[Foundation-l] Rethinking brands

Florence Devouard Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Tue May 8 17:38:51 UTC 2007

Brianna Laugher wrote:
> OMG. Reading this message gave me scary deja vu.
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/commons-l/2007-March/001582.html
> except I was joking.
> Five years ago, Wikipedia was barely known at all. Now it is globally
> known and recognised.
> What will recognition of WMF projects be like in another five years?
> Who can tell? But if you envision as I do, eventually a global
> presence for WMF, a reputation for free access & license quality
> content in multiple languages, then it seems short-sighted to rename
> everything after Wikipedia just because it is our most well known
> project right now.
> It seems to me many of our projects are ahead of their time. I guess
> they will struggle for recognition and popularity until the world
> catches up. Renaming them won't change that.
> This proposal really surprises me, because I feel there is already a
> perception from non-[English ]Wikipedia projects the Board only cares
> about English Wikipedia, and that they are not getting the support
> they want. Suggesting "hey, just rename yourself under Wikipedia and
> boom, success!" doesn't seem to me that it will go down well.
> Speaking for my involvement with Commons, I want success for Commons
> on its own terms. Not just as a service project to Wikipedia.
>> Once rebranded, the projects could also be featured in different ways.
>> For instance, a list of projects could be shown in a navigation bar at
>> the top of every page:
>> : Other Wikipedia Projects: Sources | Textbooks | Quotes | Dictionary
>> | Media | Species | News | Learning
> We don't need to wait for a rebranding to do something very similar to
> this, do we?
>> * Recognition of Wikipedia as flagship removes some of the media
>> pressure that every new project has to immediately (or ever) be just
>> as successful, which may very well be completely unrealistic.
> What 'media pressure' are you referring to?
> Does WMF care if its other projects are or aren't 'successful'?
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-April/029773.html
>> * Discourages tribal thinking about projects, where even highly
>> experienced Wiki[mp]edians are treated with as much suspicion as any
>> newbie when they join another Wiki-* project.
> I don't see a URL change changing that. While some communities can be
> overzealously protective, a certain amount of protectiveness strikes
> me as a good thing. There's a reason why almost all projects have a
> policy page that amounts to 'We are not Wikipedia, don't do things the
> Wikipedia way because we do them differently here'.
>> * There is no such thing as a Wikimedia community. We must recognize
>> that each small community has its own values and principles, and avoid
>> empire-building. => A healthy dynamic between global and local values
>> is key; describing and spreading the minimal (but important) global
>> values that we have is a core reason we have a WMF and a chapter
>> network in the first place. We already recognize all projects as part
>> of the "Wikimedia" family; changing the brand to "Wikipedia" would
>> merely reduce the confusion.
> No. At the moment Wikipedia and Wikibooks and Wikinews etc are all
> conceptually on the same level. But Wikipedia and Wikipedia Textbooks
> and Wikipedia News? These latter two are conceptually at a lower
> level. Reorganising projects like this would not "merely" reduce
> confusion, it would change people's perceptions about the relations
> between these entities...and their relative importance.
>> * This will crush small projects under the juggernaut of the evil
>> Wikipedia and divert even more attention from them. => There is no
>> basis for such assumptions; indeed, it is quite reasonable to suppose
>> that identification with the strong "Wikipedia" brand will make it
>> _easier_ to resolve the particular technical needs of Wikipedia News,
>> Wikipedia Sources, etc. Raising money and developing partnerships for
>> Wikipedia is relatively easy, compared with a project hardly anybody
>> has ever heard of.
> Why not just use the phrases "Wikipedia Sources" etc with potential
> developers right now, then?
>> I'd appreciate other critical commentary on this brand model. Frankly,
>> I see very few benefits in the strategy we have chosen to adopt
>> (perhaps more as a habit than as a result of careful deliberation).
> I'm guessing that's because brand recognition wasn't at the forefront
> of people's minds when they mused about potential project names. e.g.
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2004-March/011854.html
> :)
> Making such a major change merely in service of brand recognition
> seems backward to me, especially given that we're not selling
> anything.
> regards
> Brianna
> user:pfctdayelise

The way I read it (forgive me if I am wrong), your email seems to be 
implying that this is a suggestion from WMF. It is not so. It has not 
been discussed on the board, and even less agreed upon. Take it for what 
it is, a simple suggestion by one person, not a wmf suggestion.

Note that there is chance other suggestions are made by board members 
during elections time. Please take these suggestions as platform 
discussion, not as wmf position.



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