[Foundation-l] Rethinking brands

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Tue May 15 14:22:13 UTC 2007

On 5/15/07, hillgentleman <hillgentleman.wikiversity at gmail.com> wrote:
> Calling Wikiversity "Wikipedia Learning" is not uncomfortable.  It is
> wrong.  It misrepresents what Wikiversity is, as if to say,
> Wikiversity is a subcatgegory of wikipedia whose purpose is to study
> what wikipedia has.

That depends on how you parse it, and there is a strong argument to be
made that the general public will parse it differently from our core
community. The kind of literal and semantic arguments found in this
thread are unlikely to be made by people who identify "Wikipedia" with
a broad notion of a source of knowledge, an online community, and an
organization or company.

Moreover, one could hardly argue that the name "Wikiversity" is
self-explanatory. It is not a university, it does not award degrees,
etc. People understand it by visiting the website and looking at the
materials there. I believe the name "Wikipedia Learning" is much more
explanatory, and any initial misunderstanding (which any name can
cause) will disappear as soon as people actually look at the contents.

> In practice, it also fails to stand out amongst the numerous
> education/academic oriented sites, for example:
> http://education.wikia.com/wiki/Wikiversity
> http://academia.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
> http://www.wikieducator.org/Main_Page
> http://collaboration.wikia.com/wiki/Wikiversity
> http://www.curriki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Main/WebHome
> http://www.qedoc.org/en/index.php?title=Main_Page

Excuse me? You would seriously argue that "Wikipedia XY" does not
stand out among those names? "Wikipedia" is the only name we have that
has global recognition, orders of magnitude more so than any of the
above. Wikiversity, on the other hand, is on equal footing with all of

> A name is crucial and intrinsic to anything, anybody, anyone.   To
> suggest changing the name for the sheer convenience in marketing in
> the short term, is to get the priorities wrong.

That's a straw man argument; the lines of reasoning (including the
e-mail you responded to, most of which you ignored) are more complex
than "sheer convenience in marketing". Nor are you proposing any
realistic solutions to the problem Claus pointed out.

Peace & Love,

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the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

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