Communications/Wikimedia brands/2030 movement brand project/Unified brand concept: Interconnection
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.
As part of the 2030 Movement Brand Project, a unified brand concept was created to guide work around naming convention and design proposals. The unified brand concept, interconnection, was synthesized from community feedback collected in workshops and online exercises. It encompasses and links together perspectives around the question who are we? This concept will not be a visible part of branding, but instead a guiding idea.
The unified concept interconnection in the project process
Concept creation was Phase 1 of the timeline of the 2030 Movement Brand Project. With the creation and presentation of the unified concept, the project concluded Phase 1.
How interconnection was generated
During the community workshops hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation and the project design partner, Snøhetta, in Oslo, Bengaluru and online, 97 community members developed 23 concepts to answer the question who are we?
From the 23 concepts generated in the workshops, three thematic categories were distilled:
These three thematic categories demonstrated the different scales at which community members envision the Wikimedia movement. They showed the way that individuals connect to form collective units that form entire expansive systems.
"Who are we?" open online exercise
The 23 concepts were published in the form of an open online exercise, “Who are we?”, that allowed participants to “like” and comment on concepts. The project design partner, Snøhetta, used the likes and comments as signals about what resonated with participants.
The exercise received: 1352 visits 46 comments 1213 likes
“Likes” were not seen as votes, but rather as endorsements of identification with a certain concept.
The concepts that had the most community endorsements from the exercise participants were:
Connections - 111
Public. Good - 84
Particle - 81
Universe - 80
Mosaic - 68
Endorsements heavily leaned in the direction of connections of smaller things as parts of a larger whole, with “connections”, “particle”, “universe” and “mosaic” all reflecting this notion. Many of the comments also delved into the idea of connections and relationships between elements of our movement:
“The movement is all about connections. Volunteers connect to each other through projects, they connect people with knowledge, that knowledge, in turn, integrates connections that send people through a journey of learning connected to different communities, events and happenings”
“People are the connection to knowledge. People connect with articles as editors + readers. Wikimedia projects connect with each other. AIl connects improvement options with wiki work. Images connect with articles. Articles connect with articles + sources. Linked data connects everything.”
“Wikipedia projects are crowd sourced. Users collaborate for the singular purpose of building free content. Collaborators are driven by the need to populate easily accessible knowledge for the greater good”
“(...) A people-centred and open movement. It also captures our vision to be the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge and anyone can join”
“Wikimedia work is not only done by dispersed individuals. Editors compliment one anothers activities; someone works on technical issues, someone checks against vandalisms, someone may “merely” correct punctuation, but the collective effort is visible as a page”
“Nothing is finished, tests and explorations are welcome, all interactions are reversible and conversable : so dive in without worry, and contribute what you see is needed.”
“There’s always something to add, or develop, or improve, or fix. We are far from completing our mission. There are gaps and we’re here to fill those gaps. Anyone can bring new energy and make things happen”
Linking together the 23 concepts, their thematic categories, and the community feedback gathered online, Snøhetta arrived at interconnection. This unified concept distills the various insights and definitions from feedback into one idea, and simultaneously adds more meaning to the answer to the question Who are we?
Interconnections are mutual connections between two or more things.
From the smallest interconnections, to the bigger picture.
We find interconnections in nature and through ecosystems.
There are interconnections between people who are creating something bigger.
Interconnections between languages, cultures and beliefs.
Enabling us to understand, discuss and contribute and share knowledge.
Presentation of the unified concept, interconnection
On 16 April 2020, the Brand Project team and project design partner Snøhetta hosted a joint session that summarized the Movement Brand Project's progress, reported on feedback received throughout Phase 1, and and presented interconnection as the project's unified concept. The presentation had 224 attendees.
The recording is also available on YouTube, including the conversation that happened on YouTube chat during the session.
Questions asked during presentation
Here are the questions covered during the presentation:
See them answered in the presentation discussion on YouTube.
- Is this project about a brand for the WMF or the movement? Is it about websites and the Foundation, or more? If it is about the movement, then why does the Board have the final say? And if it is about the movement, how do we formally bring along the affiliates in the process?
- What does movement-wide feedback look like in this process? How much does the feedback consider internal risks especially to community health and project morale?
- For the multiple naming approaches next month, might there be a listing of anticipated plusses and minuses, risks and advantages, for different communities in different parts of the world?
- As the RfC has already indicated that the movement does not consider it acceptable to use the name Wikipedia, why is exploring branding using the Wikipedia name still worth it? Does it concern the branding team that 90% of the respondents in an RFC were against a pivot to a "Wikipedia Foundation" type label, and also is at odds with the KPIs set by the team?
- If internally, Wikimedians understand Wikimedia as a brand, could it be possible to have the brand demystify Wikimedia? Was pushing the Wikimedia brand with more resources considered? Will any of the naming proposals use the term “Wikimedia”?
- Was “interconnection” one of the concepts from the workshops or was it a combination of concepts? How did Snohetta narrow down and synthesize the concepts into “interconnection”?
Due to lack of time, there were questions unanswered that were addressed during office hours on 21 April
What will happen with interconnection?
The concept is a creative tool that will inform the naming convention and design system. It is not a visible part of branding but will instead be a guiding idea. The proposals made in subsequent phases of the project will aim to clearly reflect the interconnectedness of our movement.
Exercise 3: Visualizing interconnection
Exercise 3 asked participants to expand and enhance the visual definition of interconnection in the Wikimedia movement by submitting visuals and short descriptions. These visuals will be made into a collective visual that will be a reference point, important in naming convention proposals but especially important in design proposals.