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Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/September 2020 - Update

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Why bother at all with this futile enterprise,. that was soundly rejected by the community, and only pushed by a small group of heavily invested (WMF)ers? Please start finally to listen to the community and ditch this waste of money completely. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 20:53, 30 September 2020 (UTC)Reply

+1 --Fano (talk) 06:30, 1 October 2020 (UTC)Reply

"consider how equity may ask us to let go of some aspects of our past"[edit]

I don't understand, what this phrase means. What aspects of whose past have to be thrown overboard? Has this something to do with changing our projects? In what direction? Or is it about overcoming the mistrust between communitys and WMF? Then why this is only adressed to the communitys? And what has "equity" to do with this all? My translator finds many words to translate "equity": equality, fairness and even (stock) capital. What meaning is the right here? When you adress the members of the community, maybe you should not speak in riddles to them. Openness is one of the biggest values in the projects, but whenever I hear from the WMF, the true meaning behind the words seems to be hidden (as the real problems of the Brand Project seem to be hidden behind the COVID pandemic in this statement). Greetings --Magiers (talk) 07:39, 1 October 2020 (UTC)Reply

Maybe there are cultural differences, I don't know. It may be "WMF culture" to make such unclear statements, or a kind of corporate communications culture seeping over... or maybe it's just the German-language background (though in my case it's Swiss) that makes us prefer "blunter", less roundabout statements, for I share Magiers' concerns. I would like clear, frank communication where people say what exactly they expect or wish for. I also don't get the "equity" aspect of the whole thing here; for what I know (correct me if I'm wrong), the renaming was originally the idea of a certain Norwegian company of branding experts hired by WMF (namely Snøhetta) mainly based on the simple fact that "Wikipedia" as a brand is better-known than "Wikimedia" which is certainly true, but ignores critical issues with that idea (see the open letter etc.) So, pray, what have the undefined "aspects of our past" and the branding process to do with "equity" in what exact meaning of that word? Gestumblindi (talk) 18:39, 1 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
solltet ihr auf irgendeine Antwort von WMF warten so lest bitte den Text genau. "asked staff to meaningfully engage with community concerns " - die board leute sind ja kein staff wenn ich das richtig verstehe. .. und "In 2021 ... the Brand Project team will restart collaboration" - also bitte etwas Geduld 😉 - vielleicht müsst ihr die Board-Leute [wer auch immer das ist] auch anpingen. K.A. wie gut die mit beobachtungslisten und so wiki-kram umgehen können!? ...Sicherlich Post 14:30, 2 October 2020 (UTC) Reply
Es complicado porque somos poca gente, pero hacemos lo que podemos... :) Y normalmente podemos un poco más en fin de semana. Se agradece la comprensión cuando no llegamos a todo. Raystorm (talk) 15:20, 2 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
well, as it took 6 days just to publish this "resolution" it wouldn't be a surprise to wait days or weeks for an answer if one gets one at all ...
furthermore the reactions on facebook seemed to be immediate, while here on the WMFs own website there it takes over a day to get at least a small note . ... and the reaction is one sentence wich seems to answers only one tiny part of the questions. But lets wait for the firework of answers at the weekend ^^ ...Sicherlich Post 21:36, 2 October 2020 (UTC) PS: I used german because the addressees speak that language. Why did you Spanish to answer me?
The resolution was published within one hour of the end of the last day of the Board meeting. It shouldn't be surprising that trustees in different timezones have more or less immediate availability in the different fora where community members gather to discuss movement topics, but I believe it is widely understood that we don't have 24/7 availability. Regarding language, I was originally going to reply in German, but I couldn't quite convey what I wanted, so was going to go with English and then wondered why not go with much more direct Spanish. Raystorm (talk) 09:02, 3 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
So this wasn't the board meeting of 24th, but the board meeting of 24th-29th, and as I said before, Facebook has nothing to do with the Wikiverse, it's at best second, imho tenth, priority after the center for such stuff, and that is Meta, here, or anywhere else in the open Wikiverse, anywhere else is not relevant.
But still: Why go on at all after the complete rebuke of this enterprise by the community? Why just pause and not ditch this ill-conceived renaming completely?Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 09:28, 3 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
This resolution was ratified on September 24, 2020 vs. 19:47, 30. Sep. 2020 or This resolution was approved on September 24, 2020 vs. 19:45, 30 September 2020 ?! ...Sicherlich Post 08:18, 4 October 2020 (UTC) Reply

