[Foundation-l] WikiPedia Foundation?

Husky huskyr at gmail.com
Thu May 10 19:44:52 UTC 2007

I wouldn't agree with rebranding Wikimedia to Wikipedia and calling
all the projects in such a way ('Wikibooks, a Wikipedia project). I
remember a fruit juice company in the Netherlands doing exactly that:
their main (and most well known product) was an orange juice called
'Appelsientje', but they had lots of other juices with different, but
similar names ('Pompelmoentje', 'Tomatientje', 'Goudappeltje', all
with 'tje' behind the word). Because their orange juice was the most
well-known they decided to rebrand all their fruit juices with the
'Appelsientje' brand. For example: 'Goudappeltje' (which was apple
juice) was rebranded as 'Appelsientje apple juice'.

The rebranding wasn't the success they hoped for, and after a few
years they reversed a few of the original names because people
couldn't find their apple juice on the shelves and were afraid that
they were buying orange juice instead of apple juice. The same might
be true if we would rebrand all projects in such a way: people looking
for Wikibooks might be confused that they are on Wikipedia instead of

I think you can see from this example that rebranding is a very
difficult process and might induce confusion. We already have a row of
brands that all have something in common (the word 'wiki' somewhere in
the brand). The current situation leads to two problems:

1) The Wikipedia/Wikimedia confusion
2) 'wiki' is not a trademark, and could therefore be used by anyone,
leading to confusion about who own the project (e.g. 'Wikitravel' is
not a WM foundation project).

The first problem could be solved by simply being consistent in always
talking about the 'Wikimedia Foundation' instead of 'Wikimedia' to
anyone who could possibly be confused about the name.

The second problem is a little harder to tackle. The solution to that
is IMHO a combination of mentioning the name 'Wikimedia' somewhere
prominently on the project page (more so than right now) with a
consistent graphical design across the projects. All the projects are
already consistent in design using monobook as a standard skin, but
because every Mediawiki installation carries that skin every new
Mediawiki installation looks like another Wikimedia project. Maybe we
should develop a new skin that is visually different than monobook
(and is not included with the Mediawiki installation) and use that
across all projects.

-- Hay Kranen / [[User:Husky]]

On 5/10/07, Marco Chiesa <chiesa.marco at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 5/10/07, daniwo59 at aol.com <daniwo59 at aol.com> wrote:
> >
> > Apparently, the phone message has been changed, and it now says WIKIPEDIA
> > Foundation.
> >
> > Well, it actually wouldn't be a bad idea for the rebranding. Wikimedia is
> confusingly similar to Wikipedia (all the other projects' names differ by
> more than a letter), and it can be easily mistaken for MediaWiki. Something
> like: Wikibooks, a project by Wikipedia, rather than Wikibooks, a project
> from Wikimedia which actually happens to be the same organisation which runs
> Wikipedia. In a sense Wikimedia is the least known brand WMF owns, since it
> cannot really be associated with anything in particular. Are communities
> really attached to the name Wikimedia (apart for blaming the WMF for almost
> anything)? The current situation is similar to companies such as
> Procter&Gamble or Unilever, whose main brands are much more known than the
> parent company name itself, however there are many more companies which have
> the name of their main brand, but they also have other brands for niches
> (for example FIAT owns the brands IVECO for lorries, Piaggio for mopeds,
> Lancia for classy cars, Alfa Romeo for quite sporty cars, Ferrari for really
> sporty cars....). In terms of size projects other than wikipedia can be
> considered niches, after all.
> Cruccone
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