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How to avoid implying that Wikimedia projects are part of the encyclopedia? & other issues


The different Wikimedia projects have very different norms, standards, and policies. Many things one might say about Wikipedia are not true of its sister projects. I understand that it would be useful to leverage the larger brand to more easily publicize the projects by sharing reputations, but it has the potential to cause serious damage to all of Wikimedia's projects, Wikipedia included. Being unable to ever simply say "everything on Wikipedia is X" without it being true for a dozen sister projects would make it harder to communicate certain things. Wikipedia refers to itself as just "Wikipedia". Would it have to continually say "except for 'Wikipedia projects' outside of Wikipedia, which don't work anything like this" in policies?

Wikimedia's other projects already have a recurring issue of people thinking that Wikipedia's norms and policies (and administration) are shared by its sister projects. Being to closely associated with Wikipedia in the public mind is difficult, and stands to get much worse if one can't quickly respond "we're not Wikipedia".

This is a serious issue. Is there any way to avoid people thinking that the projects are part of Wikipedia, if you call Wikimedia by the same name?

Other things: I take issue with the statement "There is little/no awareness of projects outside of Wikipedia". >25% of the general population being familiar with a project is quite a lot, in my view. (I'm also mildly uncomfortable with the idea of trying to struggle for "mindshare" in general. We don't need to push the projects into people's heads; they come to us when they need to.)

Regarding the renaming of Wikimedia Commons: I don't know whether or not that would be beneficial, but I really think that decision should be made exclusively by Commons itself. That is not a movement-wide issue and does not need to be decided by the board or the WMF. --Yair rand (talk) 04:57, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

In addition to the agreement of individual projects, at a minimum the overall decision should be supported by a supermajority in a referendum among all (past and current) active editors. The value of the brands was created by them. Nemo 08:21, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
+1 Daniel Case (talk) 18:45, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
+1 Please. make a referendum before you take such important and relevant decisions. Both on the name of the foundation itself and on Wikimedia Commons--Ferdi2005 (Posta) 20:12, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
+1 Bodhisattwa (talk) 21:41, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
+11 — pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 03:19, 3 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
On top of what highlighted above, I'm not happy in replacing Wikimedia for Wikipedia, because most of the "non-wiki-experienced" people already think that the Foundation and the national Chapters have a role in defining/controlling the content of Wikipedia articles. If we name the association "Wikipedia", we further enforce this bias.--Ysogo (talk) 20:22, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
+1 Daniel Case (talk) 22:37, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
I do not see the future value of changing Wikimedia Commons' name to another term. The Commons is a common repository of copy-right free stuff. Geraldshields11 (talk) 02:41, 8 May 2019 (UTC)Reply
I see this proposal as a poor tentative to fix a long term communication issue. And I don't think it would solve anything. A real marketing campaign the promote the sisters' project would be a better use of donors' money. Regards, Yann (talk) 07:23, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • Massive clarification issues as mentioned above. Wikipedia (the encyclopedia) would need a way to clarify it was talking about itself, and having to change our referral for a questionable group rebranding seems unwise and irritating Nosebagbear (talk) 23:00, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

+1 to everything said above. I don't like this idea at all. Being able to differentiate between the encyclopedia (including its content, its community, its reputation etc.) and the foundation is hard enough today and would be even harder without the distinctive names. --Tkarcher (talk) 12:35, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

  1. Support Support everything wrote by Yair rand here. I am very tired of the expression "small projects" when growth is higher in so much of them! Noé (talk) 10:52, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
  2. Support Support everything said above. I add that 1. the -pedia part of Wikipedia comes from encyclopedia, and is not appropriate for other projects, this would lead to confusion. 2. the first name created is the most well known, this is quite normal ; this difference will decrease with time. 3. the name "Wikimedia" is not the name of a project directly visible by readers, readers don't need to know it. This simple fact impacts notoriety, changing its name would not change this fact. Lmaltier (talk) 20:59, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
  3. I'm opposed to the proposal to use "Wikipedia" as the brand name for WMF's all projects. As explained above, the name "Wikipedia" came from encyclopedia. This is mismatch for other projects. My first awareness of WMF's projects was Wikipedia like many peoples. I still like editing Wikipedia article, and like other activity in other projects too such as making dictionary entries in Wiktionary. I don't like the idea that can wrongly impress people that the porpose of the Wiki projects other than Wikipedia is to only support the development of Wikipedia, a project to make an encyclepedia. If the brand name "Wikimedia" is need to be changed, it should be other name than "Wikipedia". --Yapparina (talk) 11:40, 7 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
  4. I have to agree. There's some apprehension about this over at Wikinews. Many of us left Wikipedia because we wanted to contribute to Project Wiki in a different way. Would this just be a name change or would it actually affect the way we're expected to work? Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:46, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
  5. Ditto. I'm doing a lot on Wikiversity. I often tell people that Wikiversity and Wikipedia are both projects of the Wikimedia Foundation: Almost anyone can change almost anything on either project. What says tends to be written from a neutral point of view, citing credible sources, while treating others with respect. The difference is that Wikipedia does not allow original research, and Wikiversity does.
I'd feel comfortable saying that Wikiversity and Wikipedia are both Wikimedia projects (short for "Wikimedia foundation projects"), but I would NOT feel comfortable saying that Wikiversity was a Wikipedia project. DavidMCEddy (talk) 01:37, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
  1. Support Support +11 thumbs up, you've all said it brilliantly. I realize the Marketing gods have other views on a trademark name, but we are not Proctor and Gamble, we are all WikiMedia projects. --WiseWoman (talk) 20:45, 30 April 2019 (UTC)Reply
  2. I strongly oppose replacing "Wikimedia" with "Wikipedia". That change is inaccurate, misleading, confusing, and counter-productive, as others have pointed out. If we have a "Wikimedia" familiarity problem, we need to address that, not replace it with an even bigger problem. Libcub (talk) 18:50, 2 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

As a counterpoint, I think that including the word 'Wikipedia' in other projects would reduce confusion. People are quite familiar that 'Google maps' is not a search engine, but is related to 'Google'. Similarly the publisher 'BioMed Central' published 'BMC Mechanical Engineering', which is clearly not dedicated to biological topics, but is an expansion of BMC's Open Access brand. I suspect that talking about e.g. 'Wikipedia Foundation' or 'Wikipedia commons' would be mostly understood that these are expansions of the original Wikipedia mission into additional areas. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:50, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

I respectfully disagree. These examples are wonderful, but I don't think the correspondence is close enough to justify calling Wikiversity a "Wikipedia project". DavidMCEddy (talk) 01:37, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
To play devil's advocate, all the opinions above seem to be based on the assumption that "Wikipedia" only refers to the encyclopedia project. While that is true presently, the point of the rebranding seems to be to expand the idea of what "Wikipedia" refers to. "Google" originally only referred to a search engine, but now the name conjures up an entire tech empire. The public's understanding of what "Wikipedia" refers to isn't set in stone. If we want our sister projects to thrive, associating them with a well-known and trusted brand like "Wikipedia" isn't a bad idea, especially as we do more integration between the projects (e.g. Wikidata). Imagine if Google Maps had instead been named "Alphabet Maps" after Google's parent company. I doubt it would have had anywhere near the same level of adoption. Kaldari (talk) 22:58, 5 April 2019 (UTC)Reply
Wikipedia is not Google and should not be the "tech empire". Wikimedia is not Alphabet Inc. either. Google is a profit-oriented company and a "tech empire" (like you said) emphasizing primarily on search engine; Alphabet Inc. is a parent conglomerate of Google. WMF is a non-profit organization; Wikipedia is a web encyclopedia project belonging to WMF. Comparing a conglomerate with an organization wouldn't make sense. Neither would comparing a "tech empire" and a web project. Why not compare WMF to another non-profit organization and compare Wikipedia to a web project belonging to the non-profit organization? George Ho (talk) 04:56, 6 April 2019 (UTC)Reply
Also, must we expand the meaning of -pedia just to attract everyone? The rebranding proposal seems to either resemble a company's marketing ploy just for short-term sales without considering long-term effects of public trust and public assumptions or some sleazy entrepreneurial plot. Also, if the proposal goes official, the meaning of -pedia would be perverted and convoluted. George Ho (talk) 05:10, 6 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Commons - kryptisches irgendwas


IMO: für nicht Englisch-Muttersprachler ist commons ein unverständliches Gebrabbel. Wikinews; okay verständlich, Wikibooks auch, Wikisource und Wiktionary schwerer aber kann man hinkriegen. Aber Commons? Wenn ich google frage sagt er mit Commons hieße deutsch commons; eher nicht. bing ist besser und sagt mir Lager - leo sagt erstmal Unterhaus, die bürgerlichen und irgendwie auch gemeingut - aber was soll das für einen Nicht-Wikipedianer bedeuten? Ein Lager sind auch wikisource und wikibooks. Gemeingut sind alle WM-Projekte. Ich weiß nicht ob es in der englisch-Muttersprachler-Welt (und außerhalb des WM-Universums) verständlich ist. Ich vermute mal nicht. ...Sicherlich Post 08:01, 26 February 2019 (UTC) oh guck; Wikimedia macht mal wieder eine Community-Befragung exklusive für englisch-sprecher. Warum? Arroganz? Unwissenheit? Überforderung? - wenn es Euch wirklich interessieren würde, wäre der umseitige Text in einige Sprachen übersetzt. Die Arbeit der Community bringt die Millionen zu Wikimedia; da sollten ein paar Dollar für Übersetzer abfallen.Reply

Es sollte absolut Übersetzungen in so viele Sprachen geben, wie es Projekte gibt, damit jeder an der Diskussion teilnehmen und eigene Ansichten äußern kann. Weil eine Person kein Englisch spricht, bedeutet dies, dass ihre Meinung weniger gültig ist. Es ist auch wichtig, dass jeder Name mit globaler Reichweite in eine möglichst gleiche Bedeutung übersetzt wird (entschuldigt sich für die Verwendung von Google Translate) -- Gnangarra (talk) 23:39, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
should: but the Foundation does not care. They are talking a lot about global but mean english speaking. Maybe they don't know the differenz 🤔 or its to hard to believe that most people out there are not english >2 ...Sicherlich Post 10:54, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
@Sicherlich: Englisch ist Lingua franca. Es ist einfacher in einer Sprache zu diskutieren, als in 200 verschiedenen. ;-) --Sinuhe20 (talk) 11:40, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
@User:Sinuhe20: diskutieren keine Frage. Wobei auch dabei im zweifel viel relevanter input verloren geht. Es geht mir aber vornehmlich um die Darstellung der Themen. Umseitiges Thema wird nichtmal in einer anderen Sprache angeboten. Also nicht-englisch-versteher weiß ich nichtmal das es etwas gibt. .... Wenn man global sein will ist die Sprache das eine, die kultur das andere. ... gerade beim thema branding sind die einflüsse Sicherlich relevant. Wenn man das ignoriert ist man halt nicht global sondern nur banal western. Eine Frage was man will. Die Foundation hat das Lippenbekenntnis "global" in wirklichkeit ist davon wenig realität ...Sicherlich Post 12:18, 27 February 2019 (UTC) man könnte sogar das diskussionsproblem lösen indem man die Chapter mehr einbindet. So kenne ich das von wahrhaften globalen organisationen Reply
@Sicherlich: (de/en) Das ist ein gutes Argument. Wenn wir die Marke Wikimedia entfernen, sollte Wikimedia Commons nur noch Wikimedia werden. Commons bedeutet Medien für Wikis. Man erkennt Commons nicht an. Wikimedia ist der beste Name für dieses Projekt. Vielleicht sollten wir einen Übergang von einem oder zwei Jahren haben, aber WikiMedia wäre der bekannteste Name für Commons.
(en) This is a very good point. If we remove Wikimedia brand, Wikimedia Commons should become just Wikimedia. Commons means media for wikis. People do not recognise Commons. Wikimedia is the best name for this project. Maybe we should have a transition of a year or two, but WikiMedia would be the most recognisable name for Commons — NickK (talk) 10:42, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
WikiMedia is a good idea! 👍 ...Sicherlich Post 10:54, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
I don't agree. A Wikimedia project shouldn't have a name that's nearly identical to the operator's name (the Wikimedia Foundation is often just called "Wikimedia"). @Sicherlich: For what it's worth... die beste Übersetzung von "Commons" in dem Sinne, in dem das Wort hier verwendet wird, wäre wohl Allmende/Allmend (in der Schweiz gibt es auch einen Verein "Digitale Allmend"). Aber das bringt uns natürlich in Bezug auf die Benennung des Projekts nicht weiter, bloss als Hinweis auf das Gemeinte. Gestumblindi (talk) 11:42, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
Zitat: "Wenn wir die Marke Wikimedia entfernen" so if we change the namen of the foundation ...Sicherlich Post 12:19, 27 February 2019 (UTC) bzgl. Üersetzung: ja mir bekannt ;) - nur ich bin Insider wie alle hier. Was es braucht ist eine außenperspektive. Aber die werden wir wohl nicht kriegen. Wer auf meta diskutiert ist nichtmal "normaler" Wikipedianer sondern schon eher sorte "hardcore" und damit betriebsblind vom feinsten Reply
und eigentlich wollte ich gar nicht mehr meta diskutieren 😂 - viel zeit wenig bis kein nutzen. ...Sicherlich Post 12:27, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
@Sicherlich: Ja, zu den gelegentlich betriebsblinden "Hardcore-Wikipedianern" kann man mich wohl schon zählen... Nun, ich hatte das hier zu flüchtig gelesen. Klar, wenn Wikimedia nicht mehr Wikimedia heissen würde, könnte man den Namen schon als "frei" ansehen. Aber so ganz glücklich bin ich mit der Idee nach wie vor nicht. Es wäre immer noch der ehemalige und langjährige Name der Foundation sowie immer noch sehr nahe an Wikipedia und MediaWiki; ein etwas charaktistischerer, weniger verwechselbarer Name wäre doch besser. In dieser Hinsicht wäre ein Wechsel von Wikimedia Commons zu WikiMedia m.E. keine Verbesserung, eine mögliche Umbenennung der WMF hin oder her. Gestumblindi (talk) 19:46, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

If Wikimedia Commons is ever going to be renamed, the key RFC or proposal, should be on that project, not on another project where the Wikimedia Commons community does not hang out. -- (talk) 13:59, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

yeah, an in more than just 1 language aso. WMF says they want to talk about brands so we do it. Nothing is going to happen here. Just smalltalk nobody really cares for. Not even the WMF ;) ...Sicherlich Post 14:40, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
Ich finde die oben genannten Vorschlag zur Umbenennung gut: Wikimedia CommonsWikiMedia. Was Wikimedia betrifft: Ich kenne vor allem Wikimedia Deutschland und Wikimedia Foundation. Für beide wäre "Freies Wissen" im Namen am passendsten. Beide sehen Wikipedia eher als schwieriges Erbe der Anfangszeit denn als zentrales Projekt ihrer Tätigkeit. Wie wäre es mit einer Umbenennung Wikimedia FoundationFree Knowledge Foundation und Wikimedia DeutschlandFree Knowledge - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Freies Wissen? Unter dem Dach der Free Knowledge Foundation (oder als Ausgründung nach dem Vorbild von Wiki Education) könnte es eine Wikipedia Foundation geben, die sich für die Wikipedia-Communities, den Betrieb der Wikipedias und die Weiterentwicklung von MediaWiki zuständig fühlt. --Sebastian Wallroth (talk) 15:32, 18 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Some thoughts and experiences with the Wikimedia brands



Seeing this initiative makes me very happy; it relates to a number of problems I have experienced in the last 10 or more years when I presented Wikipedia "and related topics" to various audiences; to senior citizens, to "GLAMs", to pupils, to students, to political foundations, to historians, to linguists etc. etc. In general I found it a pity that it is necessary to talk much about the movement or organisations around Wikipedia, but it has to be. For example, if you ask people to contribute to Wikipedia, in the lessons you should inform them about the organisation they are doing volunteer work for, isn't it?

Please let me try to sum a number of problems I have encountered:

  • "Wiki": Many people, especially in the Netherlands, don't know this word or they mistake it for an abbreviation for Wikipedia. I have always found it very sloppy how Wikimedians deal with our valuable brands. For example, when WMNL introduced "Wiki loves monuments", I strongly opposed this name in favour of using the very popular brand Wikipedia. On the other hand, I have been asked by more than one journalist why I, being the chair of WMNL, support the project Wikileaks (!).
  • "Wikimedia": Sometimes I wonder why the general public has problems with understanding Wikipedia jargon. It seems that most people don't understand the term "Wikipedians", although this word is constructed the same way as many other similar words (object plus -an or -ian => person related to the object). "Wikimedia" seems to be especially confusing, just because of its similarity to "Wikipedia". Also, "-media" is not necessarily understood as an organisation rather than a collection of "media" (= content or content channels).
  • "Wikimedia" standing alone: I would never recommend to use the single word "Wikimedia" talking to outsiders. As our branding is so confusing, it is the best to stick to the complete and official names. I presented WMNL always as Wikimedia Nederland or (most officially) "the association Wikimedia Nederland" and also tried to avoid the abbreviation when not properly introduced. Part of the problem is that people might not understand the relationship between WMF and WMNL. I remember a letter to WMNL addressed to "The Wikimedia Foundation Netherlands". When talking in one speech or paragraph about WMNL and Dutch Wikipedia, I intentionally spelled out "Wikipedia in Dutch language" and "the association Wikimedia Nederland" in order to make both sound as unsimilar as possible.
  • Organisational relationship between Wikipedia - WMNL - WMF. I am affraid that this will always be a little bit difficult to explain, independent of the branding. Most people would naturally assume that WMNL is the Dutch "part" of WMF, and that WMNL is the owner or at least responsible for Dutch Wikipedia. You will always have to explain that. But of course, it helps to say "Wikimedia Nederland is the supporting association for Wikipedia", for example.
  • "Projects" are part of the problem. We use this word in way too many contexts. I call the "sister projects" usually "Wikimedia wikis".