Hi all, "equity" is a reference to the Strategic Direction as a guiding principle. Raystorm (talk) 15:20, 2 October 2020 (UTC)Reply

  • It's a pity that the statement focuses so much on the past (and what supposedly needs to be "abandoned"), instead of thinking about the future. I also don't understand why the board chose to «ask members of the community to use this pause»: is there an assumption that the WMF staff doesn't need to use this pause to reflect? For instance, I very much hope that WMF will let go of its recent past of Wikipedia-centrism, and find its focus on free knowledge once and for all. It's certainly required for "knowledge equity" too. Nemo 15:25, 2 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
The statement includes what the Board has asked from the staff. Raystorm (talk) 09:02, 3 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
The main change proposed after months of rebranding is that the Foundation wanted to rename itself to one of "Wikipedia Network Trust", "Wikipedia Organization", or "Wikipedia Foundation", all of which seem to violate the first principle of good movement branding, "Branding should reduce confusion about the distinction between organizations and projects, clearly identifying what roles platforms, volunteers, affiliates, and the Foundation play in the movement." It's not clear how the rebranding would, at all, work towards the equity goal. Would it be possible how to clarify how making the branding more confusing would help reach the goal of 'equity', especially in light of the three proposed naming conventions. We've invested enough resources into naming that we should be able to discuss specifics, rather than generalities. TomDotGov (talk) 17:10, 2 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
The connection between branding and equity was originally predicated on helping raise awareness of the projects, particularly in places where they are not well known, and grow participation and connect with other free knowledge projects around the world. Raystorm (talk) 09:02, 3 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
That's a good pointer, thank you. So, if I understand it correctly, the thought process leading to this rebranding initiative was basically: "Wikimedia" is not well-known globally, "Wikipedia" on the other hand is, so let's just use the well-known "Wikipedia" brand to grow global participation etc. But - as the various statements by chapters and other affiliates worldwide have demonstrated, I hope - the high profile of a name is not everything there is in that name; it has also a specific meaning and history. So the idea of using a name that stands specifically for a certain project of free knowledge, that of the encyclopedia Wikipedia, for a whole movement and for a specific organization (the current Wikimedia Foundation), was bound to lead to problems. I'll try to give a somewhat comical, absurd example to illustrate my point: Let's say that the brand Coca-Cola were available for Wikimedia to take. It is an extremely well-known brand globally! Forget everything else, forget all what is associated specifically with Coca-Cola, the Wikimedia Foundation will now become the Coca-Cola Foundation, for what can go wrong if a brand is so well-known and popular? ;-) Gestumblindi (talk) 11:56, 3 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
Addition: But I think this might also explain the "let go of some aspects of our past" part, if it means: In the past, "Wikipedia" was the name of the encyclopedia project. But we want to change that now and create a broader "Wikipedia" universe of which the encyclopedia is part of, say as "Wikipedia Encyclopedia" besides, for example, "Wikipedia Source" (formerly Wikisource) and "Wikipedia News" (formerly Wikinews). There are many reasons why this approach might be problematic, I don't need to dwell on this now (see the open letter, chapter statements etc.), but at least, if I understand it correctly now, maybe I know now what "let go of some aspects of our past" is supposed to mean: We're asked to forget about the notion that "Wikipedia" is the encyclopedia. But still only by interpretation of that statement, and by some speculation. A message stating this clearly would have been much better. Gestumblindi (talk) 13:26, 3 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
I'll note that one thing that's been communicated regularly during the Brand Project is that the projects will not be renamed. TomDotGov (talk) 14:34, 3 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
The Brand Project (which I've been an participant of during the months in which the project was active) did reasonably good work in establishing the criteria for good movement branding, and then the Foundation's Brand Project Team suggested three naming systems that blatantly violated the criteria we established, despite a clear statement from the movement that such naming systems would not be acceptable. It's hard to see how giving the Foundation and a project the same name would increase 'equity', rather than just increasing confusion. I find the request to "consider how equity may ask us to let go of some aspects of our past" to be a hard one to understand, as I think that the community has been considering this and has come to a result, at least with regard to the specific proposals at hand. At this point, with (to my best estimate) several million dollars expended on this project, it should be at least possible for the Foundation to present the case for reconsideration. So far, this case hasn't been made, and it's unproductive to ask a community that overwhelmingly does not see the value in the Foundation usurping the Wikipedia name for a non-encyclopedic purposes to make that case on its own. TomDotGov (talk) 14:27, 3 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
I never would have read the "Knowledge Equity" in the Strategic Direction in respect to the WMF been "left out by structures of power and privilege" in the past, so that it needs the name of the powerful Wikipedia to gain finally more "power and privilege". Maybe it would be the first step, that the WMF should exclude itself completely from the Rebranding process, as the volunteers were demanding in Requests for comment/Should the Foundation call itself Wikipedia. Then we could start to speak about how equity knowledge could be raised in the movement and the projects maybe also with using different names for them. But I don't see any necessity for more "power and privilege" for the WMF. --Magiers (talk) 17:47, 5 October 2020 (UTC)Reply

