Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/Board Update on Branding: next steps

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Survey Methodology[edit]

I don't understand the reasoning behind "we have discussed the possibility of technical changes to the survey with an additional option like “no renaming is needed” (not the exact words, mind you), but with more than 700 respondents it is not methodologically sound to change the survey now." We achieved consensus (at the CentralNotice request and other places) that the current survey was too biased to present to the larger community, due to flaws in its design. It's not clear what would be wrong with replacing the survey with one that is more likely to accurately assess community sentiment as to the names presented. To me, the right change would be to add to each of the three options something like, "This is an acceptable name for the Wikimedia Foundation.", probably along with rewriting the intro to be unbiased. TomDotGov (talk) 00:29, 27 June 2020 (UTC)

I'm a mechanical engineer, so I just know very little about rescuing such surveys, that are under normal circumstances useless because of its methodological errors and extreme bias. The survey can of course not be used and evaluated with the methods, that those, who developed this botched survey, wanted. I don't know the exact terminology for such stuff, but some kind of forensic exploration, that looks behind the answers on the surface, is needed. And nobody of those, who developed this, must be included in the evaluation. The extreme bias, that was put into this survey by the developers, must not contamininate the evaluation as well. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 07:13, 27 June 2020 (UTC)

Lost in translation[edit]


I just add the translation tags. I am not sure if it really useful. At this point, I am very tired to read this nonsense conversation. I am not sure there is still people reading this prose from the board or staff. Plenty people already offered their opinion in a RfC they can edit or in the survey they can't edit. Now, I am just eager to see the end of this impossible story.

My only new idea from this update is that pages with a title such as Wikimedia brands/2030 movement brand project/... should be renamed Wikimedia brands/2030 foundation brand project/... as it appears this whole operation is only by the foundation board and staff. -- Noé (talk) 20:27, 27 June 2020 (UTC)

+1 I'am tired of this whole renaming process. The community statet severals times very clearly that it isn't amused of it. But the foundation still wants to protract this whole thing instead of realising that it was a mistake and aborting it immediately... Chaddy (talk) 23:50, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

Two points : Risk of a failed rebranding, Service-versus-Structure[edit]

These comments are only my personal point of view.

Risk of a failed rebranding - I believe one topic that has not been debated enough is how the whole process of rebranding has been setup. I mean, when you give such a huge responsability to an agency, you should have given them clearer guidelines : analyzing correctly the structure of the movement, collaborating directly with people from the community, using images from Commons during the workshops, allowing more people to attend the workshops, letting people propose wording earlier, not in the final phase, etc... The Wikimedia World is not something you can grasp easily in some days or weeks, you really need a go-between cause an agency has not enough time to immerse itself completely in such a movement. The Wikimedia movement has a lot of people who are in advance in the digital world and they work in a totally different way than traditional agencies and marketing companies.
This makes me think that the problem is not really to change or not the brand, but to avoid a failed rebranding, which is not exactly the same problem than opposing to the rebranding itself. And yes, a failed rebranding is something that can happen and it costs a lot and is difficult to reverse. So it's wise to consider at this point (before everybody gets nuts) if the process has to be stopped, paused or continued. The risk of a failed rebranding has to be evaluated in parallel to the risk of a collapse of the organization due to a refusal of the fact to rebrand itself. For example, just have a look at 15 Of The Worst Corporate Rebrands Ever, 10 Rebranding Failures and How Much They Cost, 20 Rebranding Disasters You Can Learn From. This is not a political problem, this is a creative problem, ok ?

