[Wikipedia-l] Phase III name change to MediaWiki and separate press releases

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Sat Aug 9 04:52:02 UTC 2003

Erik Moeller wrote:

>>Hm. Kat suggested that only one big item should be on each press release, so
>>maybe we can have a separate press release announcing the name change and
>>talking about the software itself?
>I disagree with this. But I think that the 300K milestone should not be  
>the headline of the press release -- just mentioned in the first  
>paragraph. The headline should be something like "Wikipedia goes non- 
>profit, launches new projects".
No.  We aren't '''going''' non-profit; we always have been.  What 
exactly does saying that we are going non-profit accomplish? 
 Incorporating Wikimedia is an administrative action which probably 
doesn't mean much to the general public.

As for publicity for "launching new projects", I don't think that 
accomplishes very much either.  The other projects are mostly at an 
experimental stage, and as much as they may welcome new contributors a 
sudden influx of inexperienced people there could have unpredictable 

Stressing that we have a quarter million articles appeals to the 
bandwagon effect.  Remarking about our competitive position in relation 
to other on-line encyclopedias makes sense because because it draws 
people into a competition where they can feel a part of the winning 
team.  Being mentioned by CNN means something; being high rated by Alexa 
is noteworthy; having a news article say, "These guys know their stuff," 
says something about our credibility.

Even more important is stressing our core principles of NPOV and making 
knowledge broadly and freely available to everybody.  Stressing also 
that participants can share the responsibility of safeguarding those 
core principles is a further strength.

I think that Wikimedia is a far more dynamic creation than one that 
merely trots out the same old unbelievable humdrum platitudes about 
being non-profit or purveying new products.  


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