When I read something like this, it takes me aback. Yes, people may have an
opinion, they may even express it and they even may be wrong. Who cares
really. There is enough to dislike in branding, we are not cattle. From a
marketing perspective there may be a point. The point would be to bring all
that we do together, bring it together so that what it is we are and what
is we do better understood by an audience, an audience that we want to
entice to like us enough to become part of our Wikimedia movement.
The problem is that the "long time contributors" don't like change. They
have invested so much in whatever it is they think makes our projects work
that they do not see the forest from the trees. They forget what our
primary aim, is and fail to appreciate that all conventions are there to
support the aim of sharing in the sum of all knowledge. This week Wikipedia
administrators killed off the ListeriaBot because it defied a convention. A
convention that they could not explain to me does harm to our public. A
convention that exists because it was conceded to English Wikipedia that
they could have non free images exclusive to its project. When challenged
that they do not care about Wikipedia's quality, that manually maintained
lists average out to be not as well maintained as Listeria list there was
silence. They did not care because it did not address their need that their
convention had to prevail.
"Long time contributors", administrators are the ones expecting others to
share their sentiment about everything what is bad. I don't. Katherine
Maher brought an end to a period of stagnation. My impression is that at
the Wikimedia Foundation things look up. I love it that the WMF wants to
expand and I totally agree that English Wikipedia, its best known product,
the brand that is known by many is exactly what is not bringing us
I prefer people like Mackenzie Lemieux or Jess Wade any time over the "long
time contributors".. PS with a blog going back 15 years, with 2,606,298
edits I qualify as a long time contributor..
So if your opinions are as good as the reflections you have on the quality
of Wikipedia, I do not care about your opinions. By my calculations there
is on average error rate of 4% in lists because of false friends. Magnus
blogged how manually maintained list are anything but well maintained
lists. The key point of branding in the marketing sense is that it is to
bring out the best of what is on offer.
The basis of what we have on offer is in what we aim to achieve and, for me
our aim is to share in the sum of the knowledge that is available to us.
Everything that is in its way of achieving this needs reflection and imho
there is a lot to reflect.
On Wed, 15 Apr 2020 at 18:59, MZMcBride <z(a)mzmcbride.com> wrote:
David Gerard wrote:
So this has been dictated from above - the "community consultation" is
window dressing for a decision that's long been made.
Hence the nonsensical claims of massive community support by fiddling
the numbers, employing literal wiki spammers to do the consulting,
Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is bad. There are dozens of examples
illustrating why this is true, but this forcible rebranding is a
particularly good demonstration of the rot.
The people most directly responsible here are Katherine Maher and Heather
Walls. They're both subscribed to this mailing list, they both understand
that this decision would upset long-time contributors, and they both
simply decided to ignore any complaints in favor of attempting to siphon
more money from donors and force their "vision" on the broader movement.
You don't see either of them defending themselves or their actions here
for a reason. They didn't both forget how e-mail works or how the wikis
work, they've intentionally chosen to plug their ears and march forward.
What's more offensive, in my opinion, than this forcible rebranding effort
is that they've spent and will continue to spend hundreds of thousands of
dollars on it. It would be bad enough to make this unilateral decision and
implement it with the existing bloated staff, but instead they've hired
agencies and consultants and wasted additional hundreds of thousands of
dollars in donor money on this sham exercise.
But don't worry, highly deceptive advertising is back on the projects, in
mid-April, to ensure continued funding of this and other charades.
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