Resolution has a typo (or a very telling disregard of the community)[edit]

The first sentence of the resolution either has a typo or they got it completely wrong again:

investment in Wikipedia brand awareness is a necessary component of the work needed to achieve the growth and sustainability envisioned in the Wikimedia movement strategy

It states something for the Wikipedia brand awareness, while this whole branding process is about the Wikimedia branding process. The use of Wikipedia for the whole organisation is no longer a valid assumption, that was completely and utterly rejected by the community and has absolutely no use any more. Anyone still believing, that Wikipedia as a name for anything but the Wikipedias themself has no minimum understanding and grasp of the Wikimedia movement. Those, who still believe, that's a valid alternative are completely disconnected from the community, they should not have anything to say in this process any longer. The community has made a clear and unambigous statement, acting against this statement should not be tolerated. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 12:12, 6 October 2020 (UTC)Reply

This is a very important statement that needs to be rephrased and emphasized: Hardly anybody cares how you, WMF, rename yourself, as long as it isn’t Wikipedia. You are not Wikipedia. You have demonstrated over the last years that your main purpose is to collect money, and that you are willing to go against the communities to fulfill that purpose. —viciarg414 10:46, 21 October 2020 (UTC)Reply

Re: "we also know that change moves at the speed of trust"[edit]

This is a breaking issue for many in the movement. Simply put, neither the WMF staff nor the WMF Board are trusted. Stating that you will work to rebuild trust so that you can go ahead with a predetermined outcome is not trust-building. It is manipulation. If you really want to rebuild trust, then when the "Brand Project team ...restart[s] collaboration" it should not be trying to "communicate next steps" to something that has already been thoroughly and widely rejected. That is not "collaboration" in any meaningful sense of the word. Actual collaboration would start with the questions of, "Does the WMF need to rebrand itself at all?" and, "What does the community want to see out of a rebranding process?" Unless you are willing to consider those questions anew, you're as bad as American politicians foisting their ideological positions on a resistant public. The WMF has been deaf to the actual concerns expressed by the people that make its success possible through this whole process. How long with this tone-deafness last? Eggishorn (talk) 03:24, 2 November 2020 (UTC)Reply