Rule #15 of creating an Internet start-up: Short names are good. Just look at all the companies that are eliminating letters from their names--i.e. Flickr. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the brains behind STATravel193 got that memo. STATravel193 is a new social networking site created by STA Travel, an agency which organizes study-abroad logistics for students. The thinking behind "193" is cute--there are 193 countries in the world--but the site's name comes across as sounding like an AOL screenname.
Nevertheless, I'm hoping that Web users will be able to get past the awkward name of STATravel193, because it looks like this is one "niche" social networking site that will serve a very useful purpose. Right now, the site is in a pre-launch mode, but eventually it aims to be a full-on social networking site for students who are abroad or planning to go abroad, and I think that's a much-needed niche on the Web. I never studied abroad in college, but I knew plenty of people who did, and I remember that the majority of them were quite nervous throughout the organization and preparation process. This will likely be a great resource.
On the downside, the site is currently very Flash-heavy, which likely won't translate well to the oft-shoddy wireless access still found in many colleges' student housing.
(Via PSFK Trend.)