Many Wikimedians don't feel the necessity to think about our brands. They themselves are accustomed to the chaos. So I have tried to give them an impression how our branding might look to outsiders. In a presentation at Wikimania 2013, I showed them this text:

"The smash dash cash is very fond of this hash, smash trash. It is a smash based on dash smash, powered by creative fresh. Together with smash dash fresh and other smash dash hashes, it offers free dash.
Support the smash, join a smash hash, contribute to fresh! Smash dash Hong Kong has great hashes to make the smash dash universe with its smash dash hashes such as smash trash even greater."

What I have done was taking some typical Wikimedia morphemes and exchanging them with nonsense words: wiki = smash, media = dash etc. My original text was:

"The Wikimedia Foundation is very fond of this project, Wikipedia. It is a wiki based on MediaWiki, powered by Creative Commons. Together with Wikimedia Commons and other Wikimedia projects, it offers free media.
Support the wiki, join a Wiki:Project, contribute to Commons! Wikimedia Hong Kong has great projects to make the Wikimedia universe with its Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia even greater."

I asked the audience: If you think that nobody understands the first text, why do you believe anybody understands the second text? Ziko (talk) 11:24, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

@Ziko: I'm not sure that "Foundation" is really a word that nobody understands, but in any case, I doubt that this will be made easier by needing to append a clumsy explanation of the fact that smash trash the smash trash hash is not the same thing as smash trash in general, despite having the exact same name. (I agree about the overuse of the word "project".) --Yair rand (talk) 20:36, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

Hello @Yair rand:, thanks for your comment. Where did I say that people don't understand the word "Foundation"? :-) Ziko (talk) 07:46, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

There are certainly ways to reduce confusion. It would help if WMF didn't intentionally muddle the waters (think when the WMF ED calls herself "Wikipedia Executive Director" in giant fundraising banners or signs herself katherine@wikipedia.org, and it's not hard to see how brands get diluted). Several people also said in the past that in hindsight the difference MediaWiki/Wikimedia is one we could have avoided. Nemo 21:17, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
@Ziko: I assumed that was what you were trying to imply by replacing the word with "cash", in the example text above? (If not, I may have also misunderstood the general point you were trying to make.) --Yair rand (talk) 01:40, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
True, got me. :-) But it was not only about words that are unknown in general. "Media" is a frequently used word but with different meanings etc. Ziko (talk) 09:47, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

Relevant Hacker News thread


https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19258241 Spoiler: they don't like the name change proposal (nor do I). —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:44, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

Huh, I had a look at the comments and had a different impression. --Gnom (talk) Let's make Wikipedia green! 09:44, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

This is wasting money


Hi there, long time wikipedia reader here. It helped me immensely while growing up (thank you, from a sheltered child thrown into the real world). Since then, I've donated a handful of times. That said, this is a waste of money. This is not what I donated to support. Please plow my money into technical resources required for wikipedia operations and limit spending elsewhere. This move will create technical debt requiring time and money to fix, and not offer any better service to readers. I hope you continue to make wise choices and be a great example to the rest of the web, and the world. Thanks for providing a place for feedback. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:52, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

+1 Daniel Case (talk) 22:40, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
+1 Libcub (talk) 22:45, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
+1 --GodeNehler (talk) 16:11, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
The costs of rebranding would be largely done through existing staff capacity, I imagine. If you are concerned about how your donor dollars are spent, that is probably a valid concern, but one that is separate from this rebranding exercise. – Ajraddatz (talk) 01:45, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
+1: waste of staff time = waste of money. - Jmabel (talk) 02:47, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
-1: staff time is overhead dedicated to soft marketing issues like this one. this is what foundations do. the micromanaging of staff effort by community members would be amusing, if it weren't so divorced from reality. trivial waste compared to the great "search engine plans" [1] -- Slowking4 (talk) 14:00, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
Yes, this strikes me as an immense exercise in asinine naval gazing so people steeped in marketing jargon can happily fill their own echo chamber with more marketing jargon. The renaming of Commons, apparently primarily so it conveniently fits on a sticker, and for no other real reason that I can tell, is a completely unjustifiably frivolous waste of community time, will require the rewriting of (lord only knows) thousands or tens of thousands of pages and templates in dozens of languages, and all so we can say "we did branding". That's very stupid, and is deeply disrespectful, since I presume the Foundation will not be the one fixing the mess, but will instead hand wave a change that no one wants and leave the community to do the actual work.
Furthermore, the fact that this page, dealing with whether we rename our largest multilingual project, is apparently only written in English, inspires zero confidence that the people behind this actually know or care what they're doing, or actually want substantive community input in the first place. GMGtalk 14:12, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

I wonder how expensive the rebranding really would be. It depends how you do it. For example, you could immediately call for an extraordinary member convention to change the bylaws of your organisation. Or you wait for the next ordinary member convention, and you change the bylaws anyway for a general update. Ziko (talk) 15:23, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

I think considering a rebrand is a good use of time, not a waste of it. Branding can have a very real impact on public perceptions of a product, and the "Wikipedia" brand is much stronger than the "Wikimedia" brand; for example, it's very possible that this rebranding could invigorate other projects like Commons by increasing the public's association of them with Wikipedia. (I happen to dislike the name "Wikicommons", but that's another conversation.) I've basically given up trying to explain what "Wikimedia" is to my colleagues because they never understand it, I just say Wikipedia now. I think exploring a rebrand is good. --Deskana (talk) 16:33, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

We don't have a "product". We aren't trying to sell anything. Their numbers don't have jack to do with a "brand"; they have to do with which projects are most developed, and offer the most valuable resources. Of course the most developed projects have the most recognition, because they're better resources. The solution is to make better resources, and that doesn't have anything to do with branding. GMGtalk 01:32, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
I don't agree. We do have a product, we're just not trying to sell it. I also don't think that making better resources and improving our branding are mutually exclusive either, as they can compliment each other. If this rebranding effort was the only thing the Wikimedia Foundation is doing, or if the effort had disproportionately large resourcing, then I'd have concerns, but neither of these things seem to be the case based on the information that's available. --Deskana (talk) 10:21, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
+1 Anyone who has ever made anything for public consumption learns the hard way that marketing is just as important as product quality. We're lucky enough to have the Wikipedia brand which is a billion dollar asset, it's a waste not to exploit it to the fullest extent. EdSaperia (talk) 15:34, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
This is one of my main concerns regarding this plan: That the reputation of Wikipedia is exploited and diluted by misusing it for countless other projects which do not deserve (and would otherwise never achieve) this recognition and reputation - with deceptive slogans like "a Wikipedia project" when it's actually a Wikimedia project. --Tkarcher (talk) 17:04, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
marketing is just as important as product quality That's utter nonsense. If suddenly the majority of files on Commons were copyright violations, then we don't want people to use it, because they're exposing themselves to litigation by reusing non-free content. If suddenly the majority of the content on Wikipedia were POV pushing, spam adverts, and factually incorrect information, then we don't want people to use it, because it would be actively diminishing public access to free knowledge.
We are not locked in a zero sum game for market share with other sources of knowledge. We don't "lose" if libraries surge in popularity; both us and libraries unequivocally win, because the goal of both is to increase public access to free knowledge. We don't want to shut down something like archive.org so that we can get their "customer base". We want to actively partner with them to accomplish shared goals.
The only way that this is actually is a zero sum competition for customer base and market share is if your primary goal is to increase donations, which I presume is why the Foundation is so apt to look at Wikipedia and see a valuation on a brand, rather than a valuation on a resource. GMGtalk 11:50, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
I doubt that Ed Saperia meant "marketing is just as important as product quality" quite as literally as you're taking him to have—I think he was saying that marketing is an important part of the equation, not that it is literally exactly as important, or that quality should be diminished in order to do marketing. I also don't agree that this is about donations—the Wikimedia Foundation could quite easily increase the amount that gets donated by running the banners for longer rather than going through a complex rebranding process. --Deskana (talk) 12:23, 9 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
And the banners themselves cause a wave of emails to OTRS every time they're up, which is another way the cost for the Foundation is externalized to volunteers that don't have to figure in to their bottom line.
If they want to increase the value of the brand, then they should increase the value of the resources we're making. Off the top of my head, crop tool on common has been broken for like three weeks now, while one guy tries to fix it on Github. Flickr2Commons has been broken forever. And cat-a-lot has a laundry list of requested features that people have been asking for over months or years. GMGtalk 16:04, 9 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
I agree with the IP OP: this is a waste of money. The WMF exclusively runs ads against the content that volunteers write, you run scary messages to imply Wikipedia will shut down if the coders aren't paid, and you dump money into bullshit projects like this. Look, SanFran: shut down your office, return Wikimedia to a service organization, and stop bothering those of us that write content. Chris Troutman (talk) 04:35, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Agreed. Unnecessary marketroid navel-gazing. Why do these people always take over and ruin everything in the end? Equinox (talk) 21:17, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Although I'm no great fan of marketing, if such brand awareness and strategy exercises improve awareness/understanding/engagement, then they are not a waste of money, rather it is the exact sort of thing a foundation is better positioned to achieve. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:54, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

As someone who took a long time to understand the value of branding - I both agree and disagree - think of it like thisː If it "wastes" money to do this menial thing, but this menial thing netts a lot more income, was it wasted money? Dagelf 11:10, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Problem not for all


Individual communities should have the freedom to decide whether to accept or reject this rebranding. The problems stated here might not be an universal problem for all communities. For example, academians where I live doesn't want to deal with Wikipedians because of the lack of reliability or the jargon translations of the contents but it was not difficult for us to attract them to Wikisource. Branding everything to Wikipedia will definitely hamper our effort to penetrate the circle. Bodhisattwa (talk) 22:02, 26 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

This may also work at Wikinews. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:48, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Starting point


I think this discussion is very help and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand, when doing outreach as described by User:Ziko I also spend time identifying and explaining the connections between Wikimedia, Wikipedia, and MediaWiki. Most people honestly dont think the subtleties to be of any importance we are as a community really just Wikipedia. As a person who's been involved with the foundation of a chapter over 10 years ago and its on going work I know of the cost of using Wikimedia. Having been personally identified and attacked in national media as the head of Wikipedia in Australia I'm acutely aware of the importance of being able to separate an affiliate from the project, and the legal minefield we encounter. There's a lot of pitfalls in the ways in which we brand our activities, yes what ever the outcome there will be costs the community doesnt do enough to promote "Wikimedia" brand..

To many the Wikipedia identifier is more significant than we acknowledge, for many having your language, culture, knowledge identified as an independent Wikipedia is a validation which is important to oppressed, minority, and Indigenous communities especially the current future generations.

I'm all for exploring the potential of how to use and realise the opportunities that may exist, and how we can best support the efforts of contributors in the future. Gnangarra (talk) 00:33, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

Good starting point


I found the brand strategy presentation interesting reading, although, it probably raises a few questions. Perhaps need a few more options before jumping into decision making mode. That said, some of it I quite like ... 'set knowledge free' is a nice tagline and some of the PR ideas toward the end are interesting and generally it sends some good brand messages.

My initial position on all these interconnected issues would be the array of brands need simplifying. The different brands appear to be unconnected, and, unless you are familiar with the inner workings of wikimedia ecosystem, probably quite confusing. While some people probably like the disconnected nature of the projects, I tend to think a unified brand benefits all projects and can see that not levering the Wikipedia brand could represent a missed opportunity for long term awareness raising and thus sustainability. Although the appeal of using Wikipedia as the more prominent brand is understandable I'm not immediately convinced it's the best long term option. What if Wikipedia looses steam and Wikidata becomes the more recognised project 10 years from now?

A couple of thoughts:

  • To help minimise confusing brands, as a starting point, has any thought been given to rebranding the foundation to avoid the MediaWiki / WikiMedia issue? If it has low brand recognition there is seemingly less at stake as a first step. Not entirely sure to what, although just WMF would probably be an improvement over the current state of play. Numerous organisations have shortened their names to an acronym that previously had a longer meanining. It needs a strong visual identity to match.
  • What about visual identity overall? There current suite of project logos has no common reference point, which makes linking them all together based on a visual queues difficult, if not impossible. I'd see little point in undertaking branding initiatives along the lines of expository taglines without the visuals being right to support it.
  • I'd like to see some options for how the UI can be enhanced to highlight other projects more prominently and bring unified branding together.
  • Despite questioning the use of Wikipedia as one of the lead brands above, I'd see this as preferable to using the term 'Wiki' in isolation these days, given the potential for people to associate Wikimedia with other organisations / sites that use 'Wiki' in branding - some more problematic than others.
  • Rebranding commons in some way to align with other project naming seems reasonable. It's a shame Wikimedia was used for an organisation given that commons hosts, well ... media content. Oh well.
  • Making sure we're asking all the questions and then sequencing things seems really important here. To me, the first question would be should the foundation remain named as it is. Other questions, such as, what expository tagline to use across projects, would make more sense if considered following that.

Nickw25 (talk) 11:46, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

Agreed. Say what you will about the rest of the branding document, the new slogan is good. It’s much catchier and explains more efficiently what Wikimedia does. I don’t remember off the top of my head what the current slogan is, something about every human being sharing in the sum of free knowledge? Basically, it’s bad, and this really helps to fix it. — pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 01:27, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

The rebranding of Amsterdam etc.


Hello, I am a big fan of a new branding; here just for fun an example how rebranding can go too for. Did you know that Amsterdam has a beach? Ziko (talk) 12:08, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

Set knowledge free


Thanks for doing this diligent research and engaging the communities in this brand strategy process. I've read all the material. Consolidating the brands is a process long overdue. Please carry on. I fully support communicating to the outside world with a single recognizable brand, the Wikipedia wordmark and letter/puzzle pieces/globe logo. My concerns are about the URL's to be used for the projects and the naming scheme for the organizations/affiliates. The consultants are silent on both of them, or I have missed something.

  • The Wikimedia Foundation host a whole range of "projects", which are websites. The consultants propose using Wikipedia, Wikicommons, Wikisource, Wikibooks, Wikidata, Wikispecies, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikiversity, Wikivoyage, Mediawiki, and appending "- a Wikipedia project". (And Wikinews is missing in the strategy proposal pages 37-38, and also Wikimania is missing.) The websites are hosted on a domain with an URL. My preference would be to have them all as wikipedia.org, that is commons.wikipedia.org (in stead of commons.wikimedia.org), sources.wikipedia.org, books.wikipedia.org, data.wikipedia.org, species.wikipedia.org, words.wikipedia.org, quotes.wikipedia.org, university.wikipedia.org, voyage.wikipedia.org, mediawiki.wikipedia.org (and news.wikipedia.org). On the main page of these websites, and the footer of every page, these "projects" can retain the original name, appended with "a Wikipedia project". (and the original name of Commons is Commons and not Wikicommons). Another bold step would be to drop the Dot Org and buy wikipedia as TLD. And how to name Wikimania in the future? The World/Global Wikipedia Forum/Conference? Annual gathering of Wikipedia editors/contributors?
  • The consultants imply to call the foundation the Wikipedia Foundation. I support that move. Some long time editors fear the foundation will exert more influence with the editing process and the editors on the projects. There is nothing in the research or in the proposals of the consultants that hints in that direction. It is a groundless fear. I support the project team is going to spend quite some time to listen what people think, feel, want, and desire. Editors should be heard in this process. As far as I can tell from the documents nothing is going to be changed to en.wikipedia.org, neither to one of the other language versions of Wikipedia.
  • On the naming of affiliates and organizations. "The movement" consists not only of "user groups" (page 17 of the brand strategy proposal), but also 37 Wikimedia chapters (and one thorg), like Wikimedia Deutschland, Wikimédia France and so on. Will the well established / in good standing "chapters" be allowed to "brand" themselves as Wikipedia Deutschland, Wikipédia France and so on? Or how come the chapters aren't mentioned in the brand strategy proposal?
  • Set knowledge free. Yes, that is what we do! Hats off. Thanks, that is clear and concise. With a clear call to action. And let us get rid of "anyone can edit". In theory anyone can, in practice not. "Anyone can edit" as tag line is confusing people, says the brand research. Wikipedia has a peer review process, an open, continuous peer review process. Frame the openness as a process for quality assurance, which builds on the strength of the communities, the biggest asset in the movement. Ultimately, the value of the Wikipedia brand is (for over 90%) the result of the collaborative effort of the volunteer editors.

