splash for some reason just doesn't seem to fit. Splash is what happens when something falls in liquid. It's more of a reaction than an action.

Spark is the only decent choice left out of the group because it's the start of something and it's fast.

Personally I'd like to just see it called "Action". It fits with the marketing and I could see myself saying "I've got actions waiting on my inbox" and nobody wants to keep action waiting!

People are trying too hard to be clever...

I chose a single syllable word which is easy to pronounce and doesn’t have TOO much of an ‘English’ bias to it Noti would have worked, too, because it’s the same in several other languages (all the Latin based languages, anyway).

Anyway – it’s all just a game – it won’t matter in 50 years will it?

Thank you for the nearly 18% who voted for Burst.