[Foundation-l] Rethinking Brands

Andrew Whitworth wknight8111 at hotmail.com
Wed May 9 14:06:19 UTC 2007

>On 5/8/07, Johannes Rohr <jorohr at gmail.com> wrote:
>>Besides everything else which has been said already, I do not find
>>these names particularly appealing. "Wikibooks" is short and catchy,
>>"Wikipedia Textbooks" is long and clumsy and has a taste of
>>ugly marketspeak.
>Wikibooks is actually one of our most problematic names, as the focus
>is very much on textbook development. Short and catchy as it ma ybe,
>it is misleading. Fundamentally, I can see problems with the project's
>conception around a very specific type of knowledge representation (be
>it generally a book or specifically a textbook), but if that is how we
>define it, then we should at least be clear what _kind_ of books we
>are talking about.

The problem right now, at least with en.wikibooks, is that a substantial 
number of our books are not what are considered traditional "textbooks". 
There are plenty of books that are instructional or informative in nature 
that really don't fit that classical definition. The solutions to this are 
to either a) redefine the word "textbook" to mean what we want it to mean or 
b) expand the definition of wikibooks to allow "textbooks, and other 
instructional books". This second definition, while a little vague perhaps, 
is much more fitting of the name "Wikibooks" then "Wikipedia textbooks".

Also, at en.wikibooks, we've had surprisingly little confusion about what is 
and is not allowed. Every now and again we have to turn a book donation over 
to wikisource, but I would say in general that there is no confusion as to 
what "Wikibooks" is all about. Changing the name to "Wikipedia Textbooks" 
would suddenly cause a crisis specifically because many of our books are not 
"textbooks". Do we change our policy in that case, or do we need to spend 
countless hours explaining that our name is simply not accurate?

--Andrew Whitworth

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