User:Alecmconroy/Re-naming WMF

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Times have changed.[edit]

  • Let's remember who we were when we chose this name:
    • Mid 2003.
    • Number of Projects: 2-- [English] Wikipedia and Nupedia.
    • Number of EnWP Articles: < 150,000
  • Look at where we are now:
    • Mid 2011, eight years later.
    • Number of Projects: 281 Wikipedias
    • Number of EnWP articles: 3.6 million
    • Number of total WP articles: >18 million


  • Even bigger change is coming.
    • Global initiatives
    • Usability
    • A New Openness
    • Technical innovations
    • Wikimedia is a movement

"Wikimedia" could be changed.[edit]

  • We're not that attached to it.
    • Seems to have low loyalty among editors. (anecdotal, but I can't find many "I love this name and here's why" posts)
    • Seems to be low in name recognition among non-editors and especially non-readers. (anecdotal, but the foundation probably has numbers. )
    • Virtually never used in mainstream US media.
  • Not a great choice for our current identity
    • Mentally translates to "The Wikipedia foundation" or the "MediaWiki Foundation", at the same time we want to move beyond both those stereotypes.
    • Is ideologically/emotionally boring. Knowing nothing about the organizations but the names, which would you get more pleasure out of donating to-- something called "Wikimedia" or something called "Save the Children"? The Wikimedia name doesn't add anything unless you already know us and like us.

Our professionals and our community could find a better name now.[edit]

  • We 'know who we are' in a way we did not in 2003. What 2003 users could only imagine, we actually can see for ourselves. We're in a better position to name the foundation now than we were back in 2003.
  • Our community is far more diverse than it was in 2003. Its capacity for creative brainstorming and evaluation far exceeds what we had then. Given the chance, it should be able to generate and subjectively evaluate potential names in ways a 2003 Wikipedi/Nupedia community simply could not.
  • Our foundation now has access to public survey and focus group technology, with lots of brilliant professionals who have a nuanced understanding of the reader, editor, and donor populations. In 2003, we just had to guess what a good name might be-- but now, we can objectively evaluate potential names, and assess their resonance with the non-editor population. We can objectively and professionally decide what name would best convey information about our movement, its values, or its mission.