[Foundation-l] Rethinking brands

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Wed May 9 06:34:15 UTC 2007

On 5/9/07, Brianna Laugher <brianna.laugher at gmail.com> wrote:
> Some of our projects (Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Commons, Wikiquote)
> naturally lend themselves to a kind of "shallow" entry where number of
> hits is a more or less accurate metric for success - people come to
> these projects looking for bite-sized pieces (one page) of
> information.

Wikipedia, one page of information? Many topics start with very
detailed overview articles and allow you to explore in depth, and the
creative uses around Wikipedia that we know about certainly encompass
everything you list for Wikibooks+. You can definitely consult WP in
similar manners as you would a textbook. Yes, the average engagement
with the resource may be shorter. But I think traffic is still a
reasonable measure of that, as short lookups are unlikely to lead to
lots of subsequent hits. And, let's not kid ourselves as to the size
of the gap in recognition & use.

> Anyway, your general comparisons with Google are not wholly
> convincing, because Google Mail is built by paid Google employees who
> don't need to be personally invested in the identity and importance of
> the project they're working on.

To be fair, the largest community that Google operates is not strongly
Google-branded: Orkut. But there's another big difference, in that
Wikipedia _does_ stand for a community of values & the non-profit that
operates it, not just for some faceless corporate entity.

The strongest argument against the rebranding I see is that people do
not want to be seen as mere service providers to Wikipedia. I can
argue against that perception, of course (which I think is certainly
logically flawed), but if that is the majority feeling, and unlikely
to change, then it may be pointless to debate the issue any further
(and be useful to limit the discussion, perhaps, to the
Wikimedia/Wikipedia confusion). So, the best next step will probably
be to summarize the arguments that have been made here, and to poll
for some numbers.

Peace & Love,

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

"An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic

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