[Foundation-l] Wiki[p/m]edia

Ziko van Dijk zvandijk at googlemail.com
Fri Dec 10 14:51:50 UTC 2010

Dear friends,

There should be nobody offended, and no apoligize is necessary. We try
to deal with a complicated situation that would not exist if Wikipedia
would be simply the product of Wikipedia Publishing House.

Whether the names amplify the problem, whether "Wikimedia" was a good
name choice - maybe WMF should rename itself "The Wikipedia
Foundation" and call Wiktionary "The Wikipedia Dictionary" and so on.
Like the "Sprach-Brockhaus" was the dictionary of Brockhaus, they did
not come up with a new name, totally intended.

But I don't believe that that matters much. There are similar problems
in other movements. You can imagine what happened when the president
of the Universal Esperanto Association proclamed that he wants to be
the president of all Esperantists, causing many people stressing out
that UEA is not the whole Esperanto movement and that the president is
not their boss.

It is difficult to say how many people refuse to donate to Wikimedia
because they want to donate to Wikipedia. People should know that you
can't donate to a website itself but only to the institution behind
it. You also can't sue "Ebay the website", only "Ebay the company".

We had the name problem also in the Schulprojekt of Wikimedia
Deutschland (we visit schools and explain about WP/M). Some of us
present themselves as representatives of the "Wikipedia organization",
others use the proper terms. Although I have obtained the reputation
of being a terminological fetishist, I tend to keep things simple and
say that I am from the "Wikipedia organization".

Sometimes I say that I am a representative of "Wikimedia, the
organization behind Wikipedia". Someone even said that there would be
nothing fraudulent if we present ourselves as representatives of the
"offizieller Wikipedia-Förderverein" (official booster club; well, in
German it sounds much more pompous).

Of course, it is always the best if you can take the time and explain
about the relationship between WP and WM. In a fundraising letter
addressed to the public that should be possible. And how to call the
WMF ED? Some creative thinking is necessary. :-)

I enjoyed the "What's in a name" contribution by Erik today, by the way.

Kind regards

2010/12/10 Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org>:
> On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 7:20 PM, Philippe Beaudette
> <pbeaudette at wikimedia.org> wrote:
>> When we get letters saying things like "I'd donate, but only to Wikipedia, not to Wikimedia", it spells
>> out for us that it's possible we could attract more people with the institution of Wikipedia than the
>> institution of Wikimedia.
> Are the donations which were made to Wikipedia, and not Wikimedia,
> going to be restricted for use only by Wikipedia, or was this a bait
> and switch.
> Maybe the people who say they'd "donate, but only to Wikipedia, not to
> Wikimedia" really do want to donate, but only to Wikipedia, not to
> Wikimedia.
>> Suggesting that it was criminal is... well, regrettable.
> I didn't consider that possibility until you explained that the
> intention was to trick people into contributing to Wikimedia when they
> really wanted to contribute to Wikipedia.
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Ziko van Dijk
The Netherlands

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