Looking forward to have a nice dialogue with the project team at Wikimania Stockholm in August 2019. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 14:52, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

See my comment above. — pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 01:28, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi Ad Huikeshoven, thanks for your reflections. In response to your clarifying question about user groups in the report: the consultants chose the statistics that stood out to them, however, all affiliate groups are a critical part of the consultation process. The Communications team has already met with a number of chapter members in person and online, and will be continuing to do so until May. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 20:51, 19 March 2019 (UTC)Reply


Page 15 of the overview, modified by Ain92

This seems similar in some sense to the Alphabet branding. I suspect you would get a lot of puzzled looks if you asked "what company owns the company Google?" --Izno (talk) 15:17, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

I think this is an interesting comparison. I'd agree that currently, the name Alphabet is probably much less-known than Google for the company with the search engine, etc. SelfieCity (talk) 01:46, 15 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
And even less known is w:Unilever compared to the sum of its brands (or even just one of them), probably. Someone needs to study basic marketing concepts, I suspect. --Nemo 15:38, 18 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Informed people


Hi, I have a question with regards to “Therefore, we will calculate the ratio of informed to opposed: a measure of the number of people that explicitly oppose the proposal (ideally explaining why the current system works for them/their community) over the number of people who have been informed about the proposal.”: How do you want to inform people? By using banners, massmessages, automized talk page or wikimail notifications, hundreds of thousands up to millions of accounts could easily be informed. A very high number would probably not even notice that they have been informed. In short: How will you calculate your ratio? Best, —DerHexer (Talk) 16:14, 27 February 2019 (UTC) (CentralNotice administrator, MassMessage sender, author of mass-mail and mass-talkpage-tools)Reply

@User:DerHexer I've added some more detail in the FAQ section of the project summary about outreach efforts to share this proposal for review. Let me know what you think -- ZMcCune (WMF) (talk) 00:33, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
ZMcCune (WMF) I checked the new FAQ section, and the issue is still unanswered. The community response criteria proposes dividing by the number of people who have been informed. That appears to be a problem. I see no way you can determine how many people have been informed via mailing list or informed via VillagePump postings, unless someone has psychic powers. Also, it is possible that I am misinterpreting the proposed standard for evaluating community response criteria, however (pardon the sarcasm) it appears to follow the Foundation's past practice regarding community feedback. More specifically, it appears to define 2-to-1 rejection as success. More specifically, it appears to say that 20% support responses, 40% opposition responses, 40% non-response, would constitute "moderate support" success. If the intent was not to define 2-to-1 opposition as successful support, then I suggest the text be revised to more clearly communicate the actual intent. If the intent was to divide by the number of responses received then everything is much more reasonable and the faulty "informed" text can easily be corrected. Alsee (talk) 10:03, 16 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Comment as an observer, not part of the WMF... It's not that hard, and known by anyone that has studied Communications or Marketing & Advertising. Passively sending is not evidence of communication and would be a meaningless statistic. To assess how many people have understood a message, means that there must be a positive acknowledgement or reply, even if just a button press to say, "I have read this". -- (talk) 16:38, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
even such actions dont necessarily reflect that the person has understood the message. The best we can hope for is an open discussion with as many informed people as possible participating so that it heard above the noise. Gnangarra (talk) 02:23, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

Wikipedia is not European language Wikipedia only


By mentioning Wikipedia in the rebranding document, I assume, it is referred to English Wikipedia or other European language Wikipedias, because this is a fact that the percentage of people we are talking about, are not aware about some Indian language Wikipedia, like Bengali or Kannada or Malayalam. Then, why should Bengali Wikisource would like to put a tag of Wikipedia as that wont increase the project's visibility at all. Sometimes, the sister projects have far better quality content than their Wikipedia counterpart, which may be full of machine translated incomprehensible jargon or full of one-liner stubs. Are we considering that, tagging these projects with Wikipedia actually will decrease the popularity of those sister projects? -- Bodhisattwa (talk) 09:46, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

Hi Bodhisattwa, thanks for this context. As you mention, it’s important to keep in mind that perceptions of Wikipedia differ from region to region. The proposal, though, is not built around the idea that Wikipedia enjoys a perfect reputation; it is built on the premise that Wikipedia is by far the most visible project we have on a global scale. The idea is take advantage of the existing high awareness to build a simpler, stronger brand. The risk that associating other projects with Wikipedia may not achieve this result in some regions is definitely worth a note, however, and we will make sure that it is covered in the report for the Board. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 21:16, 20 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Concerns about adding the name of Wikipedia to affiliates


The affiliates are not responsible for the contents in Wikipedia. Like, if some editor writes a controversial content about some politician in India or upload a map which is not allowed by government to share legally, Wikimedia India bears no responsibility for that. They may face some legal threat or other threats, but now that can be explained in the court of law. But when you tag Wikipedia in the names of the affiliates, the threats will directly come to the affiliates, as the affiliates will find very hard to explain in public or in court as the name of Wikipedia is embedded with them. Is it worth to face that risk? Will WMF legal provide support everytime when needed to these affiliates and their members from prosecution. -- Bodhisattwa (talk) 09:59, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

That's an important question, I think. As far as I know, chapters such as Wikimedia Germany, Switzerland etc. have already quite a hard time always explaining to media and complainants that they're not responsible for Wikipedia's content and don't have the power to make changes to it. If the Wikimedia Foundation's name would be changed to something like Wikipedia Foundation, I assume it would be the logical thing to also rename the chapters to Wikipedia Germany etc. But the public perception of an organization called Wikipedia Germany would be that of "Germany's organization responsible for Wikipedia" - currently, the fact that the WMF and the Wikimedia chapters don't share their name with the project helps in explaining the difference. Gestumblindi (talk) 12:16, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
Yes. We have this problem anyway, independent of the branding. But this must be taken into consideration somehow. Ziko (talk) 15:44, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
I think, this will be a question, every country, every chapter, must decide for themself. There will be not the same right answer for all. Marcus Cyron (talk) 17:25, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

Raising this issue as well. Speaking from a country without rule of law and where Wikipedia have been blocked by the government a few weeks ago, establish the difference between Wikipedia and Wikimedia is crucial for our work, and if these differences aren't crystal clear (I can't see that happening with a change of name), we could not only been facing legal threats, but a more dangerous environment for our volunteers. This is not an easy matter and would like to take it in consideration to the community. --Oscar_. (talk) 15:52, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Bodhisattwa and Oscar_., this is a critical point for volunteers and affiliates operating in difficult political climates. We added some information to the FAQs, but will ensure this concern is adequately reflected in the report to the Board. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 20:42, 19 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
The matter posted by Bodhisattwa is indeed very true and valid. A lot of energy at Wikimedia India is spent in resolving and clarifying such issues. There are also few court cases being filed and having no grants complicates the matter further. There are also thousands of mails sent to chapter to alter the content otherwise face charges.--Abhinav619 (talk) 08:34, 23 March 2019 (UTC)Reply



Happens not that often, but I'm sharing an opinion with the WMF. I would go a step futher. All projects should be directly branded as Wikipedia projects, not starting doing again half things:

  • Wikipedia Commons
  • Wikipedia Data
  • Wikipedia Books
  • Wikipedia Wiktionary
  • Wikipedia Source
  • Wikipedia University
  • Wikipedia Voyage
  • Wikipedia Quote
  • Wikipedia News (OK, I would end this project, we don't do journalism)
  • Wikipedia Species (I also would end this problematic project)
  • Meta Wikipedia
  • Outreach Wikipedia (Meta Wikis with "Wikipedia" as second part of the name).

And I would set not two, but three major projects:

  • Wikipedia (with Voyage, Books, University and maybe News)
  • Wikipedia Commons (with Source)
  • Wikipedia Data (with Dictionary, Quote and Species)

-- Marcus Cyron (talk) 17:22, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

Interesting, a rebranding and a reshuffle of the content? I wondered how to call Wikipedia after the rebranding, Wikipedia encyclopedia? Wikipedia Classis? --Ziko (talk) 06:45, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

For the projects there will be noch change. Just a sorting in the brand structure. Marcus Cyron (talk) 13:47, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
From bad to worse! This section should be entitled "How to kill the identity of small projects and make them feel inferior, making users disinterested and pushing them to contribute to the father project because others are useless". As administrator of Wikinews in Italian, I personally feel exactly like that, several times have proposed the closure for its small size, all this would only worsen the situation.--Ferdi2005 (Posta) 20:48, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
The sister projects are run by autonomous communities, editors of many of them don't want to edit in Wikipedia for various reasons. This proposal basically destroys the identity of all those communities. I totally agree with @Ferdi2005: Bodhisattwa (talk) 04:57, 21 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
I quite like this idea as I think it would raise visibility of the smaller projects. As a relatively new editor, for the longest time I only knew about Wikipedia, and nothing about its sister projects, never mind Wikimedia. By putting everything under the Wikipedia umbrella, you create an opportunity to revamp the homepage and add more visible "Explore" functionality. We need to make it easier on the uninducted user to find projects and become involved in them. A3 Baard (talk) 06:38, 30 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Non-english discussion


This section is for discussions in other languages than English.

Diskussion auf Deutsch

<hier Kommentar einfügen>

Rethink the motto rather than the name


Starting from the point that not only the name "wikipedia" is well known but also its motto ("the free Encyclopedia" and/or the other language translations) is well know, I wonder whether the real challenge for us is not to change the name of Wikimedia, but to give more appealing to Wikimedia and its mission, because, end of the story, the motto should summarize in an evocative way the mission. Honestly I believe that "meta-wiki" is obscure to most of readers; additionally, it can not be translated to any other languages to reach also who has not a knowledge of classic studies to understand what "meta" means. My suggestion is to use something more direct, and that can be translated in any language. The first thing I thought (but I'm not the best person to invent mottos) is something like "The soil where wiki-worlds grow": it also helps to introduce the concept that Wikpedia is not alone but there is something else. If Wikimedia site has a better moto, than also the mission of WMF and local chapters can be more easily "sold" to external people. As said before feel free to suggest your preferred motto.--Ysogo (talk) 05:41, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

A more encyclopedia-centric direction within the communities?


I am afraid that a replacement of the brand “Wikimedia” by “Wikipedia” could result in an even more encyclopedia-centric direction within our movement. We do already now have (and always had) the situation that Wikipedia is clearly the dominating part of the movement, and there are lots of (Wikipedia) editors who think that Wikimedia is all about writing the free encyclopedia Wikipedia, with a few auxiliary projects whose sole purpose is to support the free encyclopedia. This point of view is often supported by the notion that Wikipedia has by far the largest readership among Wikimedia projects, thus almost all donation money is coming via Wikipedia donation campaigns. Yet, if one compares Wikimedia’s and Wikipedia’s mottos, which are “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.” vs. “The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.”, it is clear that Wikimedia’s scope is much broader than Wikipedia’s. So, if brand-wise the movement was kind of narrowed to the encyclopedia brand, what would be done to ensure that motto-wise we keep the broader scope alive particularly within the movement and community? —MisterSynergy (talk) 07:16, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

If we approve this crazy proposal, sister projects won’t be sister projects anymorr, they will be secondary project.--Ferdi2005 (Posta) 21:02, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
I don't see this. I see it as a real big chance for sister projects, to participate much more from the well known name "Wikipedia".Even actually all sister project are the minor sisters of Wikipedia in the eyes of the public. So nothing will change. Marcus Cyron (talk) 14:18, 2 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Our goal is to reduce this perception, not to increase it!--Ferdi2005 (Posta) 20:41, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
+1, MisterSynergy. As I commented on the Telegram group about Wikidata, an encyclopedia is no longer the most efficient way to satisfy many information needs and in the future it will not be either; suggesting that our mission is just to offer an encyclopedia is like sentencing our movement to death, or at least to lose popularity in the future. It's reasonable that an outsourced study on branding (where they have no special knowledge about our movement) concludes that Wikipedia is clearly a better known brand than Wikimedia, but the WMF should see the big picture and realize that's not the only relevant fact. I'm worried for the lack of vision, for me this is just going back in time. --abián 12:49, 6 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Yes, there is a problem here


No, you don't need to waste a bunch of money on "brand consultants" (hmmm... another phrase to add to my spam filters?) to tell you that. And no, the solution isn't to rename everything Wikipedia X. However:

  • Wikipedia is, first and foremost, an encyclopedia. Having "brands" like "Wikipedia Travel" explicitly dilutes that and help confuse the clueless hoards who already struggle to understand the concept of an encyclopedia. Travel guide content will never be acceptable on Wikipedia.
  • Renaming Wikivoyage etc. to Wikipedia X reinforces the idea that these projects are secondary/afterthoughts/also-rans/distractions. They should be first class citizens.
  • I find, as an admin, being unable to tell the difference between "wiki" and "Wikipedia" is highly correlated with a failure to understand the purpose of the project.
  • The foundation should be renamed, but not to the Wikipedia Foundation. This will lead to the clueless hoards implying the foundation has a greater control over Wikipedia content than they already do, that Wikipedia is the only thing they do and, of course forking out more donations. The latter, of course, is the desired result of this rebranding exercise instigated and "researched" by those who know absolutely nothing about our projects. That fixing the confusion between "wiki", "Wikipedia", "Wikimedia (movement)", "Wikimedia $COUNTRY", "Wikimedia Commons", "Wikimedia Foundation" and "MediaWiki" is a secondary goal, when it should be the only purpose of this rebranding, is all you need to know.
  • Rename MediaWiki to remove it from the set of things can be confused. The suffix "wiki" can stay, but "media" must go.
  • Consider naming the smaller projects $NEW_FOUNDATION_NAME Travel, $NEW_FOUNDATION_NAME Library, etc. Hell, I could get behind $NEW_FOUNDATION_NAME Encyclopedia to finally address the confusion between "wiki" and "Wikipedia" for good.
  • Wikimedia sounds like a good name for Commons, but there will be many a volunteer who has to reprogram themselves to realise that. MER-C (talk) 20:25, 2 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
The number of people writing to OTRS who already think that Wikipedia is written by a newsroom and I am employee is already too dang big. It will be impossible to explain to someone's angry lawyer that the "Wikipedia Foundation" is not Wikipedia, doesn't actually write Wikipedia, and no, you cannot contact my boss at the "Wikipedia Foundation" to have your official bio updated and complain about my performance and your level of customer satisfaction. GMGtalk 00:06, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Well, how to call the organizations in order to avoid or minimize confusion. Ziko (talk) 12:09, 8 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
How about "Virtually anything except Wikipedia"? That should be sufficient to minimize confusion. Alsee (talk) 17:27, 8 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

Need to update public understanding


There is more to branding than names! Wikipedia has moved on since "anyone can edit": it is no longer the case that any contribution made in good faith is a good thing. What is now the case is that every budding entrepreneur, software writer, artist or entertainer, every company, every group or school in the world expects to have "their page" all over the internet, and major language Wikipedias have become a highly valued place to have "your page".

Consequences: a flood of new "articles" having to be patrolled; existing articles about persons or organisations getting picked off by the conflict-of-interest editors or their hirelings, and overwritten with advertising or whitewashing; in both cases repetitive arguments following reversions, declines or deletions. Now volunteer maintainers of the project are unlikely to want to spend their lives coping with this, when there has been very little effort made to update public understanding of what is and is not allowed here. As they give up, the encyclopedias deteriorate.

Requirements: rethinking of publicity at all levels, directed at refining the way the public understands "anyone can edit". This supported by clear messaging at the point of registering an account. Those who do proceed to try to promote themselves cannot then say "but we weren't told..." Bhunacat10 (talk) 18:17, 3 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

the drift from the mission is a bad thing; we need to change the culture to lower barriers to entry while making it easier to make a quality edit. warning COI editors in the marketing would be a mistake, they know or should know. Slowking4 (talk) 13:18, 4 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

What is Wikipedia?


According to the Wikipedia article about Wikipedia in the (still) largest language edition, it is a "multilingual, web-based, free encyclopedia based on a model of openly editable and viewable content". I consider myself proud to be part of this project, and this is probably why I would not like anyone to act using the term "Wikipedia" officially, who is not part of this project within the frame of this definition. And, with all due respect, I do not see WMF acting strictly within a target defined by this quotation, and I do not see them going there. I, however, see them wanting to take advantage of the positive vibes "Wikipedia" has. Acknowledging all the arguments already presented here, I do not want this to happen. → «« Man77 »» [de] 18:40, 3 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

I see your point. So, for example, it would not be appropriate if an organization tries to speak in the name of the "Wikipedia community". Remember that the "Strategic Direction" uses the word "community" for literally everything and everybody in the world. Ziko (talk) 12:08, 8 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

OTRS Overwhelmed


GMG made such a good point that I felt it warranted its own section.

OTRS has a staggering number of individuals contact us thinking that we are a central editing body for Wikipedia. Convincing them that the Wikimedia Foundation does not make editing decisions can already be tricky. If they are re-named something like the "Wikipedia Foundation" that will become far worse.

Now OTRS suffering would not be enough to turn down an idea, but I'd imagine any cross-body group is going to run into these problems, as well as the other projects having to spend even more time explaining they can't solve an individual's Wikipedia question.

Nosebagbear (talk) 09:25, 6 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Nosebagbear, the suffering is noted. Changing the foundation name to Wikipedia Foundation would reduce the sister projects to fluff status. It would be bad for the brand. Geraldshields11 (talk) 02:46, 8 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

Some comments


I can't undestand something on the slides: the mainlines showed are exactly the idea that community has? It's very difficult to me to say that I think in a few words, so, I will focus in junst only two things.

1st, in the slides in English, the #61 has the word 'create' in two lines very different. One, to 'create the wikipedia', for me, is ok. And other, to 'create knowledge'... and so said, for me, this clash with one of the five pillars: an Encyclopedia does not have the purpose of create knoledge, but disseminating knowledge.

2nd, I support that Wikimedia help to create and to disseminate knowledge, but making Wikipedia a brand to all projects signify to reduce the perception of signification and independence of the other projects, lost of sense of the actual perception of Wikipedia and more confussion in the future perception of people of all the set.

