While I appreciate your huge knowledge of English Wikipedia, this
whole email - being so en.wp centric - sounds like an argument for
simplification and for "going with the majority". Here is how I see
it, as a member of a much smaller community.

În mie., 10 apr. 2019 la 22:05, Andrew Lih <> a scris:
> I agree with Galder's and Camelia's thoughts and believe we should slow
> down to think about this issue as a whole. We cannot, and should not,
> consider this purely a "branding" exercise because the internal and
> external risks go well beyond this. We need to carefully take them into
> consideration.
> At the Berlin Wikimedia Summit, I was asked by Zack McCune and Heather
> Walls about the branding issue. We talked about this at length so here is a
> summary of what I expressed to them:
> - Outside view: I respect the work the comms/branding team has done, but
> let's remember that the recommendations are from an outside consultancy
> that focuses on only one dimension of this issue. Their work does not
> consider our internal community and movement dynamics as a whole. So the
> recommendation should be seen as just one data point.

That is absolutely true.That's why I suggested that the proposal be
considered in the context of the strategic discussion.

> - Unproven causality: While it's true that familiarity of the "Wikimedia"
> brand is low, the case has not been made that unifying our identity under
> "Wikipedia" is a solution for the particular markets in question. There are
> many other factors regarding adoption and recognition of any brand, not
> just Wikimedia, including the commercial context of mobile/Internet users
> and default consumer entry points to the information landscape (ie. search
> engine settings, starting home page, financial incentives and
> partnerships). Other factors are: first mover advantages (e.g. Korea, with
>'s dominance over Wikipedia), or government regulation (e.g.
> China, Turkey censorship) that affect any brand footprint. Remaking our
> whole identity for the possibility that we *might* get better recognition
> in certain markets needs much more careful study.
> - That was then, this is now: If this was 10 years ago, I would
> enthusiastically embrace the idea of putting everything under the Wikipedia
> umbrella. In 2003, before the WMF had staff and resources, I was one of the
> primary volunteer contacts for almost all press inquiries about Wikipedia.
> I know the headaches of having to explain what "Wikimedia" is to
> journalists and the public. The book I wrote in 2009 was titled "The
> Wikipedia Revolution" for name recognition, even though I knew "Wikimedia"
> would be more accurate. But that was then. We are a whole lot more than
> Wikipedia today.

I would argue that, on the contrary, for the outside word we were less
Wikipedia 10 years ago. Around that time there was still hope that
Wikibooks or Wikinews could still be successful, at least in some
languages. New language versions of other projects than Wikipedia were
created relatively regularly and many people who started with
Wikipedia moved on to maintain and develop other projects. Today the
Foundation has all but given up on all other projects except the 3 you
mention below (and, to some extent, Wikisource), Google is taking data
from Wikipedia (but prefers other dictionaries instead of Wikt) and
people barely hide a polite yawn when you talk about the other

> - We stand on three legs (and more): If there was ever a time that
> Wikimedia was more than Wikipedia, it is now. The trio of Wikipedia,
> Commons and Wikidata is the bedrock of open knowledge sharing in a way that
> was not true even 3 years ago.

While that is true, the monolingual nature of the last 2 has left all
but the most determined outside this revolution. While not directly
relevant for the branding issue, it partially explains why people know
about Wikipedia more: it's in their language!

> Wikimedia Commons is a community of its own
> with users of its content who never touch Wikipedia. See the many news
> outlets and publications that use now use CC licensed Commons images to use
> as visuals for their stories and products. Wikidata has quickly emerged as
> the de facto way for libraries, archives and museums to connect their
> metadata to each other. They are adopting it as their global crosswalk
> database that has been proven to be more scalable and highly available than
> anything in the information landscape. Wikidata is now regularly
> incorporated into conferences outside of our own Wikimedia community, and
> has the largest museum and library groups (Europeana, AAC, OCLC, IFLA-WLIC,
> et al) working with it.

Specialization has clear advantages, but again, is not helping with
branding towards the general public and that is our target, not GLAM
or photographers.

> Many times, I've had librarians and curators tell me the equivalent of: "I
> never engaged with Wikipedia, because 'article writing' is not what we do.
> But metadata and authority control records on Wikidata coincide with what I
> do every day." I just had a phone call with a prominent museum collections
> manager who said her goal was to eliminate their own local metadata
> vocabulary in favor of using all Wikidata Q numbers instead. We are
> reaching a new public with Commons and Wikidata that many Wikipedians, and
> WMF employees, may not be aware of.
> - Wikipedia has a systemic bias: The biggest problem with Wikipedia is that
> you have to know how to read. This sounds ridiculously obvious but
> consider: in developing countries, we're often looking at a maximum 70%
> literacy rate. That's a big hurdle for our strategic goal of knowledge
> equity. We have yet to tap into video, multimedia, interactive and audio
> content as a major mode of knowledge sharing. What of oral histories or
> nontraditional/non-academic forms of human knowledge? The Wikipedia
> community has been neglectful or outright hostile to the addition and use
> of video and multimedia content in these areas. (I know this first-hand,
> having headed video initiatives or having students consistently reverted
> when adding multimedia.) Like it or not, there is an ingrained culture of
> text-heavy articles being the dominant mode for acceptable encyclopedic
> content which stands as a blocker for our evolution.

