[Foundation-l] Rethinking brands

phoebe ayers phoebe.wiki at gmail.com
Wed May 9 17:06:11 UTC 2007

On 5/8/07, Dmcdevit <dmcdevit at cox.net> wrote:
> Kelly Martin wrote:
> > Indeed, the proper response to the lower profile of the other projects
> > is to advertise them more heavily, not to submerge them further.
> >
> >
> This may or may not be off topic, but one thing we are terrible at is
> cross-project community support. The submerged projects are largely our
> own doing. Mostly this is because most editors are (and I mean this
> factually, not disparagingly) wrapped up in their own work and project,
> and not necessarily connected to the wider Wikimedia mission or free
> content, and not well-acquainted with the other projects. From my
> perspective as a dual Wiktionarian and Wikipedian, I would say a huge
> proportion of Wikipedia articles that could have crossproject templates
> (i.e. {{wiktionary}}), which is most of the non-proper noun, non-phrase
> articles (100s K?) lack them. There is virtually no use of internal
> linking between the projects, even though it is [[wikt:easy|]], as easy
> as linking to another namespace. We should link all technical terms, and
> lists of terms, phrases, etc., from Wikipedia to Wiktionary instead;
> whereas now we have crappy stub articles or neverending terms lists on
> them, we could have more more useful dictionary articles, which affords
> etymologies, parts of speech, dictionary-style citations, audio
> pronunciations, and translations.

Agreed with this post,  Brianna's thoughtful analysis, and SJ's note on
one-word identifiers for the projects being a good thing: perhaps the thing
to work on is not the external "branding" of Wikibooks et al, but how they
are thought of and treated within Wikipedia culture. Since Wikipedia does
generate most of the traffic going toward the Wikimedia projects, a big push
to raise the profile of the sister projects within Wikipedia through
interwikis, better templates, highlighting "Other Wikimedia Projects"
whenever possible, etc would likely do wonders for both traffic and new
contributors for these projects. Yes, given our high profile a rebranding
campaign would garner a lot of media attention, as they often do (it seems
like American television is always running advertisements for one phone
company merging with another) -- but it would not address or create what's
at the *core* of success for wiki-driven projects: a happy, growing and
productive userbase, and usefulness to the reading public. This we can only
build through internal community work; more support from all the Wikipedias
would help a lot. There should not be a conflict between thinking of
Wiktionary, say, as both an independent project -- "the world's best free
online dictionary!" -- and as a useful extension for Wikipedia -- "oh yeah,
that's where we always link to for word definitions."

As someone else noted, the difference between using "wiki" and "wikipedia"
is becoming increasingly blurred in the outside world. If this is indeed the
case, it's not *wikipedia* that's becoming the strongest brand -- it's the
concept of *wiki*, which is reflected in all of our names. There is nothing
at all stopping us from keeping the existing official project names AND
internally using the "books -- dictionary -- sources" templates that Erik
proposes, which are catchy and to-the-point, and will help draw in
contributors to those projects.

-- phoebe

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