In other level, I think that to put the brand as basic step to the future reduce the vision to further technologic enhancements, connection between projects and wider opening of ideas to redesign the future of all the projects (the whole set, individualized project to project or to stablish new ones). --Agremon (talk) 14:13, 6 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Counterproposal: another name for the Foundation



To be more positive, maybe we could brainstorm some alternative names for the Wikimedia Foundation? Add your ideas! Noé (talk) 13:12, 7 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

  • WikiGround
  • Wiked
  • Wikif
  • MediaWiki
  • WikiFoundation
  • ...
  • Wikimovement Foundation (retaining the WMF acronym) is quite morphologically transparent and good-sounding, but I'm not sure whether it's already occupied. Ain92 (talk) 10:42, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • If it is, we may add some unique flavour, e. g. Wikimovimentum Foundation (from Medieval Latin movimentum with the same meaning), which is still more or less understandable for speakers of English and Romance languages, or Wikimomentum Foundation (from Latin momentum with, again, the same meaning), or something else movement-related. Ain92 (talk) 11:22, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
I like WikiFoundation. It says what it is and what it's not, all in one word. A3 Baard (talk) 06:45, 30 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
"Free Knowledge Foundation" runs the risk of a Democratic People's Republic issue - stating that it is actually makes it sound like it isn't (I realise that we are free, but I believe the thought comes through) Nosebagbear (talk) 17:42, 19 May 2019 (UTC)Reply
+1. I was also about to suggest WikiFoundation. This could make it clear that the term is the bigger/"outer" name, so it is also recognized and at least not called "a platform for pictures". --Rugk (talk) 20:04, 19 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

-1; major differences between Wikipedia and Wikinews


Wikinews is not Wikipedia News. The differences are in that

  • It allows original research in the form of original reporting,
  • The assumption of good faith is replaced with 'never assume' for the sake of critical thinking,
  • Many language editions require peer review for publication,
  • Events which occurred over 3 days ago are not publishable (wikipedia home page often has 'news' items from 4 or 5 or more days ago)

To whom do I write about this for this proposal to make an impact? Do we need consensus on the project to prevent the rename from occurring?

In the case the rename proceeds, are we allowed to keep the old brand name still?

Here is a relevant discussion: https://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews:Water_cooler/miscellaneous#WMF_proposes_rebranding_Wikinews_into_Wikipedia_News

--Gryllida 09:54, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Even if this turns out to be only a name-change, accredited Wikinews reporters have been contacting and interviewing sources under the "Wikinews" name for years. Even when people haven't heard of Wikinews, "Wikipedia News" will leave them with the impression of Wikipedia's reputation, and it's a much larger project with a different set of accomplishments and problems. I think Wikinews might be better off if, like modern women of the past fifty years, it kept its own name. Darkfrog24 (talk) 14:31, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi Gryllida and Darkfrog24, I think this has been clarified, but for those just arriving to the discussion, there is currently no proposal to change the project names. Wikinews would not become Wikipedia News. Instead, the proposal recommends keeping project names as is (except in the case of Wikimedia Commons becoming “Wikicommons”). The core of this proposal is to show the relationship of the projects to Wikipedia as a well-known center point. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 21:02, 19 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
With respect, it's not showing the relationship; it's misrepresenting the relationship. Actively misleading people, with negative consequences both for the people who are misled and for the projects they are misled about. Sisters such as Wikinews aren't defined in terms of their relationship to Wikipedia. Wikipedia isn't their "center point". --Pi zero (talk) 15:24, 20 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Some thoughts


I concur with above concerns that turning everything into "Wikipedi this" and "Wikipedia that" will dilute the this is an encyclopedia message and community and trust. Too few MWF projects have anything like WP's devotion to sourceable veracity.

However, I agree with the "use Wiki as a prefix" idea; we don't need long-winded names like "Wikimedia Commons".

I also agree that WikiMedia and MediaWiki are confusing names. The software engine should get a completely different name (maybe something more descriptive, like "Universal Wiki Engine" or whatever). WMF itself, maybe "Wiki[something else that starts with M but doesn't rhyme with pedia] Foundation", so it can keep its acronym. PS: I don't think the corporate image consultants are worth the money they're paid. Have they not noticed that major corporations do not name themselves after their "flagship" products? Microsoft isn't Windows Inc. Doing so can cause problems later; imagine if Sony had rebranded itself "Walkman Ltd". Consider also the problem experienced by Atari and later by Nintendo; their game consoles were not their only products but those products became synonymous with the company names, which suppressed their ability to diversify. That said, I do not think that MWF should be thinking of itself in terms similar to a software company with a product and userbase in the first place, but needs to shift gears (replace half the board if you have to) and start behaving like a globally important NGO/nonprofit with a public-interest mission and a constituency that consists of the virtually the entire public. I've addressed this a little bit at en:wp:User:SMcCandlish/Wikipedia's self-management and future, among other places.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  15:00, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Umm... correct link: w:en:User:SMcCandlish/Wikipedia's self-management and future. George Ho (talk) 20:35, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
If we're rebranding Wikimedia Commons as Wikicommons … maybe the WMF should become Wikifoundation? —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:46, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Confusion and differences from sister projects


@ZMcCune (WMF), Elitre (WMF), ELappen (WMF), and Quiddity (WMF):

I appreciate the wish to make readers more familiar with sister projects. However the sister projects are not an encyclopedia. They are governed by different principles and goals. In my opinion branding them as a part of Wikipedia would create confusion, and this confusion would continue to exist - for each newcomer - years after the brand change is made. How would you suggest to address this? Gryllida 22:54, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Opened discussions in English:
  • Support Support The proposed rebranding would create confusion with other projects. --EncycloPetey (talk) 00:57, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • I only see one way to eliminate this confusion. If the foundation is rebranded as Wikipedia, then the encyclopedia project needs to be rebranded as something else. If they rebranded the projects like "Wikipedia Encyclopedia", "Wikipedia Library", "Wikipedia Database", "Wikipedia Dictionary", for example, it could work out okay. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:21, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
    Thanks! Suppose we have 'WIKISOMETHINGELSE Dictionary', as noted in the 'Contest?' section below, would 'Wikipedia' be more confusing than the other available choices ('Wikimania', 'Wikiworld', 'Wikiweb')? If so, would the confusion be minor or major?
    How would you consider leaving the project name intact via 'SOMETHINGELSE Wiktionary', versus 'WIKISOMETHINGELSE Dictionary'. Which one do you think would be less confusing in terms of consistency with the past and in terms of confusion? Gryllida 00:40, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
    @Gryllida: I do not think "Wikipedia Dictionary" is more confusing than "Wikimedia Dictionary" or "Wikiworld Dictionary". I think that "Wikipedia Encyclopedia" is only slightly more confusing than "Wikimedia Encyclopedia" or "Wikiworld Encyclopedia", but not enough to matter, and the confusion would not last. If project names are kept intact, then the foundation name would have to be distinct enough to not sound stupid. "WMF Wikipedia" could work; "Wikiworld Wikipedia" sounds dumb; "Wikipedia Wikipedia" is ludicrous. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 01:47, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
    Thanks! I guess one concern here is whether having two words in the name of the project is good or bad. The Wikimedia Foundation wants to keep the names of the projects as is, and only change the name of the umbrella. There would be 'Wiktionary - a Wikipedia project', for instance. Gryllida 02:33, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
    Exactly, which is why I think Wikipedia would have to be renamed also, unless they are willing to put up with "Wikipedia, a Wikipedia project". However, "Wikipedia, a Wikimedia/world/whatever project" would probably be fine. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 21:25, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Opened discussions in Russian: versity ktionary quote books voyage source. Gryllida 02:32, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply



What are the alternatives to using 'Wikipedia' brand name and 'Wikimedia'? Is there any third name that could be considered? Gryllida 22:54, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

I'm asking around about Wikimania' as an alternative brand, at the same discussion threads as linked above about the confusion. I understand that it is the name of a conference, but perhaps it is catchy and people recognise it easier than 'Wikipedia' - I am just checking whether contributors are OK with it in case Wikimedia considers it an acceptable alternative. --Gryllida 01:25, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

I'd say that Wikimania would be worse than Wikimedia, as it has less brand recognition and less favourable connotations. Whilst '-media' has connotations of information content channels, '-mania' has connotations of hyperactivity or madness. I'm not even really a fan of it as the main conference name, but perhaps I'm no fun! I find it makes it hard to get people to take it seriously as a significant conference, as opposed to a casual, whacky meetup. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 05:36, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Agreed. Unless we want to promote Wikipedia as tHaT wAcKy EnCyClOpEdIa PrOjEcT, then I don't really see Wikimania as a sensible branding choice. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:26, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Making the Wikimedia brand more prominent


What about making it more clear by adjusting the layout of the page? Currently it only shows the logo of the current project (ie Wiktionary) without any showing of the logo of Wikimedia. Could somehow both logos be displayed? --Gryllida 22:54, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Yes this is a far better idea than telling users that sister projects are Wikipedia-but-actually-not —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:31, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Yep. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:22, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
I agree with this proposal. I think that, as others have stated, associating every Wikimedia project with Wikipedia will create confusion and cause interwiki issues. Better to focus on raising awareness of Wikimedia, which might involve essentially associating Wikimedia itself with Wikipedia as opposed to each project. MSG17 (talk) 12:59, 15 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
I also agree with this. Most of the world knows about Wikipedia, but almost no one knows about it's sister projects. A homepage revamp and more prominent "Explore other Wikimedia projects" buttons would go a long way in raising awareness. A3 Baard (talk) 06:49, 30 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Raising awareness


"Providing clearer connections to the sister projects from Wikipedia to drive increased awareness, usage and contributions to all movement projects."

Could you please clarify what this means? How do you plan to make these connections more clear? I think this is a wonderful idea, however it would be great to know the specifics. --Gryllida 23:22, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Gryllida I'm just going by memory after reading the various PDFs, but the impression I get is that every page on every project would have a full-screen-wide bar at the top listing&linking all of the projects. Alsee (talk) 10:43, 16 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi Gryllida, In terms of particular strategies for reinforcing the connection of the projects to Wikipedia, the blog post mentions some ideas, but there are no specific implementations proposed at this point. The blog post describes the possibility of exploring new visual identities, a clearer Wikipedia interface, and expository taglines. The slide that shows Wikipedia at the top (also referenced in the blog post) actually doesn’t aim to be a visual representation of any UI, but is instead conceptual, demonstrating that Wikipedia could be used as an umbrella for branding. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 21:22, 20 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

I believe that the Discovery project added sister projects results to the search, is this still on? For instance check

--Gryllida 23:22, 12 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Um... How about using "K" instead?
So far, I don't see the sister project snippets at Wiktionary. This phab task is still ongoing. George Ho (talk) 02:43, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Thanks! This might be intentional since the word I was looking for is rare, perhaps it does not show anything if there is zero results.
I'm a bit worried that in the Wikipedia version, wiktionary wikisource wikiquote wikivoyage wikibooks are present, but wikiversity and wikinews are missing. Does the Wikimedia Foundation intend to address this issue as a part of the rebranding strategy? I understand that the volunteers at Wikipedia are responsible for its content, but in my opinion this is not content. Gryllida 03:27, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
The en-WP community agreed to suppress results of Wikinews and Wikiversity; link: w:en:Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 135#RfC: sister projects in search results.

Nonetheless, you can see all snippets at non-English sites, like this one: https://es.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?search=K&title=Special%3ASearch&fulltext=1 - Wikipedia (es). (Task: phab:T163463.) Spanish Wiktionary still doesn't have sister project snippets: https://es.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?search=K&title=Special%3ASearch&fulltext=1 - Wiktionary (es). --George Ho (talk) 04:05, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Reaction on Commons


Hi. There was a (now archived) discussion about this proposal on Commons. PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:09, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for sharing it. Interesting to know that 'Wikimedia' was considered there a good new name for the entire project. :-) Gryllida 01:26, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Agreed. The consideration of Wikimedia as a project name for Commons has been noted and will be covered in the report to the Board. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 21:30, 20 March 2019 (UTC)Reply


Blocked user

Voting no in including Wikivoyage as a “Wikipedia Project” due to serious CC/SA violations on WV

I have to say no to more closely associating Wikivoyage with Wikipedia. In March, 2014, the Wikivoyage administrator community decided to abandon the recommendations of their CC/SA license, and stop properly attributing the wiki editors who created the majority of the content on the Wikivoyage site. That edit resides here: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/MediaWiki_talk:Creditssource-credits#Was_anyone_aware_of_this,_because_I_sure_wasn't Of further interest is that the start of the cascade of poor decisions leading to Wikivoyage abandoning their license started with Wikivoyage user “Doc” James https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/User:Doc_James You may recognize James Heilman better from his Wikipedia user page (he uses an alias on Wikivoyage): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Heilman#Tenure_on_the_Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_of_Trustees James Heilman not only removes the attribution from all pages on Wikivoyage per the above edit, he also happens to be a member of the Wikipedia Foundatuon Board of Trustees (he was re-elected after he ran again following his removal from the Board in 2015). Wikivoyage has been a rogue wiki since day one, and its admins have little regard for the principles that Wikipedia was founded on. In my opinion it should not be a Wikipedia project at all, let alone bear the Wikipedia moniker. SpendrupsForAll (talk) 01:24, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for this.
1) With CC-SA attribution to individual contributors is not required, the content is attributed to Wikivoyage. Is this correct?
2) If without attribution, what licence is currently used at Wikivoyage?
3) Since you disagree with this decision. What are the benefits of using attribution and who would you like to attribute the content to? Gryllida 01:30, 13 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
The person who raises this is likely associated with WikiTravel. What they want is WikiVoyage to provide attribution to WT. But because we attributed the individual contributors we do not need to attribute WT.
The licensed used by WV is the same as that used by WP.
As WT sued use this account should likely be blocked. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:28, 14 April 2019 (UTC)Reply
I think I have figured out were this come from :-)
WikiVoyage is the 14,793 most popular website globally per Alexa.
It has just passed WikiTravel which is now at 15,821 per Alexa.
A big congrats to the WikiVoyage community.
Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:33, 14 April 2019 (UTC)Reply



How to make the name (whatever it is) more clear to readers: please add your suggestions and insight


Include {{sisterprojects}} in the welcome message. Gryllida 01:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Include a one-line version of {{sisterprojects}} in the footer. Gryllida 01:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Include sister projects in the search box (Special:Search) more prominently as tabs instead of the sidebar. Check whether this is effective. Gryllida 01:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Include sister projects in the search box (the little one that we see before visiting Special:Search). Gryllida 01:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Ensure sister projects are not hidden in any lists, and the list is all-inclusive at all times.

Yes, Gryllida, could you please clarify how far-reaching you want these proposals to be? SelfieCity (talk) 13:56, 14 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Proposal to move the voting to a subpage


Thank you for all your feedback so far. Please know we are actively tracking and analyzing discussions. We want to keep this talk page as organized as possible, so that it is welcoming and easy to navigate. I want to clarify that the purpose of this community review is to gather feedback to submit in a report for the Board. This community review is not a contest or a vote. People landing on this page for the first time might get the wrong impression with all the active voting. To be clear, alternative naming proposals with accompanying reasoning are welcome, it’s the voting itself that is misleading. Therefore, I suggest we move the sections with votes to a subpage or we archive them. This way, we leave the main talk page as a welcoming place for questions, feedback and conversation. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 21:40, 15 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

How is the voting misleading? Can you explain further? I see nothing wrong with leaving the Contest section as-is. Moving the voting to subpage or archiving would hinder people's ability to express their opinions here. George Ho (talk) 22:08, 15 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
I’m fine with a subpage as long as it can be accessed as easily as this page (in other words, links to the subpages from various pages on various wikis, etc.). @George Ho: I think the concern is that the votes make it seem like an official decision is being made, when it is not that. SelfieCity (talk) 22:37, 15 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
... ... ... Valid point... and clarification. However, I hope many other readers would take the votes as mere advisories, not official. I hate to see the portion being pushed aside. George Ho (talk) 23:00, 15 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
I agree, and on that point I wouldn't like to be archived in such a way that is never edited or viewed again. It just needs to be made clear that, if a certain choice in the "contest" gets the highest number of votes, that doesn't mean the Foundation will made the name change, or that all the previous discussions on this page are no longer valid. SelfieCity (talk) 23:03, 15 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Lambiam and Gryllida, shall the notice clarifying the votes as mere advisories to WMF be posted at the top of #Contest?, or how about renaming the section title? Any other alternatives? George Ho (talk) 23:10, 15 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Those sound fine with me, but I assumed WMF would have handled that since they started the discussion. SelfieCity (talk) 01:16, 16 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
ELappen (WMF) I would like to point out that it was the WMF itself who defined feedback in terms of vote-style percentages. Specifically:
  • We will consider the proposal to have strong support if: no more than 20% oppose.
  • We will consider the proposal to have substantial support: if no more than 30% oppose.
  • We will consider the proposal to have moderate support: if no more than 40% oppose.

Making a big change requires big support. We will also track the ratio of strong support for the proposal.

