[Foundation-l] Rethinking Brands

Andrew Whitworth wknight8111 at hotmail.com
Tue May 8 01:20:28 UTC 2007

>There is an alternative brand strategy: making use of the strongest
>brand (Wikipedia) to identify all activities of the Foundation.

As a wikibookian almost exclusively, i have some issues with this idea.
* Wikipedia is like the domineering older sister, and other WMF projects 
have been trying long and hard to differentiate themselves from wikipedia. I 
know at en.wikibooks we've spent considerable time explaining why we are not 
wikipedia, and how it is that we differ from that project. Naming us 
"wikipedia books" would simply blur the lines even further, and stamp out 
our attempts at forming an independent, successful project. Wikibooks is 
still small but it is growing steadily, and we hope (perhaps naively) that 
we will be big and important some day just like wikipedia is now. Renaming 
us to "Wikipedia books" is akin to saying "you will never be as important as 
* Along the lines of the above, many projects have very different policy 
then wikipedia does. Naming all the sites "wikipedia" will raise confusion 
because every project handles things differently. Users will be needlessly 
confused by us saying "no, you can do that on the other wikipedia, but you 
can't do that on this wikipedia", etc.
* Saying "Wikibooks is a sister project of Wikipedia" is far less confusing 
then saying that "Wikipedia books is not quite the same as the regular 
wikipedia, even though we have the same name."
* What would be the new URL? would it be something convoluted like 
en.books.wikipedia.org? There are alot of links that would need to be 
updated, on-wiki and elsewhere if our URL was changed.
* The WMF has some history of loving Wikipedia and ignoring the other 
projects. For example, what percentage of WMF board members have an account 
at en.wikibooks? any language wikibooks? Other then giving up on other 
projects and focusing on wikipedia, you should be encouraging other projects 
to grow independently. changing our name, while you may call it "rebranding" 
seems alot to me like squashing our identity and our potential as an 
independent WMF project.
* Since an encyclopedia and a dictionary are "books", it would really be 
less confusing to rename wikipedia and wiktionary to "Encyclopedia Wikibook" 
and "Dictionary Wikibook", respectively. Alternatively, since all of the 
books at wikibooks are not encyclopedia's, it makes no sense to brand them 
with the 'pedia suffix :)

--Andrew Whitworth

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