Communications/Marques Wikimedia/Projet de marque du mouvement 2030/Déclaration de l’executif
There was a request for comment regarding proposals to change the name of the Wikimedia Foundation to use the name Wikipedia. The use of Wikipedia as a name for the Foundation was thoroughly rejected by the community.
The Wikimedia Foundation Board of trustees has resolved to pause the Movement Brand Project until March 2021. Read the full resolution on the Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki.
Bonjour à tous. Je suis Heather Walls, cheffe du département de communication de la Wikimedia Foundation et support exécutif du projet de marque.
Je viens partager quelques informations qui pourraient ou non influencer vos réflexions sur les propositions de noms que mon équipe a partagé cette semaine.
Nous avons exploré les possibilités de centrer nos marques autour de Wikipedia sur la base d'une requête du Conseil d'administration en 2015. La valeur stratégique de cette proposition a été renforcée par une recherche que nous avons menée en 2018 pour soutenir l'orientation stratégique du mouvement. La décision de renommer notre marque a été reconsidérée par le Conseil d'administration en 2018, confirmée comme orientation stratégique en août 2019, et réaffirmée suivant l'examen des conventions de nommage par une résolution en mai 2020.
Voici quelques une des raisons qui nous ont amené à simplifier nos marques :
- Pour satisfaire notre vision que chaque être humain puisse librement avoir accès à la somme de nos connaissances, notre mouvement doit toucher des milliards de personnes. Nous pourrions le faire dès aujourd'hui, mais comme notre recherche nous l'a montré, la marque de notre mouvement entraîne de la confusion et est inconnue. Alors que des millions de personnes visitent Wikipedia chaque jour, ils ignorent qu'il ne s'agit que d'une partie d'un extraordinaire mouvement global.
- Wikimedia, le nom que nous partageons depuis 2003, échoue en tant que marque. Certes, nous avons créé des partenariats au nom de Wikimedia, mais toujours grâce à la force de Wikipedia. La moitié des membres de la communauté Wikimedia interrogés en 2016 répondait qu'ils définissait Wikimedia par référence explicite à Wikipedia, et 25% répondait qu'ils n'utilisaient jamais le nom Wikimedia en dehors du mouvement.
- Wikimedia is often confused with Wikipedia and assumed to be fraudulent by both readers and donors. This is not simply a failure to “label” a product, but as a fundamental communications and values gap that is preventing people from joining and supporting our work.
- People cherish Wikipedia for more than personal utility. In a 2017 study of internet users in seven countries, support for “free knowledge for every person” was the top association with the word “Wikipedia,” outranking “useful” and “easy to read” responses. The commitment to “free knowledge for every person” is the central goal of our movement, and the world associates it with the name Wikipedia not Wikimedia.
- The 2030 strategic direction includes ambitious goals to reach more people as both contributors and readers. One of our roles as the Foundation is to remove whatever friction we can and support the movement in reaching those goals through improved branding. The popularity and trust in the name Wikipedia makes that possible in ways that no marketing campaign would ever achieve.
- These goals will take significant funding, partnerships, and volunteer support, not to mention participation from many more languages, cultures, and people. Whether we like it or not, a major trusted name—as Wikipedia has become—is required to achieve this.
We understood that this decision could not be universally agreed on, and that changing identity is an emotional task as much as a practical one. So we set out to be transparent and inclusive in the steps we were taking towards a rebrand. However, when community discussions began to sway toward attempting to prevent a rebrand, we failed in clearly and consistently responding that a rebrand itself was not up for debate.
Nous aurions dû être plus clairs : le changement de nom aura lieu. Il a déjà été décidé depuis un bail par le conseil d'administration (Board). L'endroit où nous sollicitons des consultations et des contributions est pour savoir à quoi ressemblera la nouvelle image de marque optimale et quel sera le chemin pour y arriver.
In response to community concerns along the way we have revised our plans, extended our timelines, and looked at naming possibilities other than Wikipedia. One thing we did not sufficiently communicate in presenting the potential naming conventions is that the team did a huge amount of work to explore other options not centered on the Wikipedia brand. They dug, they proposed, they reviewed with the Legal team who also did a lot of work exploring options, narrowing down for feasibility and exploring the feasible options in depth. This includes ones we created, as well as suggestions from many community discussions.
In the end, the Board, Brand team, and Legal team agreed that Wikipedia was the change which supported the goals of the change while also meeting practical legal and financial constraints. This is why the Brand team spent extra time to develop solutions exploring interchangeable parts, and are interested in the way these parts might more usefully explain the structures of our movement.
Regarding the survey
The survey is intended as a tool to inform design and development. It is not a vote on which name we all share. It is a chance to remove options that do not work, to refine things that are promising but incomplete, and recombine elements from across the “options” that respondents highlight.
Regarding the name of the Wikimedia Foundation
Whatever the precise solution, the Wikimedia Foundation reserves the right to revise its name for strategic reasons that serve the sustainability of the movement and our shared vision. As mentioned in the timeline, there will be further revisions of a potential new name. The Executive Team and the Board of Trustees are interested in community discussion and survey feedback, but will make this decision based on long term goals.
Regarding the names of affiliates
After the completion of the Brand Project, there will be a proposal containing a set of naming conventions and a brand design system informed by surveys and discussions. Each affiliate will have the opportunity to decide whether or not to opt-in to the new system, this includes the Wikimedia Foundation. Similar to the Wikimedia Foundation, the leadership of each affiliate can then decide how to proceed. The Foundation will work to provide support as requested during this process.
Regarding the name of the movement
There is no entity, including the Wikimedia Foundation, that has the power to change how people who work in and for our projects refer to themselves. People choose to consider themselves Wikimedians, or Wikipedians, or free knowledge advocates. The name of the movement comes from the will of the people, not the other way around. However, we felt it was important to explore how any brand change would interact with current or future identities for the movement. We understand that the name for the movement is the one that is accepted and used by the community, and we hope our discussions reveal what motivates people, what resonates with their goals, and what helps expand the movement in service of our mission.
And finally, I take responsibility that we have not managed to bring all of you along on this journey in the way we hoped and intended, or clearly communicated the Foundation’s intentions. I deeply regret causing stress and tension that have increased rifts between the Foundation and many community members. I am grateful for your participation even when your concerns for our methods provoke questions about the Foundation’s motivations.
Our movement, our projects, and the Foundation are nothing without our communities. We are learning many valuable lessons through this work, including how to communicate more clearly and more productively collaborate across our movement. The Foundation is building a consultation practice during the coming year to ensure that we retain these lessons and share them across the organization.