  • Benchmark: 20% voice strong support.[2]

I would also like to point out that one of the sections removed from this page was devoted to:

Proposed by WMF

  • Oppose Oppose May or may not cause confusion, with some newcomers applying Wikipedia policies to projects and notability guidelines where they do not apply; see discussions above. Gryllida 00:52, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose unless Wikipedia itself is also rebranded so as not to be confused with the foundation and the sister projects. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 01:50, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
    How would you suggest to rebrand Wikipedia? Gryllida 03:45, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
    @Gryllida: Any way they like, provided that it is easy to distinguish the encyclopedia project from the other projects and from the foundation that runs them all. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 09:46, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Neutral Neutral I have explained at the Wikivoyage Pub. SelfieCity (talk) 02:59, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose per others. Already, there are too many people voting on Commons not to feature (on Commons, mind you, not a Wikipedia) pictures they think (sometimes wrongly) can't be used as thumbnails on Wikipedia, and that's even an argument that's brought up sometimes at Quality Image Candidates. And on Wikivoyage, while of course more Wikipedians are most welcome, they are already at present apt to consider Wikivoyage an adjunct to Wikipedia, such that there should be no difference in style or number of links on the page relative to an encyclopedia which requires thorough documentation with secondary sources. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
    Could you please suggest which policies are different at these two projects? What is the difference in linking policies there? Gryllida 03:44, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
    @Gryllida: Please read v:Wikivoyage:Welcome, Wikipedians for an outline of this subject. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 09:51, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose--Cinemantique (talk) 05:48, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose per the reasons I gave above.  --Lambiam 07:50, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose Very bad idea. Wikipedia is not supreme. Leaderboard (talk) 16:32, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
    What consequences would it have if the Wikipedia brand was considered 'supreme' to others? Gryllida 03:43, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Every Wiki project would be automatically considered by all the standards and procedures of Wikipedia, instead of according to the standards and procedures developed to be appropriate to each project. As I mentioned, that already happens much more than it should; this would worsen that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:44, 25 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose per my comment above. MER-C (talk) 19:31, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
    As this has been moved to a new page, the reasons were: 1) Having "brands" like "Wikipedia Travel" explicitly dilutes the notion of Wikipedia being an encyclopedia and help confuse the clueless hoards who already struggle to understand this concept further; 2) Renaming Wikivoyage etc. to Wikipedia X reinforces the idea that these projects are secondary/afterthoughts/also-rans/distractions when they should be first class citizens; and 3) exacerbating the problem where the clueless hoards believe the foundation has a greater control over Wikipedia content than they already do, that Wikipedia is the only thing they do and, of course forking out more donations (which is the underlying reason for the rebranding, not to fix the actual problem). MER-C (talk) 14:15, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose OpposeMarcoAurelio (talk) 21:29, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
    Is there a reason why you oppose the change? Please include details. It would be great to know what problems would need to be known, and addressed, in the case the brand change is approved. Gryllida 03:46, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose We need to decrease the amount of confusion, not increase it. Low recognition of the Wikimedia brand (both current and future) is not a big deal. Ain92 (talk) 20:13, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
    Could you give examples of confusion? Gryllida 03:46, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose Some country can't visit Wikipedia but can visit other projects. -- 05:01, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Support - very good idea. Marcus Cyron (talk) 08:44, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose I would expect it to finish at best with just as much confusion as we have today, but most likely make things even more confusing. --Psychoslave (talk) 13:26, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
    What confusion is there and how would you propose to address it? Gryllida 03:47, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
    That is, for general public, understanding differences between Wikimedia foundation, Wikimedia as a community, Wikimedia as a movement, and the miscelleanous Wikimedia projects is not easy to grasp. Actually even among contributors these disctinctions is not allways clear. And the feeling of being part of a larger movement than contributing to a single isolated project is not obvious to everyone. Using Wikipedia as main brand would even more diminish the spread of this feeling of being part of a larger family than the project one is more accustomed to. This has all chance to send to all contributors except those that are only focused on Wikipedia that "this project is marginal and their contributors are second class citizen in the Wikimedia world". To my mind, we have to reinforce the feeling of belonging to a larger community, rather than rise probability of antagonism and perception of sister projects as foreign communities. I would suggest to keep going with Wikimedia as main brand, reinforcing cross projects initiatives under this umbrella. And possibly create better documentations explaining in the most approchable way who are the different stakeholders in presence, how they all converge toward a common goal despite their differences. That would be great to have several out of the box communication material targetting different time constraints: Wikimedia explained in 30 seconds, 5 minutes, 30 minutes, 2 hours or even 8 hours. Preferably this material should be easily translatable, taking advantage of technologies we already have on this side. Thank you @Gryllida: for asking the feedback, I hope these details help. --Psychoslave (talk) 05:47, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose (Reposting my reasoning from Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2019/March#WMF proposes rebranding Wiktionary as a "Wikipedia_project":) Not only will it cause confusion because of an old sense competing with a new sense, if you rebrand Wikimedia to Wikipedia or any other project’s name, but it will also be factually untrue if you call Wiktionary “a Wikipedia project”. Wiktionary isn’t a Wikipedia project, won’t become one, shouldn’t become one, even if you do hold the Wikipedia brand in higher esteem, which I do not, thinking that the abyss would stare back; the confusion and separation issue is enough of a reason. If you do a rebranding do it only if that is worth it and don’t mingle projects in so much as they are intentionally separate.
Currently your issues are that Wikimedia is not distinctive enough, being only different in one grapheme or phoneme, though this issue is minor and can be ignored as it until this proposal has been ignored, and that one the other hand the merits of Wiktionary, as a project being as much of higher quality as it works distinctly, – the analogous with other projects like Wikispecies – are not highlighted enough. If you show an attachment of Wiktionary to Wikipedia you will pull it down and achieve the opposite of what you want to achieve. The messages must be and stay: Wiktionary will give you an experience that is well above that on Wikipedia. Wikipedia has lost its chances to be taken seriously, I am sorry to blackpill you, though the usefulness of Wikipedia is of course not debated by anyone, and Wiktionary is currently above it, as is Wikispecies, but people do not know the difference, only know Wikipedia. It is important to make known for those who have, rightly, lost hope in Wikipedia, that Wiktionary is 1. made by other editors 2. editors working pursuant to dissimilar principles and workflows, even if they also edit Wikipedia 3. describes a wholly unlike subject matter, hence the resulting project should be put not all on one level with Wikipedia. Fay Freak (talk) 04:27, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Support. I find it difficult to fault the major arguments and conclusions of the consultants' report, though I understand that change is always difficult. --AGK ■ 20:17, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose I'm afraid that labeling sister projects as Wikipedia projects will chill boldness in editing. Mbrickn (talk) 02:09, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
    Why do you think it would chill boldness in editing? What are the expected outcomes? Gryllida 03:47, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
    As others have stated, I am concerned about the individual communities and feeling of the sister wikis being degraded or lost due to the change in name, and resulting association with the English Wikipedia culture. I can still feel the energy that people had about Wikipedia around 2007 in some of these projects, even if they aren't as known by the general public.Mbrickn (talk) 21:50, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose per MER-C's reasoning. As a Wikivoyage bureaucrat, if this proposal is approved I would advocate vigorously in favor of forking our site away from the WMF. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:49, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose--Ferdi2005 (Posta) 14:36, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    Do you have a reason? Could you please indicate what difficulties the brand change would cause from your view. Thanks, Gryllida 03:48, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
    I have yet said why a lot of times in these pages. Tl;dr: this is the most stupid idea I have ever read. Changing our names in Wikipedia or everything else could have consequences that we can’t control, for sister projects and local communities. It’ll also destroy the work of too many years.Ferdi2005 (Posta) 13:44, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose. We are not Wikipedia. Users/wikicommunity is Wikiprojects, but no WMF and no other marketing consultants. Digr (talk) 19:13, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose PiRSquared17 (talk) 03:10, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
    Do you have a reason? Could you please indicate what difficulties the brand change would cause from your view. Thanks, Gryllida 03:48, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose. This idea introduces a false perception of hierarchy that other projects are under the umbrella of Wikipedia when they are on the same level. OhanaUnitedTalk page 19:20, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. All projects should be equal. Wiktionary is not an encyclopedia and neither is wikisource etc. All projects are different and this diversity is important. Let us say that Wikispecies was the strongest brand. Does anyone think that we should rebrand Wikipedia into "Wikipedia a Wikispecies project"? Naming should reflect the things we name. Wellparp (talk) 21:56, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose. I think that this rebranding would not be beneficial from a diversity perspective. --Atropine (talk) 17:27, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Not broken, do not fix. Abzeronow (talk) 15:27, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Ok, people out there see nothing but Wikipedia. They even donate to Wikimedia Foundation and other non-profits like Wikimedia Deutschland, in response to a banner on Wikipedia, and are worried when they receive thanks from Wikimedia, just because they didn't realize the difference. Fixing this just by changing the brand name seems to be a smooth approach. At first glance. But for most projects, changing the name to Wikipedia would bear devastating effects. First of all, it devaluates any other project but Wikipedia, making it to be an appendix of the BIG WP. And, as far as the donators are concerned, changing the brand name to Wikipedia would result in their premeditated deception, because the donations are not for Wikipedia (the encyclopedia), as intended by most of the donators, but for a bunch of projects, including Wikipedia, the no-knowledge-but-commercial-usable-data project Wikidata, and several others. --Cimbail (talk) 15:55, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose I think that the findings about the awareness of each of the brands are useful, and it makes sense to define and implement actions to improve the situation. There are many possibilities to achieve the goal of making the least known brands --- or better, the organisations, the projects, the people and the results --- more visible. However, I disagree with the idea of rebranding Wikimedia as Wikipedia, because it seems to exclude other existing projects and other communities that are as valuable and have their own identity. The beauty of this group of wiki-initiatives is that people share common values. Having a global name and differentiating between organisation and projects is, in my opinion, a very reasonable way to give distinct labels to (i) the movement, the foundation and the chapters and (ii) the individual and interconnected socio-technical systems. I think that the important goal to achieve is to get people all around the world to know and use any of the systems with this wiki nature. Last year in a conference that was attended by mostly Wikipedians but also editors of other projects such as Wikidata and Wikimedia commons, the local press wrote many articles about the event. Most of the headlines mentioned only Wikipedia. I thought that was very unfortunate, especially because I saw many people from the different communities integrating, enriching each other, and sharing their experiences. I understand that for a headline to be attractive or viral, it needs to contain familiar terms. But wouldn’t such occasions be the right moment to talk about Wikimedia and all the other projects as well? --Criscod (talk) 18:46, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose The sister projects of Wikipedia are not Wikipedia projects, they are sister projects of Wikipedia. Therefore I oppose the idea using Wikipedia as common branding for all Wikimedia projects. Chaddy (talk) 12:53, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose At the moment, we have many problems to explain to the public, that it claims us for the articles of wikipedia, that we as chapter do not have incidence in the content of the encyclopedia. We always hide behind the argument that we are Wikimedia and not Wikipedia. If we called ourselves Wikipedia, they would confuse us with the encyclopedia and believe that we are simple editors, something that we are not, since in fact we also edit in other sister projects. Moreover, we would not have how to avoid the conflicts, even legal, of those who protest because they don't like the way their biographies are written. In the case of countries with more sensitive political situations (Venezuela, for example) this would even endanger the lives of the members of the movement.--Jalu (talk) 21:18, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

There are currently 16 responses. Two feedback support the proposal, one feedback is neutral, and thirteen feedback opposed the proposal. That's over 80% opposition within that set of responses. When the WMF carries out it's process to compute support/oppose percentages, quoted above, are you going to include the feedback that was removed from this page? Alsee (talk) 13:33, 16 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Hi Alsee, That’s an important clarifying question, thanks for bringing it up. We are tracking feedback both on this talk page and its subpages. As mentioned in the project summary/community review process, there are multiple methods being used to gather and track feedback:
  • Conversations with affiliate groups in small or large group discussions.
  • Conversations with volunteers in virtual group discussions, which can be requested via the email address below.
  • Conversations on the project’s Community review talk page.
  • Conversations via email: brandproject(_AT_)wikimedia.org.
The consultation aims to answer the following questions, also outlined in the community review process:
If we move forward with brand changes
→ What are the benefits of the existing proposal?
→ What, concretely, needs modifying from the existing proposal?
If we do not move forward with brand changes
→ What, concretely, are the benefits of staying with the current system?
Responses to these guiding questions will allow us to develop a comprehensive report to present to the Board of Trustees. We are not reaching a decision in this process, but rather gathering insight from the community to provide the Board with critical considerations. Thus, feedback limited to “support” or “oppose” without reasoning won’t enrich the report in the same way. We had to devise a reasonable way of quantifying feedback to provide the Board with some figures, but the bulk of the report will revolve around deeper analysis. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 23:28, 18 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
ELappen (WMF) I have a lot of experience in summarizing/resolving community discussions. We also take the view that discussions are "not-votes". Raw support/oppose percentages valuable for understanding the general situation, but rationales are important. A final outcome does not always align with majority votes. However an outcome that does not match the majority is very unusual, it warrants extra scrutiny, and it needs a particularly clear&solid justification for not matching the majority. Anyone even considering a result against a majority needs to begin with crystal clarity regarding that majority.
An important starting point for trust is confidence that even raw support/oppose is counted accurately.
I apologize if I'm reading your answer in an overly careful manner, but I don't think you quite answered the question I asked. Your link says that the percentage of supports and opposes will be computed and included as part of the report. I was hoping for a clear "yes/no" on whether the responses deleted from this page will be included in that count, including responses that took the form of a bare support/oppose vote. Alsee (talk) 23:36, 20 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi again Alsee, the opinions voiced on the brainstorm subpage will be counted in the KPIs calculated in the report for the Board. This information has not disappeared from the process, it has just been reorganized. What I was trying to underscore with my answer was that there are many venues where feedback is being gathered from different stakeholders, and that detailed feedback supporting alternative naming conventions (and any other argument) is helpful for generating the report. That is not to say other forms of feedback will be ignored. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 15:51, 21 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
If a major purpose of this talk page is to measure support for the existing proposal as part of the community review process, then I have the feeling the community review process has not been well thought out (and not well communicated either regarding the steps and the timeline of the larger process). I'd imagine that there should first have been a community-wide discussion on whether rebranding at all is potentially worth it; reactions could vary from "who cares" and "no unified brand is needed" to "yes, we need to work on brand recognition, but please no rebranding" to "yes, let's do it". That discussion should be on whether a strong unified brand as part of a "brand architecture" will in the long run help to strengthen the various projects in the WMF family. If the main reaction is like meh, the rest can be skipped. Otherwise, the next phase should involve the definition of the future unified brand, part of which is the name. The brand recognition of some candidate names already in use (specifically Wikimania, Wikimedia and Wikipedia) is an important consideration, but just one of several important considerations. The pros and cons of various choices should be weighed in light of the outcome of the first phase. By making the specific choice of a unified "Wikipedia" brand part of the proposal put forward, these discussions have been muddied, as all aspects now tumble over each other.
Organizing a community-wide contest could help to mitigate the effects and salvage the underlying idea. Quite understandably, the choice for "Wikipedia" meets with resistance both from the encyclopedia project and from the smaller sister projects. Anything that will be seen as an attempt to push it through will harm the relation of trust between the WMF and the user communities and in the end do more harm than the good a strong unified brand might hope to achieve.
I had to get that off of my chest. As to the suggestion to move the "vote" to a new page, I don't see how (in light of the preceding) this improves the situation. But in any case, whether it gets moved or not, I agree it should help to clarify in the beginning that the purpose is to generate ideas and discussion of pros and cons, and emphatically not to reach a decision. There is a term in English for such a non-binding vote; it is called a "straw poll".  --Lambiam 00:24, 17 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Central banner for invitation to discuss


I've been thinking. Is there an alternative way to make people become more aware of the re-branding proposal? How about a central banner inviting people to discuss the proposal is shown in multiple wiki sites? I suggested it at my talk page, so here I am re-posting my suggestion here. George Ho (talk) 23:07, 15 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Also discussed at Wikimedia_Forum#Is_central_banner_needed_to_announce_WMF's_branding_strategy_proposal?. Nemo 12:43, 14 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Wikipedia is not equal to wikimedia


I strongly oppose the proposed rebranding to include "Wikipedia" in the names of all sister-projects. This naming will be problematic for many volunteers of, I think, most sister projects except Wikipedia. The aims and goals of the projects are very different and it would be an error to use Wikipedia as a brand for all projects. What ties all projects together is the "wiki" part of the name. The "pedia" part means encyclopedia. Wiktionary is not trying to build an encyclopedia. Wikisource is not trying to build an encyclopedia. Etc. We are using the wiki-technology and wiki-communities to do different things. All projects are different. It is important that volunteers feel at home in their projects and lumping every project together as part of Wikipedia would be detrimental to this. Which brand is the strongest is in my opinion irrelevant. Let instead each brand be as strong as it can be by itself. I believe that there is great value in autonomy and self-value for all the sister-projects across all languages. Don't take this diversity away.

I was an active editor of the Swedish Wikisource many years ago and I was recently planning to come back to scan and upload one of my old books for proofreading. I now have mixed feelings about this. Wikisource is mostly about scanning, proofreading and reformatting old books and has no strong connections to Wikipedia. The rebranding would signal lesser importance to all projects except Wikipedia.

My proposal is to scrap the suggestion to rebrand using the Wikipedia name. (Note that I am not commenting on other suggested rebrandings, such as wikimedia commons and the MediaWiki software.)

Wellparp (talk) 09:41, 17 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

@Wellparp: I'd recommend going to Talk:Communications/Wikimedia brands/2030 research and planning/community review/brainstorm where this is being discussed. May I say, you will find quite a few who take your stance, and I partially do myself. SelfieCity (talk) 01:48, 20 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

What, exactly, is the problem that this is attempting to address?


That the man on the street isn't aware of the behind the scenes stuff and the organigrams of the Wikimedia projects? If so, to hell with that. My parents don't give a rat's ass between Wikimedia/Wikipedia/MediaWiki/Commons.

To create a stronger branding for the WMF / Wikimedia projects in general? That's not inherently bad, but hijacking an existing brand will not do that. It will only create more confusion about the different projects, and dilute the Wikipedia brand.

Want to reduce confusion? Then rebrand the problematic projects. Rename MediaWiki to something that's not so easily confusable with Wikimedia. Possibly WikiEngine/EngineWiki, WikiCore/CoreWiki. Or something completely unrelated like Wikle (which sounds a bit like wiki, but can't be confused in writing) or Klüdge, or whatever your software devs come up with that gets the clearance from Legal.

Want to increase awareness of the 'Wikimedia' brand? Then put it where people can see it. The only place the man on the street sees the Wikimedia brand is on a legalistic footer at the bottom of ever Wikipedia page "Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization."

A few logical places would be

  • On the en:Main page (and the mainpage of other Wikimedia projects), instead of having "Wikipedia's sister projects", have "Other Wikimedia projects".
  • On [3], below the divider bar, add "Other Wikimedia projects include..."
  • In projects without an extra blurb like we have for "Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia", you could have something like "Wikiquote, a Wikimedia project", you can have "Wikidata, a Wikimedia project"
  • In the navigation sidebar, rebrand the donate/store pages
  • Navigation
    • Main page
    • Contents
    • Featured content
    • Current events
    • Random article
    • Donate to Wikipedia
    • Wikipedia store
  • Navigation
    • Main page
    • Contents
    • Featured content
    • Current events
    • Random article
    • Donate to Wikimedia
    • Wikimedia store

Also rebrand things in the sister project sidebar, e.g.

