[Foundation-l] Rethinking brands

Robert Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Wed May 9 15:55:23 UTC 2007

Andreas Praefcke wrote:
> I just cannot see how Erik's proposal should help with his main issue
> which I would rather describe as "Wikimedia" being the weakest of
> names, especially since "Wikipedia" and "MediaWiki" are out there and
> very, very well known.
> To me, "Wikimedia" is the one name to be changed: something completely
> new may be invented in its place, and pretty much nobody would
> complain. Apart from some hardcore Wikipedians/Wikimedians and maybe a
> couple of sponsors, I don't think anyone knows the name at all. And
> those that know could most easily adopt a catchier name. Preferably
> something nice and fluffy that could be put on a T-shirt and made into
> a stuffed animal...
> As to Erik's proposal, it reminds me of some of the marketing-driven
> naming and renaming schemes that do not care too much about usability
> and "catchiness". We might even end up with a mess like the following
> (recommended reading if you want to be sure to get a headache within 2
> minutes):
> http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps2237/products_qanda_item0900aecd805e69cf.shtml
> In a recent message, Erik asked for "rational" arguments rather than
> "emotional" ones. Here's one: IMHO "emotional success with the
> contributing user" pretty much equals "success" in non-profit
> grassroot communities like Wikimedia's projects.
> Regards
> -  Andreas Praefcke

I could not have said it better.  Volunteers are the heart and soul of 
Wikimedia projects, and brands for volunteer groups have substantially 
different needs than for-profit joint stock corporations.  You should 
not be using the same business model for describing the two different 
kinds of thinking.

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