[Foundation-l] Rethinking Brands
saintonge at telus.net
Tue May 8 04:26:02 UTC 2007
Andrew Whitworth wrote:
>>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
There is one big advantage to having the sister projects fly below the
radar. Wikipedia will get a disproportionate number of vandals,
spammers and other ne'er-do-wells. Wikipedia is welcome to them. ;-)
>* 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."
The sister projects developed specifically because they were not
compatible with the pillar, "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia." A very
broad definition of "encyclopedia" could have accomodated them, but room
had to be made for diverse approaches to knowledge that did not fit into
the encyclopedia mould.
>* 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.
I agree with this. Innovation thrives better if these separate nodes
can develop autonomously. It's easier for newbies to feelo welcome in
the smaller projects where they can be a part of project's policy
development. Trying to do that in a huge project like en:Wikipedia can
be intimidating.; this can too easily leave the impression that newbies
are not welcome. It's easy to argue that changing the names is only a
superficial change, but that can still have radical implications.
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