In other projects

  • Wikimedia Commons
  • MediaWiki
  • Meta-Wiki
  • Wikispecies
  • Wikibooks
  • Wikidata
  • Wikinews
  • Wikiquote
  • Wikisource
  • Wikiversity
  • Wikivoyage
  • Wiktionary

In other Wikimedia projects

  • Wikimedia Commons
  • MediaWiki
  • Meta-Wiki
  • Wikispecies
  • Wikibooks
  • Wikidata
  • Wikinews
  • Wikiquote
  • Wikisource
  • Wikiversity
  • Wikivoyage
  • Wiktionary

Wikimedia project directory

  • Wikimedia Commons
  • MediaWiki
  • Meta-Wiki
  • Wikispecies
  • Wikibooks
  • Wikidata
  • Wikinews
  • Wikiquote
  • Wikisource
  • Wikiversity
  • Wikivoyage
  • Wiktionary

In other projects

  • Wikimedia Commons
  • MediaWiki
  • Meta-Wiki
  • Wikispecies
  • Wikibooks
  • Wikidata
  • Wikinews
  • Wikiquote
  • Wikisource
  • Wikiversity
  • Wikivoyage
  • Wiktionary

Headbomb (talk) 13:32, 18 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

You have a lot of good points. When we consider rebranding, we have to think about where we will be rebranding. If we want to increase the awareness of Wikimedia/Wikipedia one step towards getting there is including the name in more places. SelfieCity (talk) 14:22, 18 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Yep. WMF is unable to promote its own brand because it's ashamed of itself and only wants to ride on the "Wikipedia" brand. After years of neglect and active boycotting, no wonder the situation is not improving (look at everything WMF comms did to our main domains and portals in the last 5 or so years). --Nemo 15:35, 18 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Your first sentence is a good point, but I think the second is an inaccurate picture. I do not see years of neglect on their part. SelfieCity (talk) 14:04, 19 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
SelfieCity, have you followed the discussions on fundraising, project portals, Wikimedia Blog, Wikimedia Foundation website, social media, branding, translations, or anything communication really? Wherever you look, you see catastrophic regressions. In 2010 the WMF ED started calling itself "Wikipedia Executive Director" in public; after the 2013 coup, for about 5 years the WMF didn't really bother having a website; then last year they cobbled together a collage of random Wikipedia bits and pieces and called it a website. So that's at least 9 years of mass-miseducation of our public and 5 years of dereliction of duty. Nemo 09:47, 18 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

common confusion: Wikimedia vs. Mediawiki


The fact that Wikimedia and Wikipedia are confused is not a surprize, but it does not really hurt. But more problematic is the confusion between Wikimedia and Mediawiki, because Mediawiki is a software (with its own wiki: "Mediawiki wiki", sic!) that is used by many other sites that are not related to the movement and its content projects and community activities (not all online and directly attached to the content of wikis). The Wikimedia movement is also not involved only on wikis (and not even restricted to use only Mediawiki), it's all about developing open contents by all and for all (MediaWiki is just one of the tools we use and that was developed by the movement itself, but the movements has also developed other tools, or used open tools developed by other parties, including other CMS systems). Reducing Wikimedia to just Wikipedia (and its associated interlinked wikis) would be counter productive. May be we need a better name for the movement but Wikipedia is now a project that evolves much more slowly and more difficult to attract new people with contents that are now more difficult to manage

There's been a huge increase in technical knowledge requirements, and it's very hard now to be inventive and create consensus to develop and maintain new things: Wikipedia starts aging, and even the MediaWiki technology (even if there's been improvements for its usability and with the Visual editor, it's still not as open and simple to use and manage than blogs, WordPress, and social networks). Wikis are in fact not very open to new web designs and not very friendly to adapt the presentation. It's still based on a subset of the old HTML4 standard.
As well the community parts of the wikis are not very friendly: talk pages, vote pages... we woudl benefit from a new development for making it more "social" and this will certainly no longer look like a wiki. There are other good examples where good content can be developed and discussed (just consider for example the Medium site, not really openas most of its contents require a subscription; consider other sites like Mathlab, or GitHub).
Seriously we need more tools to be integrated on wikis and working very differently, but in a more user-friendly way, and more accessible.
Some of the recent tools developed by Wikimedia are also not friendly at all (e.g. Wikidata/Wikibase, or Phabricator): this has not helped the community to unite but has splitted it into small communities with some of them being granted too high privileges and too much trust on what they decide (and most other people unable to follow their tracks).
I doubt that wikis will pass the next century: we'll need at some point to find a way to migrate its content to a better management system. In all cases, the term "wiki" will just look bad for many users that have fled us to use other networks (especially social networks, including photo, video and audio sharing networks). It's too hard also for creators to contribute. And the level of spam/malicious usages is becoming incridibly hard to track. Reverting abusive contents is also hard. Keeping user privacy is also very difficult (if not impossible in most cases).
We need a better approach, centered on the creation of contents and a better peer reviewing system that will not be elitist but will match the desires of more communities (even if they don't agree each other on many topics).
So let's leave the terme "wiki" we use to the content creates with MediaWiki. But the movement would benefit to join a more general movement for open contents and open data. And we lack efficient cooperation with other actors of the sector, because our wiki tool is not suitable for their work.
So yes, we need to replace the term "Wikimedia" for out movement, but also avoid "wiki" as well. I would prefer something like "freemedia", "openmedia", "worldmedia" or a more innovative brand (possibly even without the term "media"). And finally if we migrate our contents to something else than wikis, how will "Wikipedia" will remain known?
What is important for us ? the technologies used today (wikis), or the contents ? verdy_p (talk) 01:36, 20 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Wiki markup has the potential to be a better management system, but that hasn't happened because of the Foundation's anti-wiki stance (afaict, rooted about a decade and a half ago or longer). They've stagnated wiki markup, making it easier for them to claim it's dated technology that needs to be supplanted. (Not that there aren't also ways to mess up wiki markup by "upgrading" it; but that's mostly not the route they've taken.) The phrase that comes to mind for the Foundation's treatment of wiki markup is killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.

On the immediate matter of nomenclature, yes, we definitely want "wiki" in names. Though I agree, the whole wikimedia-versus-mediawiki thing is dire confusing and there ought to be a better way. Perhaps, taking a cue from meta, "platform-wiki"? Just a thought. --Pi zero (talk) 17:52, 20 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Note "Meta-Wiki" is similar to both of these names, potentially causing more confusion. SelfieCity (talk) 13:55, 26 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
"Wiki markup has the potential to be a better management system" as one of the developers I fundamentally disagree with this. Markdown has better chances of this than wikitext. It pains me to say it, but it's the benefit of hindsight due to lessons learned. It's a great system when it works, but as complexity increases it is terribly inefficient. I don't think people appreciate how many layers of junk there are in place to make wikitext usueble in contexts that it is not supposed to be used for. Nor how limiting it is on our ability to introduce new features. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:06, 19 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Stakeholder analysis needed - or not! Some thoughts.


We're a model for the future of companies when it comes to diversity and transparency - that is why we're making a big thing out of this. But who will be annoyed, or even surprised if WMF just went ahead and rebranded? Perhaps we don't have to overthink this. Rebrand the WMF, and give Wikimedia user groups, chapters and orgs the freedom to call themselves Wikipedia Chapters if they like, maybe add another few provisos to make everyone's lives easier. Done. Make it all voluntary. Will that result in more revenue, and volunteers? Likely.

It doesn't show in the traffic on our web properties, but if you consider that there could be an as open and diverse side to many other big brand websites, and you compare our traffic to theirs', that shows the right perspective: Wikipedia is just the tip of the Wikimedia iceberg: there is a lot more to Wikipedia than the website most people see and use - and our projects solicit contributions from all of those - even if they seem minor and low visibility. Which one is a potential seed to another pervasive Wikipedia level service, or a new interoperability standard for knowledge? Eg. WikiData is a good contender, but what if it's just a part of the engine for another larger, more pervasive service - or an integral part of the community-lifeblood behind it?) ...For Wikipedia, the broad main groups are: readers (consumption), volunteers (production), and administrators(facilitation,funding,coordination). Each project has its own purpose and focus, and short- and long term goals... we can break the categories down a lot further, and the brand impacts differently on all of these groups and the sub groups between them - none of the brand strategy material presented even lifts the veil on the different aspects to each of these. Does it need to? Is this perhaps more than just a name change, but just like the different names we have now are conversation starters, is the Brand Strategy perhaps a conversation starter to draw more people into the greater movement strategy, to ensure that we can consider and discuss the widest possible range of inputs? Is it a safe neutral topic, that we can use to test the current state of relationships, and to spark other conversations that can drive our purpose?

We have to remember that very few people have any clue about how organizations, let alone tech companies, work - nor have any idea about the stakeholder architecture that has developed between the technology giants. Not being an academic, I didn't think I had much to contribute, until I met people from my local chapter - who quickly made my skill overlap and all the ways I could contribute abundantly clear. Personally I thought Wikipedia was still just a volunteer project, that employed maybe 10 engineers to keep the servers running, before my local chapter brought me up to speed.

Would I be involved in my chapter if there was a Wikimedia logo, instead of a Wikipedia logo at the event I attended? Possibly not. Is there a lot of time spent explaining the difference between Wikipedia and Wikimedia? Sure. Is this frustrating? Yes. Is this a good thing? Who is to say, what research has been done about this? Could that time have been spend explaining something different, more relevant? Are there any unintended consequences of the current brand position? Are we yet to live up to our "WikiMEDIA" brand, with some projects working on accepting oral citations, and figuring out how encyclopedic knowledge looks to less literate societies?

Reading the original proposal, it's clear that we have not invested nearly what it would take to live up to the true WikiMedia name: "Wiki-style rules to enable public participation in the creation and editing of all kinds of media: encyclopedias and other reference works, current news, books, fiction, music, video etc. Like current broadcast media, it would have differentiated "channels" and "programs," each with self-selecting audiences." - We now know that this has become Youtube, Facebook, etc. Why did these grow so disproportionately more than Wiki-ish-alternatives? (Were there any?) Was it that we focused on the gaps? Or that we lacked the incentive, or perhaps just the vision? How much attention did the current market leaders receive, in comparison? Was there a technological barrier - did we have infrastructure and UI that could rival the best? (I wrote a more elaborate piece on this here, then my browser crashed. So yes, this is my shortened version of this... this hasn't happened on any other website in a long time.) Can we build toward these other services? Merge with them? Make them better, ore community driven? More diversity focused? Sure we can. Do we want to? Should we? Is it our place? What is the real question?

Is a "name change" back to a Wikipedia an admission of a shift of our focus back to purely Encyclopaedic knowledge? Will it necessarily subtract from our other projects, or will it enhance them? Will it ensure the same level of consent for them?

Let us not underestimate the value of a recognized brand. It is a subtle thing... I had both the Brand Strategy Suggestion and the Brand Research documents open in separate tabs. I almost didn't read the former, because of the similar themes, thinking I already did - the mind takes shortcuts based on a logo, or a theme.

Is everything we do, really "Wikipedia"? Is it disingenuous to say so? Can we really separate Wikipedia, from all on which it is built? Do we need strong consensus on these questions before we can make a decision? In line with our ethos, I think we do. If we think of this as merely cosmetic, then I believe that we are fooling ourselves. This has to go much deeper. Which is why I think that this IS a valuable process, and I welcome it, as part of our overall strategy process. Dagelf 17:42, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

To recap: Yes for marketing, but it's another opportunity to do more: We need a lot more than just simpler brand, we need to be able to be simpler and approachable to new volunteers, Is this the opportunity to start and drive this conversation, and do these processes go hand in hand? To simplify our methods and help us engage with people more pervasively - to unclutter many organizational processes?... Where are the 5 steps for starting a user group, and the dashboard that will encourage and empower more user groups to form? Can we add the same coherency of our encyclopedia to everything that is Wikimedia that touches volunteers, or is a dash of chaos, clutter, politics and bureaucracy a necessary part of a project like this? Is any attempt to hide it not perhaps a misrepresentation? Is the independence of the knowledge project called Wikipedia, and the foundation that supports it, an integral and important part and example here, and clearly evident and visible to all, in the current scheme?

How much runway does our current branding have? To me it's all still fresh and new, and Wikipedia is old... I already know what there is to discover on Wikipedia - answers to everything, the lie of an end to mystery.... Wikimedia is much more of a deepening mystery.

What are the unintended consequences of the Wikimedia naming scheme? "A gentle introduction" leading to growing affection.... Is there a chance of the new scheme being "A fake sense of familiarity, leading to an abrupt divorce?"

What I do like is that there is a clear distinction between Wikipedia as a community project, and the foundation that supports those to whom it really belongs, and ensure that community ownership is maintained and intact and clearly evident and advertised, without needing explicit explanation, the foundation and the chapters ARE NOT Wikipedia. How important is this distinction, in our ethos, and our brand, and our example, and to our most valuable stakeholders? Does having to explain something dilute, or legitimize it? Is it the same for all topics?

If there's one lesson that I've learned of "community management", it is to "if you want to go far, go together, and if you want to go together, you need to go slow enough so that everyone can catch up." ... Deadlines and community doesn't mix, unless the deadline comes from the slowest person who still needs to be part of the community... who are we leaving behind, and is it so we can catch up with them again later?...

After reading the alluring proposal from 2007 on the mailing list, am starting to ask myself... Will the name "Wikimedia" look old by the time I read this page, next month?

Guess what! It's tech... we can AB Test it... how about a framework to help us AB test it ourselves?

How will this dilute search results for smaller projects?

More things to think about: What about a new top level domain, eg: .wiki or .wikipedia or .wikimedia or .wm - There are other ways to put Wikimedia on the map too - eg: wikipedia.wm, en.wiki, af.wiki, encyclopedia.wiki... Wikivoyage could become travel.wiki, we could have source.wiki, learning.wiki, etc...

Dagelf 19:55, 29 March 2019 (UTC)

.org indicates non-profit; some other top-level domain suggests otherwise. Desirable to stick with .org. --Pi zero (talk) 19:26, 31 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Not Wikipedia rebranding. Neutral on other rebrand.


This was proposed on the Wikimedia mailing list several years ago, and was rejected. It should still be rejected.

  • Our projects are made of people, and casting the other projects as subservient to Wikipedia would be damaging.
  • The Foundation, and the other projects, are not encyclopedias. KentuckyFriedChicken concrete or PayPal doughnuts or Netflix toiletpaper would be atrocious branding. That kind of branding conflict causes cognitive dissonance.
  • The proposal creates disruptive confusion between the Foundation and the existing Wikipedia. It becomes more difficult to discuss these very distinct entities.
  • None of us has a crystal ball for the future, but in time some other new or existing project could very well displace Wikipedia as the most notable project.
  • Again none of us has a crystal ball for the future, but I can see potential cases where the Foundation would want or need to spin-off Wikipedia.

It's find if the Foundation wants to increase knowledge of the Wikimedia brand, or wants to consider some novel brand. However for the above reasons, and reasons listed by others, the foundation shouldn't usurp 'Wikipedia'. Alsee (talk) 04:07, 24 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Support Wikipedia branding for everything


I routinely do Wikipedia outreach in which I present at universities, government organizations, STEM institutes, community based organizations, and cultural organizations. My own practice is to use the name "Wikipedia" to describe the encyclopedia, the Commons media repository, Wikidata, and everything else when I am talking externally to new audiences. Internally to my Wikimedia colleagues I say "Wikimedia" but advise them to use the term "Wikipedia" in outreach. Few people recognize the Wikimedia brand name and I find no value in taking the time to explain the Wikimedia name when I can call everything "Wikipedia" with less effort and still recruit contributions to Commons and Wikidata.

My view is that most people define an encyclopedia as a source of reference information. Because of this, it is easy to explain Wikipedia as the hub of everything, including images, data, and even complementary content like Wikisource which many people access starting from the encyclopedia. I feel that we have brand differentiation for the benefit of editors so that we can more efficiently develop this content. The brand differentiation is less useful for typical end users, who can do find imagining everything as "Wikipedia". Most users already do this, and it would be an extraordinary and pointless cost to invest in educational outreach resources to teach the world otherwise. Wikipedia is already a well known brand and concept in every culture and language which engages in the online global discourse.

The Wikimedia Foundation's own brand has low recognition even among experts in relevant media fields. The "Wikimedia" name is a pun to play off the Wikipedia brand name and the similarity of how "pedia" and "media" sound in English and Latin based languages. The joke is lost on the rest of the world, so whereas people in English have no recognition, outside the Western World the joke is a foreign word origin with a confusing similar pronunciation.

Our current Wikimedia community is 100-200,000 active content contributors, and our 2030 strategy seems to be developing to target expansion to 10x that at least. The brand change would be a great benefit to this next huge and more diverse contributor base, and also would bring clarity to the rest of the world, and bring no great harm to the current community.

Change it to Wikipedia Foundation. Also relieve restrictions on community affiliates, the chapters and usergroups, to call themselves "Wikipedia" organizations rather than "Wikimedia" ones. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:30, 24 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

+1 T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 19:23, 31 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Improving diversity -or not?


The proposed rebranding would likely be beneficial for the current Wikimedia Foundation associates. However, since the WMF exists because of and as one of the many parts of the Wikimedia Movement, the real question is: would the rebranding be beneficial for this movement as a whole? Here I would like to address this issue from a (cultural and social) diversity perspective.