Service-versus-Structure - The second point concerns the analysis of the movement. I would say that it is important to make clear that there are three parts in the movement : Projects - Structure - People. Projects will not be concerned by the renaming, Structure (The Foundation) wants to be renamed, People (The community) fear they are not fully involved in the decision. At this point, one question arises : is there no misunderstanding about the idea itself of structure or infrastructure ? Our new statement will be : "By 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us." Ok, this should now be replaced by, for example, Option 1 : "By 2030, the Wikipedia Network will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us." Why not ? But the problem is : people of the movement, insiders, the community, will never identify themselves to a structure or an infrastructure.
It seems that many people do rather see the Foundation as a service than a structure. And how do people feel that a service should be delivered ? A service is often something you have to deliver discreetely. They are a lot of ways to be discrete, you can also be inconspicuous, understated, reserved, muted, unobtrusive, subtle, private, low-key, restrained, quiet, secret, tactful, modest, stealth, non-intrusive, secretive, subdued, scarce, unnoticed, obscure, demure, bluff, etc... Moving from a service provider to a structure or infrastructure is the shift that is made in the 2030 strategy. For the Foundation, it is probably clear that this infrastructure represents the whole movement, but for the community, the Foundation can be perceived as shifting from a softline of service provider to the community to a hardline of becoming a huge infrastructure mostly turned outside. This point, the Service-versus-Structure question, has to be examined carefully, cause a simultaneous rebranding can encapsulate this shift and lead to the fail of the rebranding itself.

--Waltercolor (talk) 23:14, 27 June 2020 (UTC)

Recommendation to Rename[edit]

This statement includes:

Of course, the Board’s role is not in approving a change in fonts, but if a recommendation to rename was to be made - the Board’s role would have been to make a decision on that recommendation.

Is that an indication that it would be acceptable to the Board if the Brand Project produced a report that stated renaming is not recommended? That is, that it's acceptable for the Brand Project to report that "because of community input, changing the name of the Wikimedia foundation is not recommended." TomDotGov (talk) 23:54, 27 June 2020 (UTC)

I suspect were the rebranding team to come back and say that, the following things would occur: they'd accept the status quo, at least for the next 18 months; internally, some tough words would be had on acquiring expensive consultants for no gain Nosebagbear (talk) 12:10, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

Cancelled initial meeting - timeline query[edit]

Hi @NTymkiv (WMF):,

I know that initial meeting got cancelled due to illness. Was it rescheduled?

If no/if yes, what is that doing to the timeline? I think I'd have a fairly strong agreement that it'd be better to extend the timeline by 2-3 weeks than skip a step and shrink board discussion time to fit everything into just part of one of the regular meetings. Nosebagbear (talk) 15:00, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

Here was the place where ZMcCune (WMF) posted the rescheduling. AFAIK it was the only place, he doesn't like to communicate with the community at all. So it's today, probably about now. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 15:41, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
Hi @Nosebagbear: Yes, the brand briefing was rescheduled for later today. Just for reference, Zack also announced this on Wikimedia-l. It seems like you know this already, but worth mentioning for others that this briefing is an initial, optional meeting for any Board member that wants to attend; it covers the history and premise of the project. As Nataliia mentioned in the Board update, the conversation about possible outcomes following the naming phase will happen at a later date, during their next official Board meeting. Keep an eye out for that. Sänger’s comment is disrespectful and untrue, so I won’t engage it anymore than to say that. In fact, Nosebagbear came with excellent questions to one of the multiple community office hours Zack offered, so maybe Nosebagbear has thoughts on Zack’s willingness to communicate (although this is off topic IMO). --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 17:32, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
Yes, Zack is a very prolific community interactor, how could I miss this. (And no, off-wiki is no real community interaction) Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 17:47, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
About disrespectful: Doing things off-wiki is disrespectful. Doing things, that are important for the Wikiverse in private blogs is very disrespectful. Ignoring the community is as well not really respectful. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 17:52, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
Regarding "it covers the history and premise of the project": Who will present this history and premise, and what version will be presented? The biased and distorted one, the small project group is propagating or a more accurate one, that takes the utter rejection of this Enterprise by the community in consideration? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:18, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

Consolidated Materials[edit]

Per NTymkiv (WMF)'s statement, the schedule includes:

July - consolidated materials prepared for the July meeting will be posted publicly after the meeting;

Now that the July meeting has occurred, when can we expect the materials prepared for it to be posted? There isn't a lot of time between now and the August 5th board meeting. TomDotGov (talk) 01:04, 4 August 2020 (UTC)

The Board meeting[edit]

Just letting people know. User:Doc James said that the August board meeting has been moved to September. tufor (talk) 14:43, 6 August 2020 (UTC)