Pregnant couple gets 1,000 votes crowdsourcing baby name online

Jul 29, 2013, 07:30 ET from Belly Ballot

DELAND, Fla., July 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A Florida couple has crowdsourced the choice of their first born child's name to friends, family, and complete strangers online. After recently becoming pregnant Shelby Nystrom and her husband Joshua chose to avoid the conventional approach of naming their child in the privacy of their own home, opting instead to cede judgment to voters on the internet.

After reading through a copy of Parenting Magazine®, they learned more about a new parenting trend called "Belly Branding" where pregnant couples will crowdsource their baby name decision via social media.  "I read about the whole concept of having friends and strangers alike participate in helping me name our child…it looked like so much fun!" said Shelby.  "We weren't sure which name would be best, so we decided to crowdsource it instead and let the internet decide."

The couple created a ballot on the parenting site called "Belly Ballot" where parents select their top 5 boy and girl names, inviting friends, family and internet visitors to vote via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. People even have the option of submitting other names for consideration, creating some interesting options for users to vote on.

"We published a list of our favorites, but some of the voters submitted names we hadn't even considered." The expectant parents soon saw over 1,000 mostly strangers piling in to choose their child's name. "One choice was Tombrady, all one word. I have to say, at that point, my husband and I got a little nervous. Pats fans are loyal, I guess." The submitted names included Tombrady, Trayvon, Prince George Alexander Louis, and Edward. 

The trend towards social baby naming is not new.  In 2012 many high-profile celebrities like Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer shared their baby name choices with friends and family online.  In Mayer's case, they circulated a short list via an email newsletter to solicit feedback.  Like many personal decisions that were once considered "private", the impact of social media has begun to creep into the most consequential of choices.

"We love to hear stories like Shelby's who've had fun including friends and family on this important milestone in a child's life," said Lucie Strachonova, Editor for Belly Ballot.  "Thousands of mommies are now sharing their Belly Ballots online every month.  The phenomenon has definitely caught on.  In the end, I think crowdsourcing will become more and more common for choices like these. Soon I could imagine people allowing the Internet to choose their dates for them."

Additional Links:

Shelby's Ballot:

Shelby Nystrom Facebook:

Further Information and comments: or

Contact: Lucie Strachonova,

SOURCE Belly Ballot