There are many amazing and committed human beings working at the WMF, and there are certainly many things the WMF has done and can do to improve diversity in the movement. However it is important to point out that when we look at the WMF “as an organization” it becomes bigger than just the sum of its parts. In particular, “the organization WMF” carries a specific set of social and cultural practices and norms: it is a large United States based no-profit company with a foot in the tech sector. In the past years the Wikimedia movement had to deal with many issues related to this: controversial WMF Board of Trustee appointments, scare tactics in fundraising banners, an increasing audit culture, diffusion of words like “markets”, “product”, “service” and other economics and business jargon in movement discussions and strategy documents. Yes, Wikipedia can be seen as “a product”. But Wikipedia can actually be seen as everything and its opposite. Looking at Wikipedia as a product is not an objective or neutral way to describe it: it is one of the many ways. And it can at once include new “markets” and exclude new “people”. Choosing to spend money on this re-branding is not an "objective" choice, it is the expression of a specific organizational culture which is historically and geographically bounded to a specific set of values and expectations about the world. But the point is not whether this vision is desirable or not: the point is what happens when an organizational culture becomes hegemonic. The Wikimedia movement is very conflictual and full of contradictions: in this way it mirrors quite well how our world works and what "diversity" is. Pushing for a greater homogeneization of its narrative and its "brands" will perhaps reduce the conflict and the contradictions, but it will do so because it will push some people and some ideas away. And this will not necessarily be the toxic people and the harrassers that many people wants to get rid of. In this case it can be also the people who are not comfortable in seeing Wikipedia as “a product”.

If we measure “diversity” by counting the amount of males/females or white/black/green/striped people in a room then it makes sense to make sure that the entity which is best at producing such metrics becomes more powerful and gets more money. But if we aim at diversity of ideas and worldviews it is not about metrics, but about balancing powers and allowing different groups to speak and decide for themselves. Perhaps instead of looking for the "one ring to rule them all" we should rather challenge the “benevolent dictator” mindset, and those who are already big should give away some power to others instead of asking to become bigger. As many people already wrote, there are many alternative measures which can be implemented to solve the issues outlined by the report, starting with a better and more visible communication of the sister projects on Wikipedia. --Atropine (talk) 17:10, 27 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Brand dilution, confusion of readers and unclear objectives



I strongly oppose this proposal for the following reasons:

  • Brand dilution: This proposal will cause dilution of the Wikipedia brand due to its overuse for things that are not an encyclopedia, including not only the foundation itself but also the affiliates and other projects that are not encyclopedias. It will also dilute the distinct brand and identity of the sister projects.
  • Confusion of readers: Readers and potential new contributors will be confused about the nature and differences between Wikipedia and its sister projects. The new proposal will make it more difficult for visitors to understand that the projects are run by independent communities (albeit overlapping) with different objectives, content models, policies and cultures.
  • Unclear objectives: There are no clearly stated objectives or expected benefits for this proposal. The 2030 goals page does not mention anything that could be directly or indirectly considered or interpreted as requiring a brand change for the foundation, the affiliates or the sister projects. The project summary page mentions that Wikipedia is a globally recognized brand but does not provide any indications on what benefits the communities, the sister projects or the foundation will realize out the proposed change.

I consider these the concrete benefits of staying with the current system:

  • Clear brand for the Wikipedia project: The proposal dilutes the association between the encyclopedia project and the Wikipedia brand which might lead to a loss of value for the brand. The project's success made the brand recognizable. The brand itself did not make the project a success.
  • Clear identity differentiation among projects: Each project has its distinct community, culture and set of objectives. It follows that they should have their own distinct brands as well. The current system helps people differentiate the projects and understand that they are not different versions of Wikipedia. If the proposal is implemented, the existing problems when people try to contribute the wrong kind of content to a project will be exacerbated.
  • No implicit subordination of the sister projects: The content projects other than the encyclopedia are called sister projects because they are essentially equal to Wikipedia. Under the proposal there is an implied or perceived relation of subordination that does not exists in practice.

It is my personal opinion that the proposal fails to understand how the sister projects came to be and what can lead to their success. They were created because existing contributors wanted to participate in the movement and expand its reach in ways different than creating an encyclopedia. The success of the projects will be dictated by the quality and usefulness of the content they create. Trying to trick casual readers interested in encyclopedic content into jumping to other projects because they have the same name will not be a success driver for those projects. Regarding the foundation itself, it does not need a recognizable brand to fulfill its mission of supporting the projects.

Regards, Lsanabria (talk) 03:42, 1 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Oppose Oppose I, too, share Lsanabria's misgivings about the proposal and likewise oppose labeling other WMF projects as Wikipedia. Since its inception, Wikipedia has enjoyed strong brand awareness worldwide as the "online encyclopedia that anyone can edit". As Yair rand and many objectors have pointed out, referring to the other projects as an "encyclopedia" is misleading, confusing, and is highly problematic from the standpoint of varying policies and standards. JGHowes talk - 15:48, 1 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Hello Lsanabria, thank you for your thorough feedback. This level of thought and analysis is what is most helpful in this process.
Without debating any of your points, there is one element I’d like to provide a bit of clarification on: I want to point to how this rebranding proposal relates to the movement objectives. The research recommendation, as stated in the findings section of the project summary, is precisely to use Wikipedia as a high-visibility point in order to better connect with the world’s internet users, both as readers and future contributors. Additionally, throughout the Brand Strategy Proposal presentation, the idea of lowering the barrier to entry in order to foster growth and inclusion is fleshed out. This is in direct service of the goal of knowledge equity: strengthening and consolidating brand awareness in order to better reach and engage communities left out by structures of power and privilege. It would also, according to the proposal, have the benefit of increasing awareness of other projects in regions where brand recognition is already high.
Thanks again for taking the time to share these reflections with us. I hope the clarification around the connection with the strategic direction is helpful. ELappen (WMF) (talk) 22:51, 4 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

I agree. KaiKemmann (talk) 00:47, 14 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

Invitation to join a video conference presentation

Wikimedia Foundation branding proposal presentation, April 2019

Hi everyone, thanks again for all your feedback so far. I wanted to let you know that project lead Zack McCune will be hosting a video conference session, to give people a chance to see the presentation, ask questions and provide feedback in real time. This presentation will be in English, however, as mentioned on the Community review page, the project team is available to host presentations in other languages upon request.

The presentation will be held on: Thursday, April 11th from 16:00-17:00 UTC.

Please join us on Blue Jeans at https://bluejeans.com/540134391/browser, or call in using your closest local number and enter meeting ID 540 134 391#.

If you are unable to join but would still like to see the presentation and the feedback session, not to worry: I will be posting a recording to Commons and will drop the link in this section after.

Thanks and hope to see you there! ELappen (WMF) (talk) 19:45, 2 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

I have just added the recording of the presentation and Q&A. Thanks so much to those of you who joined us for your very thoughtful questions and reflections! ELappen (WMF) (talk) 23:43, 11 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Press primers / partner primers


One thing that would go a long way, IMO, is have a sort of 'primer' for the Wikimedia movement, with an org chart and a vocabulary, and have those available in the footers (and possibly sidebars) of Wikimedia websites.

Topics that should be covered is

  • What the Wikimedia movement is
  • Who are the members of the Wikimedia movement/Wikimedia projects (Wikipedia, WikiSpecies, WikiData, Commons, ...) and what their relationship to one another is (pretty much nothing, except being part of the same movement)
  • What the word wiki means, with an explanation that as a generic term, there are many non-Wikimedia wikis. Also a short explanation that abbreviating any of the Wikimedia projects as 'Wiki', while not necessarily wrong (since they are wikis), is very ambiguous.
  • What the Wikimedia Foundation is and is not
  • What the Wikimedia Chapters are and are not

And very importantly

  • Never ever mention MediaWiki anywhere, unless you're on a page designed primarily for techheads that can run their own linux distros, or equivalent.

While this has nothing to do with rebranding, it's an extremely easy thing to build, and a resource that would make the life of volunteers trying to do outreach (with libraries, NGOs, governments agencies, etc.) that much easier, and that's never a bad thing. Headbomb (talk) 21:26, 2 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Hi Headbomb, although the suggestion of a press/partner primer may not pertain to the proposal per se, as you mention, it is still both innovative and helpful and would serve the larger goal of brand awareness. Thank you for sharing these ideas; they have been noted. ELappen (WMF) (talk) 22:57, 4 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Exactly! KaiKemmann (talk) 00:48, 14 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

Rebranding or in search of an identity


First, a couple of unrelated thoughts.

I see that we are debating a proposal that originated from the work of an outside consultant. My experience has shown me that whenever a consultant is hired to provide advice, it almost always means one of two things:

  1. Management has decided to make a significant change, but needs someone to cherry-pick the facts in order to justify their change; or
  2. Management feels they need to do something about something (& it may be as vague as that), so they hire a consultant to advice; said consultant then packages the current business trend & offers it to management.

I have yet to see any evidence this is brand renaming is not an example of one of these two cases.

If one were pressed for time, one could get a sense of all of the arguments presented so far by reading as few as five of the comments posted. Yair rand makes a persuasive case that renaming the Foundation for Wikipedia is incorrect because the sister projects -- Commons, Wikisource, Wikidata, etc. -- are not Wikipedia. Lsanabria also makes a persuasive argument against this renaming. On the other hand, Ziko & Bluerasberry both point out that there is a problem with the Foundation's identity: it is best known (or maybe better stated as least unknown) as the organization that has something to do with Wikipedia. Lastly, Izno points out quite incisively that the name of a parent organization need not have any connection to its children. It is difficult to think of anything to add to what those 5 have written.

Okay, I'll admit I might be disingenuous with that last sentence. There one thing I will add to this discussion: this perceived need for the Foundation to rebrand itself suggests that the Foundation is aware that it has no vital purpose beyond running the servers & maintaining the software for Wikipedia & its sister projects. And as a long-term volunteer, I can't think of a way the Foundation has enabled my role as a volunteer beyond those 2 activities. (Wikipedia Library was something that a volunteer started, not a Foundation employee -- although the volunteer behind WL became a Foundation employee because of it.) I haven't found that attending the conferences the Foundation hosts helps me be a better editor, its community outreach person often are little more than PR hacks who appear only to calm disgruntled volunteers & not activists working to represent the communities in the Foundation, & more often than not its initiatives have proved distracting (e.g. Visual Editor, & Superprotect). It would help define what the Foundation is -- besides a non-profit software-as-a-service organization, if it were to advocate for something, but so far the only public stand the Foundation has taken was against the current US administration's absurd & incompetent travel ban.

Let's say the Foundation decided its larger mission was to further Open Knowledge. Just for the sake of argument. And by Open Knowledge, I mean the ability of all people to access information without restrictions of copyright, censorship, or cost. There are a number of ways this could be done, such as the Board of Directors approving motions praising or condemning various laws, filing amici curiae briefs in relevant legal cases, or even forming partnerships with other organizations to broaden the average user's access to information. (There are libraries of public domain materials waiting to be digitized & hosted online.) Doing this would make the efforts of the volunteers of all of the projects much easier; it would increase the amount of low-hanging fruit by lowering the boughs in the forest of sources.

Yet none of this has been done, at least as far as this long-term volunteer can see. Instead the Foundation is seeking to piggy-back itself on the success of its most visible project, like a parasite on a host: gaining from the relationship while failing to contribute to its partner's well-being. And by re-branding, IMHO the Foundation is simply continuing to be a parasite, not a partner. -- Llywrch (talk) 16:58, 3 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

@Llywrch: I largely agree with you, but re: none of this has been done -- that's not true. As recently as last month we mounted a major protest against new restrictive European copyright law, for instance; and there has been lots of other advocacy as well. There could be more, but would the rebrand truly help with either the legal or public awareness side of that? If so, then that's a fine argument in favor of it. -- phoebe | talk 16:57, 13 April 2019 (UTC)Reply
No offense, phoebe, but how does EU's copyright reform proposal (or protest against it) relate to WMF's rebranding proposal? Why or why not? George Ho (talk) 06:38, 14 April 2019 (UTC)Reply
I think that was a reply to the "parasite on a host" bit: Phoebe implies that the Wikimedia Foundation helped the community with the various EU policy/Copyright 2019 initiatives. Nemo 12:37, 14 April 2019 (UTC)Reply
Yes, I was just responding to this specific line "There are a number of ways this could be done, such as the Board of Directors approving motions praising or condemning various laws, filing amici curiae briefs in relevant legal cases..." -- because, indeed, WMF has filed many amici curiae, and have engaged in advocacy too (not necessarily board motions, which have a narrow scope, but in advocacy as with EU copyright). Anyway, it's just a point about the role of the WMF & Wikimedia, not about branding per se. -- phoebe | talk 21:32, 17 April 2019 (UTC)Reply
Hi @Phoebe:. Long time, no talk. For some reason I never received your ping, & this is the first time I've seen your response. Sorry for the delay.

The reason I mentioned activism for free information is that when I wrote my comment above, the only case I would remember where Katherine, the new head of the WMF, made the effort to push for some cause was in response to Trump's racist & poorly-formulated attempts to limit people traveling into the US back in 2017. While I don't disagree with her actions, I know there are many other causes that the Foundation should spent at least as much effort working towards. And IMHO, it's discouraging that the current leadership of the Foundation would quickly respond to something that only benefits that group, while ignoring all the other things they could do -- some requiring less effort -- that would benefit us volunteers.

But that's a side issue. What is most important in my comment above is that the Foundation's guiding philosophy should be the same as the key phrase in the new tv medical show "New Amsterdam": "How can I help?" And they should ask this of the volunteers on a regular basis, then ask for help prioritizing where the Foundation should help us. Otherwise, just fire everyone who doesn't maintain either the severs or the software -- especially the C-level staff -- & leave the rest of the work to the volunteer community. -- Llywrch (talk) 19:45, 24 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Branding option that don't involve hijacking the Wikipedia brand


ELappen (WMF), if you want to use Wikipedia as a fer de lance of the movement, that's one thing.

Wikimedia: More than just Wikipedia

A different thing is taking the Wikipedia brand and applying it to other WMF projects. What you could do instead is put the Wikimedia brand front and center

Wikimedia: The Free Knowledge Movement

Wikidata: The Free Knowledge Database – part of the Wikimedia movement
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia – part of the Wikimedia movement
Wiktionary: The Free Dictionary – part of the Wikimedia movement

Or a combination of the above

Wikimedia: More than just Wikipedia

Wikidata: The Free Knowledge Database – part of the Wikimedia movement
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia – part of the Wikimedia movement
Wiktionary: The Free Dictionary – part of the Wikimedia movement

with the – part of the Wikimedia movement section included when there's a need to show the affiliation to the Wikimedia movement.

Headbomb (talk) 13:23, 5 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

This could also be done in the browser tabs / webpage descriptions [4]. Headbomb (talk) 19:31, 19 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Very helpful suggestions, thank you. KaiKemmann (talk) 00:53, 14 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

Both reasonable and accurate. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:21, 12 September 2019 (UTC)Reply

Non-Wikipedia Wikimedia projects seen as annexes of the encyclopedias (ex:Commons)


Hi, I have no strong opposition against rebranding Wikimedia projects. Commons could be called Wikicommons, Wikimedia Commons, Commons, Wikipedia Commons or whichever other name is not *that* important. However, there is a structural, on-going problem with Commons, which is its underfunding. There was very few investment done to improve its User interface, Structured Data are also way underfunded compare to what needs to be done, and upload software are usually created and maintained by volunteers, not the Foundation staff. I think it is partly because Commons is seen as "a database to store Wikipedia images", and not a project of its own, which deserves to have a nice interface where people could spend hours learning from multimedia files. I fear that rebranding Commons into Wikipedia Commons would make this situation worse. Léna (talk) 17:24, 9 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

I agree. KaiKemmann (talk) 00:54, 14 May 2019 (UTC)Reply



No one apart from a couple of Wikipedia/Wikimedia super-nerds ever understood the difference. A brand that you have to explain every single time you use it is just useless. Yes, please get rid of the "Wikimedia" name altogether. --Anvilaquarius (talk) 12:32, 11 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Why does this help?


(copy/paste of my comment from Wikimedia-l)

I haven't weighed in before. But it seems to me there's a simple question underlying all of this: do we actually want, or need, to increase public awareness of the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia chapters/affiliates (as opposed to the projects themselves)?

Having Wikimedia be a more recognizable entity or brand does not seem to me like it would help us in our core goals, of recruiting editors and content to the *projects*. We do not typically use the Wikimedia name to do outreach, or to talk about the projects; the handful of us that are insiders and give presentations about the WMF is small, relative to the number of educators and librarians and editors talking about Wikipedia. (I give many trainings on editing Wikipedia every year; talking about Wikimedia is irrelevant for this purpose). Perhaps a rebrand would make fundraising easier -- but we already use the project brand for that, as most fundraising is directly off the projects, and the fundraising that isn't (grants and large donations) has a lot of communication around it. So I'm not sure how a rebrand would help here either.

The premise of this whole exercise is that people knowing about Wikimedia as an entity will somehow help us. But we are not trying to recruit contributors to the Foundation, or to the chapters; we are trying to recruit them to the projects, and if the infrastructure of our network is invisible, I am fine with that. I think to increase the centrality of the *organization* is a distraction that misses the point of both our mission and the role of the organization, which is to provide infrastructure. We're not selling shoes here; more brand awareness of the Foundation does not translate into a direct furthering of our mission, and more focus on the organization and a complete rebrand is at best a distraction for overworked volunteers.

