Meta:Requests for comment/Should the Wikimedia Cuteness Association be renamed?

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An editor has requested comments on the issue described below. Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Statement of the issue[edit]

The Wikimedia Cuteness Association was started in 2012-13. It is a fictional organisation comprised of soft toys, and it has mostly served as a source of humour and a way of encouraging Wikimedians to interact with each other through the medium of soft toys. It has done this very successfully over the last few years, with a lot of enthusiasm from the participating Wikimedians. However, the name and acronym was deliberately chosen to troll the Wikimedia Chapters Association, which was originally proposed at the same time and was ultimately abandoned. That trolling is apparently continuing, most recently through @Ijon's presentation at Wikimania 2018 that seemed to parody what the Wikimedia Chapters Association could have been doing at this point in time - although I hope that this was mostly unintentional.

A new name and acronym would cleanly separate Cuteness from the past connotations, and would help those of us that were involved in the Wikimedia Chapters Association to support Cuteness going forward. So I propose that we rename it. I'm not sure what the new name could be, but perhaps we could start discussing some possibilities below? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 01:53, 24 July 2018 (UTC)

  1. "Wikimedia Cuteness" - accurate, but with the unfortunate acronym of "WC"
  2. "Happiness User Group" - HUGs?
  3. "Cute Toys Organisation" - CTO?
  4. Add your suggestion here?

Comments[edit]

Dear Mike, as one of the people who contributed (even if only remotely from Austria) to the Wikimania presentation that you mentioned above, first and foremost I wanted to assure you that it was not meant to mock or troll "the other WCA" or the people who dedidacted their time to it back in the days in any way. The presentation was meant to be a small funny lightning talk for cuteness afficionados and only made it to the big stage last minute, so there is really no big political statement behind any of it. I think some of the people who contributed don't even know that this acronym has another meaning. The idea was really just to have fun with cuteness, but also to show that it has become more than a quirky idea - a real thing that connects people in the movement. While the use of the WCA acronym might have started as a joke or satire back in the days, I think that it is only a very small group who even makes that connection nowadays. And even for us who know about it and were involved in both WCAs in some way or another I believe the connection faded over the years. At least for me the Cuteness Association became its own thing in its own right, that is much more than a joke or attempt to troll. I also think trying to force people to use another name is futile - companies need to spend a lot of time and resources in a rebranding if it is supposed to stick, I don't think we can pull that off and perhaps there is also not really a need for it. I understand, that for everybody who put a lot of energy and effort into the idea of a Chapters Association, the continued use of this acronym can sting, especially if is interpreted as trolling. But perhaps we should try to change the perspective, not the name: What if the Cuteness Association is not a reminder of a noble but failed idea, but something beautiful that came out of it. Something positive, something that makes many Wikimedians happy and tickles their creativity, so they spend their Saturday night compiling a presentation on the state of cuteness. --Ki7sun3 (talk) 17:32, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

Having written something along these very lines to Mike privately, I will simply +1. Mike, I think even your own bitterness over the old satire would diminish if you realize just how few people even have the context to understand it (the old satire). Instead, as you yourself note fairly, the Cuteness Association is now its own thing, fostering goodwill across the movement, serving as icebreaker, and helping shy Wikimedians (including yours truly) overcome their shyness and socialize more easily. It's a Good Thing, and the acronym really, truly doesn't matter. (I personally always say the explicit "the Wikimedia Cuteness Association" and never "the double-yoo-see-aye".) Ijon (talk) 18:13, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
Hm. I personally had so much fun several days ago while collaborating with Asaf and all the others on this presentation. And in no single moment have I thought this may make someone bitter (except probably of Wozzy, with his drinking habits officially revealed ;) ) .
Moreover, I'm thousand percent sure that all those people who brought their dozens of plushies on the Wikimania stage this year, last year, and joined the cuteness movement in recent times have no clue and give no damn for any conflicts of the past, related or unrelated.
With the plushies, we are saying that editing Wikipedia is easy and fun, that we are a colourful diverse community, and everyone is welcome. And even that while we're building the world's largest corpus of free knowledge, we accept ourselves with a sense of humour, and even self-irony. :) But we also need cuties, as a constant reminder to be nice to each other, especially with the limitations of our main communication channel - written text.
Whatever the "dark years" of the Wikimedia Cuteness Association may have been, i think it now lives its own life, fueled by the open-hearted joy of new people and sweetness of new plushies. And this should mend hearts, not hurt them any more. <3 Spiritia 19:29, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
Very late to this party, but even as a long time user I don't have strong memories of the chapters' association nor do I strongly associate either it or the cuteness association with the WCA acronym. I think any rename for the reasons given above would be more than a little pointed at this point. Thryduulf (talk: meta · en.wp · wikidata) 12:00, 15 January 2019 (UTC)