I might have been excited about naming it the Wikipedia Foundation ten or fifteen years ago. But now, I think there is a wide world of free knowledge that we want to imagine -- including a future of our projects remixed into something new, beyond Wikipedia. So for that reason too, I am skeptical. -- phoebe | talk 16:51, 13 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

I think this is one of the key aspects and it's not receiving enough attention. The announcement mentions that:
while “Wikimedia” may not be widely recognized outside our movement, there is a clear way to use our existing brands to better bring in the billions of people who have yet to join us in our vision.
Do we expect to bring billions of people to the Foundation? Of course not. We want to raise Wikipedia awareness in some countries and we want to raise awareness about other sister projects. However, this branding proposal seems to benefit just awareness about the Wikimedia Foundation itself. We need a clearer explanation about what is the concrete benefit of this. There is already a lot of feedback about the caveats of the branding proposal (further confusion, problems with Chapters status, etc), and there is not much input about supposed benefits. -MarioGom (talk) 10:39, 4 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

Support. KaiKemmann (talk) 00:50, 14 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

Good points. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:24, 12 September 2019 (UTC)Reply

Three concerns


First, as a Wikimedian, I have to object to the following statement from the blog post introducing the proposal:

Wikimedians today commonly define the movement as “behind” or “in support of” Wikipedia, pragmatically connecting to our most visible project.

Since I’m not primarily a Wikipedian, I always make a point to mention other projects as well; my usual phrase for this is “the movement behind Wikipedia and other projects such as X or Y”, where X and Y are usually Wikimedia Comomns, Wiktionary, or Wikisource.

Second, as a Wikidata editor, I am very uncomfortable with it being described as “a Wikipedia project”. My impression over my almost six years on Wikidata is that the project grows and flourishes not thanks to, but in spite of Wikipedia. While many language editions, especially smaller ones, have adopted Wikidata gladly and welcome the help it offers (and we in turn welcome their collaboration), some of the largest ones, in particular English and German Wikipedia, have often been hostile to Wikidata. Though some of the worst vitriol might only come from a vocal minority, it effectively serves as the stance of the project as a whole if left unopposed, and measures such as local descriptions, perverting the Wikidata idea, have in the end been adopted by the whole project: instead of helping to patrol vandalism of descriptions on Wikidata, benefiting not just Wikipedia but also other Wikimedia projects and the rest of the world, English Wikipedia would rather build their own walled garden of descriptions which is less structured, less free, and overall less useful to anyone else.

Third, I’m worried about the implications of this change as a member and employee of a Wikimedia chapter (though I can’t speak for it – this is my personal opinion only). While the more popular Wikipedia brand may help us in our work, e. g. in communication with third parties or when lobbying for political change, that is a double-edged sword, because it will also become much harder to explain that there are still two very different things: German Wikipedia, a free and neutral encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone, and Wikipedia Germany, a non-profit organization pursuing certain political goals that is neither in charge of German Wikipedia’s content nor endorsed by all of its editors. Meanwhile, our friends at Wikipedia Austria and Wikipedia Switzerland might find themselves having to explain why there is no Austrian or Swiss Wikipedia, or why they let Wikipedia Germany take credit for a German Wikipedia that was also built by editors from Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, and around the world.

I implore the Wikimedia Foundation not to move ahead with this proposal. --Lucas Werkmeister (talk) 20:50, 17 April 2019 (UTC)Reply



In Austria Wikipedia is the second most popular brand, says marketagent.com. What impact would there be to that project's popularity if the public awareness of what Wikipedia is, could be or wants to be were shifted from the current perception to what is proposed here? Would Wikipedia become more popular or lose popularity? I ask this under the premise that brand awareness and brand perception or popularity are two different pairs of shoes. By getting the one you do not automatically get or improve the other. → «« Man77 »» [de] 17:44, 19 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

Fundraising + Brand awareness


Phoebe (talk · contribs) above raising an interesting point about fundraising. There is an opportunity to use fundraising campaigns to raise awareness of other Wikimedia projects.

The current 'donation' page only mentions Wikipedia

From Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales

Wikipedia is one of the most visited websites in the world.

Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn't belong here. Not in Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. It is like a temple for the mind. It is a place we can all go to think, to learn, to share our knowledge with others.

When I founded Wikipedia, I could have made it into a for-profit company with advertising banners, but I decided to do something different. We’ve worked hard over the years to keep it lean and tight. We fulfill our mission efficiently.

If everyone reading this donated, our fundraiser would be done within an hour. But not everyone can or will donate. And that's fine. Each year just enough people decide to give.

This year, please consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can to protect and sustain Wikipedia.


Jimmy Wales Wikipedia Founder

There is an opportunity here to update this statement and mention the Wikimedia movement as a whole, alongside the other Wikimedia projects. Mentioned that the Wikimedia movement originated with Wikipedia, but has since grown substantially, and that not only is there a free encyclopedia, but also free image and other media repositories (Commons), free dictionaries (Wiktionary), free repositories of historically important sources (Wikisource), free knowledge databases (Wikidata), free tree of life projects (Wikispecies), and the like.

Likewise, a statement that funding doesn't only go for tech and keeping things running, but also towards <insert a couple of strategic goals>, including collaborations with GLAM, outreach, helping Wikimedia chapters, or whatever else it is you do with that $100M you get.

This would also apply during the banner design state of fundraising campaigns. Headbomb (talk) 19:51, 19 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

It does not make sense


I think that the current organizational structure is well thought out. All Wikimedia projects are kind of a media, so having all of them under the roof of Wikimedia is very logical. Renaming of Wikimedia Commons to Wikicommons is not that bad but personally, I wouldn't change it.

So to Wikimedia, this proposal is going to make a mess. Just think of e.g. Wikipedia France as an organization. People are going to think that this is something like an organization that operates French Wikipedia. And we have a problem with this confusion between Wikimedia (and its chapters) and Wikipedia now, this is going to be even worse. Also, you will have one Wikipedia and under it Wikipedia, Wikidata, and other projects. Does this make sense? For me, it does not. For now, Wikimedia is perceived as the "organizational part" of the movement. And that should stay like that. Wikipedia as an encyclopedia and Wikimedia as an organization. It kind of celebrates the diversity of different projects under it. Wikipedia as the organization and other projects under it is not showing the diversity in its name at all.

And, if people confuse these things, should we change them? It is well thought out, it is working, Wikimedians are used to it. This would be a huge change to the whole movement and as I explained earlier, it will also confuse people even more. How would you then distinguish between Wikipedia as an encyclopedia and Wikipedia as an organization?

To sum up, this proposal, if brought to life, would:

  • Confuse people even more
  • Make tons of work for the whole movement (logos, project pages, tutorials, etc.)
  • Confuse wikimovement
  • Make no sense in terms of organizational structure (it would not describe how movement works – all projects under organization, ... )
  • Not bring anything good in particular

--Luky001 (talk) 22:10, 19 April 2019 (UTC)Reply

+1 Seems like some "marketing consultants" are on the loose. Maybe the money and time would be more wisely put into something useful - like fixing the still annoyingly buggy media viewer. --StYxXx (talk) 18:10, 22 April 2019 (UTC)Reply
(+1) The WMF has a habit of devoting resources where there is no need. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 08:52, 26 April 2019 (UTC)Reply
@StYxXx: - on the plus side, it probably drives the marketing consultants nuts since there aren't any equivalents to us with a need to directly convince the community as well. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:42, 3 May 2019 (UTC)Reply
+1 It took me quite some time to get the relationship between "the Wikimedia projects" and "Wikipedia" (dont't think I'm alone with this), but it makes sense and focusing on Wikipedia as a brand would remove the focus on other projects further. The WMF and chapters should be responsible for all projects, one should be able to see this in the name. --Zenith4237 (talk) 08:55, 24 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

On behalf of Amical Wikimedia


Dear Branding Team,

On behalf of Amical Wikimedia (WMCAT), the only thematic organisation of the Wikimedia movement, we send you this e-mail to express our standpoint regarding the current branding process. After consulting our community and debate its pros and cons, we have reached a general conclusion that is based on the following concerns:

  1. As it is presented, the branding strategy seems to be a process to visibilise the Wikimedia Foundation and not its projects which, we believe, should be the core of our movement. The wide public aims to access high-quality, easily accessible, and updated projects but is not much interested in the foundation that is supporting them.
  2. Changing the name into Wikipedia Foundation can be a very serious problem in many parts of the world where editing articles about sensitive topics such as homosexuality, religion or corruption can pose a threat to the life of the editors. Justifying membership to a Wikimedia organisation is already very troublesome in some regions, and it might even become worse when a "publishing relationship" between the encyclopedia, and/or its sister projects, and the organisations promoting them may be wrongly assumed if such a branding change is finally implemented.
  3. We miss reports and benefits vs costs analyses at the economic, volunteering, and advocacy level which such a change could entail. We perceive that, as it is presented now, this would represent a huge investment of time and funds at the expense of the Wikimedia Foundation and its affiliates, and we are afraid that this might contribute negatively to community efforts and might alienate volunteer contributor base.
  4. Such a change of branding might lead to a marginalization of current, and even future, sister projects, which are already underestimated and might end up in the most absolute obscurity. The "Wikimedia umbrella" concept allows communities to explain that Wikipedia is not uniform, but a diverse ecosystem of volunteers and projects that can collect libre knowledge in different shapes with diverse approaches. Some of the current projects need a tech investment and renewal, which we fear they might not receive if they are somehow absorbed under a bigger name. There seems to have been as well some speculation about the merging of several sister Wikimedia projects during a branding presentation, contributing to a major concern. We consider that keeping a healthy plethora of these projects contributes to a higher resilience against future technological changes.
  5. Above all, we are rather dissatisfied how such a relevant and crucial topic, with long-ranging impact and consequences, has been communicated to the affiliates and the larger community. Moreover, considering the ongoing Strategy Plan 2030, we believe that any branding change process should be a consequence of that, instead of being run in parallel as it looks like so far. This might lead to contradictory and self-conflicting situations, which could damage the credibility of the Wikimedia Foundation or the very Strategy process in front of the contributor volunteer base and the wider public.
  6.  On the other hand, taking into account what the Wikimedia Foundation is, that is, as an international NGO and representative of the global movement under the same Wikimedia name, and despite the Internet present-day prominence of many of our projects, we consider that special care should be taken when comparing ourselves with technological big companies such as Facebook and Google.

For all these reasons, we strongly urge your team to reconsider and evaluate next steps so upcoming branding debates and any future decision may become more integrated into ongoing governance and strategy discussions by continuing to actively reach involved affiliates and independent actors. As a member organisation within the movement, we commit to help you on this.

Yours faithfully,

--Toniher (talk) 17:47, 29 April 2019 (UTC) Chair of Amical Wikimedia, on behalf of Amical WikimediaReply

Consultation timeframe


Hi everyone,

We really appreciate all the feedback you’ve continued to give on this proposal. In addition to over 100 unique editors on this page so far and more than 45 emails received through brandproject(_AT_)wikimedia.org, the Comms team has spoken with members of 70+ affiliate groups, traveled to Berlin to discuss at the Wikimedia Summit, to Santiago for Iberoconf, and conducted small meetings in India, Bangladesh, Germany, Austria, Norway, Sweden, the UK, and Indonesia. We’ve also received some feedback via mailing lists.

In light of this outpouring of participation, we wanted to let you know that we are keeping the consultation period open until the end of May—we will be continuing to take in feedback as we start to analyze the data and prepare the report for the Board of Trustees. Please have a look at the project summary and the project materials, which now include a video presentation, and feel free to contribute if you haven’t, or add any thoughts.

Thanks again for your participation. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 17:00, 1 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

Bad idea and misleading


Wikipedia is generally meant to be encyclopedias in different languages produced by separate generally self-governing editorial communities. Other projects have different aims. It is difficult to read this proposal, as anything but an attempt to co-opt Wikipedia, and mislead others, editorially and in substance. Thus, it will damage the community and the communities of the community. Worse, it will lead to distrust, as in, how can we trust a process that will be seen to seek 'confirmation bias', even in this very comment. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:58, 8 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

A new name; „Wikipedia powered by Unicorn“


Hello, here a suggestion. Why not come up with a new name for the whole movement? Maybe the biggest problem with „Wikimedia“ is simply that it sounds too similar to „Wikipedia“, and that the „-media“ is not understood well. We could think of a totally new name instead of „Wikimedia“. For example, just as a working title or placeholder for this comment, something like „Unicorn“. It does not have to sound similar to Wikipedia, to the contrary.

I just thought how Wikia Inc. handled the problem. They created a wiki farm, Wikia, which was then renamed to „Fandom powered by Wikia“ and then only „Fandom“. Also, Ubuntu is a product of „Canonical“ (not the *„Ubuntu Foundation“). „Google“ belongs to „Alphabet“. Well, we have the browser Mozilla Firefox with the „Mozilla Foundation“, but maybe that is just not the ideal solution - I know people who call the browser „Mozilla“.

In the case of the Wikimedia movement, we could call Wikipedia „Wikipedia“ in short and „Wikipedia - powered by Unicorn“ in long. Other wikis will be e.g. „Wikisource - powered by Unicorn“, and somewhere on the main page you would write: „Wikisource and Wikipedia are supported by the non profit organization Unicorn“. Or we find a different expression, other than „powered by“. „Wikisource belongs to the Unicorn movement“, „Wikisource - a Unicorn website“, „Wikisource - the Unicorn collection of historical texts“, „Wikivoyage - the Unicorn travel guide“...

Kind regards --Ziko (talk) 06:23, 18 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

Indeed, that's been suggested many times (see also #Making the Wikimedia brand more prominent, #What, exactly, is the problem that this is attempting to address?, #Branding option that don't involve hijacking the Wikipedia brand, #Fundraising + Brand awareness). If you never use a name or concept, it's no surprise nobody knows it. WMF for many years has been intent on ruthlessly reducing the visibility of Wikimedia (as in our mission and our various sister projects) for the sake of short-term goals. Nemo 09:31, 18 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

OKFN on its name


OKFN is changing (back) its name to "Open Knowledge Foundation" and this bit caught my attention:

We understand that phrases like ‘open data’ and ‘open knowledge’ are not widely understood. It is our job to change that.


Compare and contrast. Nemo 09:06, 20 May 2019 (UTC)Reply

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Conversation on KPIs and metrics


It should be noted that since this talk page, here, is an official feedback location as prescribed by the original posting of the brand recommendations from September 6, 2019 [5], that the community knows there is an important discussion happening at this page: Talk:Communications/Wikimedia_brands/2030_research_and_planning/community_review/results. @Anomie, ZMcCune (WMF), Yair rand, and Winged Blades of Godric: -- Fuzheado (talk) 15:19, 12 September 2019 (UTC)Reply

Future of the "Wikimedia" brand?


The examples shown in the PDF have a lot of appeal because they "lead with Wikipedia" to audiences who may have never heard of Wikimedia -- in contexts like advertising, apps, museum exhibits, etc. Where it gets very tricky is when it comes to matters of identity within the community. For all its flaws, the Wikimedia brand has the one benefit of being a distinct way to refer to the family of projects, the Wikimedia movement, projects like Wikimedia Cloud Services that serve the entire movement, the Wikimedia Summit and so on.

In the Wikimedia Foundation's proposed branding strategy, what is the future of the Wikimedia brand? Is it to retire the it entirely and replace it with Wikipedia, to sustain it in some form, or to replace it with something else?

If "Wikimedia" is to survive as a community brand, are there ways to explicitly encourage, support, and delineate its use? What are the equivalent examples to the billboards, apps, and museum exhibit in the PDF, when it comes to imagined future uses of the "Wikimedia" brand?

If you envision, instead, a journey towards a "Wikipedia Summit, a "Wikipedia Cloud Services", a "Wikipedia movement", how does the movement get real ownership of this transition?

What I worry about is an in-between state that could last indefinitely -- where many community members still embrace "Wikimedia", but the Wikimedia Foundation is the Wikipedia Foundation, and is quietly and very slowly making changes aiming to further increase the centrality of "Wikipedia". In this scenario, the cost of long term friction, confusion and ambiguity may offset the benefits of a rebranding.

If the answer is "we don't know yet", perhaps one logical next step would be to organize a larger survey about how contributors relate to the current branding system, and how they would relate to different re-branding scenarios (a more comprehensive Wikipedia-centered rebranding, a rebranding where Wikipedia is externally central and Wikimedia is internally central, etc.).--Eloquence (talk) 06:27, 13 September 2019 (UTC)Reply

On "an in-between state that could last indefinitely": indeed! I still have to correct usages of the pre-2010 Wikipedia logo almost on a weekly basis, even in semi-official events (I've given up on the press). Expect any transition to last at least 10-20 years, but possibly more. Nemo 08:40, 13 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
This was an excellent point. Adding this reply long after, for the record.
To the point of "leading with Wikipedia", which is compelling -- we should start with every aspect of it except for renaming the organization (whose name would only ever appear in formal legal documents, at the bottom of "paid for by" statements, on the last page of a donation workflow, &c.) I too like much of the messaging that focuses on Wikipedia in exhibits, apps, and public displays. [I also like bold Wikidata, [Wiki] Commons, and [Wiki Loves] messaging, which have taken off in many GLAM environments, and deserve investment.]
I don't think it is important to rename the WMF to WPF -- and it would never make sense to do so without the support of most parts of our federated movement, because the ripple effects on our internal identity will be much stronger and much more relevant to our long-term success than any effect on the rest of the world. Once the messaging has been improved, and we have effectively used this to expand our reach and the visibility of smaller projects, we will be in a place to discuss 1) what to do with the "Wikimedia" name and brand and identity, and 2) what to call the Foundation as a result. The latter should and will naturally flow from the rest. –SJ talk  20:43, 20 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

RFC on the Foundation referring to itself as Wikipedia


Because the community consultation apparently did not include the specific question, and to the extent that it may have been implied, the proposals did not achieve majority support, I have created Requests for comment/Should the Foundation call itself Wikipedia. EllenCT (talk) 20:44, 18 January 2020 (UTC)Reply