Not sure what the point is here. System biases are also obvious in
Commons (copyright law) and Wikidata (very specific knowledge is
required to understand how data is organized).

> What does this have to do with the branding exercise? The internal risk is
> that by promoting "Wikipedia" as not just the flagship project but the
> dominant overarching identity of our work, multimedia initiatives and new
> forms of knowledge will be even more suppressed within the movement and
> de-prioritized. We know Youtube is the number one how-to site on the
> Internet with people learning by watching and listening, without even
> needing to know how to read. Indicating that the written mode of knowledge
> is the dominant thrust of the movement is antithetical to all we know about
> what is going on with mobiles, video content and visual learning. It risks
> being the wrong message at the wrong time.
> - Should Wikipedia culture be the movement's culture? Rebranding everything
> as "Wikipedia" would effectively do this, so we need to think carefully.

I disagree with the second phrase. Just because Wikimedia Commons
would become WikiCommons (the proposal which I support the most and
which has the lowest chance of happening without a tremendous scandal)
the community and their policies would not be affected beyond a simple
search-and-replace. I think of the branding as an exonym - we might or
might not like it, but it doesn't change who we are - it doesn't even
change the endonym we use.

> Already there is an underground war regarding Wikidata use in Wikipedia
> information boxes, and whether "control" of that data should be ceded from
> a language-specific Wikipedia edition to the language-neutral, but emerging
> Wikidata project. There is also an underground war about short descriptions
> in English Wikipedia versus using the collaboratively edited descriptions
> in Wikidata. The risk is that adopting "Wikipedia" as the unified brand
> could very well undermine our community spirit of coming together for
> solutions by, intentionally or not, blessing an entrenched approach above
> all others.

This war is specific to English Wikipedia and a few other wikis
(admittedly, rather larger ones). Smaller communities have already
largely embraced Wikidata in infoboxes and elsewhere. This has not
changed how they represent themselves and I believe that the same
holds true for the renaming.

Also, I believe it is mistaken to think of the branding proposal as a
single, monolithic, yes-or-no proposal. It is rather a series of
proposals, some easier and some more complicated to implement. Each
should be analyzed independently for its own merits.


> I don't claim to have the answer, but I'm worried by the lack of thoughtful
> consideration that a re-branding would have on our movement internally.
> Much of this is because our own community communications channels have
> broken down, and we don't have great ways for deliberation. I hope we have
> more considered conversation and not rush into any decisions on this.
> -Andrew
> On Wed, Apr 10, 2019 at 5:14 AM Galder Gonzalez Larrañaga <
>> wrote:
> > I also think that there are some branding issues, but let me focus just in
> > the opposite way: Wikimedia is not a bug, is a feature. When you say you
> > represent WikiMedia, then someone asks about why an M ad not a P and gives
> > you the opportunity to talk about our free knowledge ecosystem, that is not
> > about an Encyclopedia, is much more. So deleting the M from the equation
> > would vanish even more our sister projects.
> >
> > On the other hand, think that maybe in 2022 (for example) we could create
> > a new project based entirely on videos with free content from Wikipedia and
> > Commons, that could be the best project by 2030... and we call it
> > Wikivideo. Would still be a good idea to be called Wikivideo, a project by
> > the Wikipedia Foundation, or would we start thinking on calling ourselves
> > The Wikivideo Foundation? I think that being Wikimedia gives us better
> > opportunities to make better decisions on our products than identifying
> > totally with one of the products.
> >
> > And I think there are branding issues, yes, but this are not on the name,
> > but on the product and the logo families.
> > ________________________________
> > From: Wikimedia-l <> on behalf of
> > Strainu <>
> > Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 10:56 AM
> > To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reviewing our brand system for our 2030 goals
> >
> > Pe marți, 9 aprilie 2019, Chris Keating <> a
> > scris:
> >
> > > > At the occasion, we should also reconsider the expressions "chapter"
> > > > and "user group".
> > > > "Chapter" is more suitable for local divisions of a national
> > > > association. And "user group" sounds just like some group. We also
> > > > already have "user group" as a technical term in MediaWiki.
> > > >
> > >
> > > You may be aware that the movement strategy process is thinking about
> > this
> > > issue, albeit at a broader level :)
> > >
> > > For instance one of the questions the Roles and Responsibilities group is
> > > looking at is "What governance and organizational structures do we need
> > to
> > > support the delivery of the strategic direction?"(1)
> >
> >
> > One would hope that both that group as well as others will be informed and
> > will take into account the results of the study, which confirm anecdotic
> > data that almost anyone doing outreach knows.
> >
> > This is not a matter to be left at  the foundation's sole discretion
> > (although I personally approve the proposals to various degrees).
> >
> > Strainu
> >
> > >
> > > You will notice that there is no mention of chapters, user groups or
> > indeed
> > > the WMF in this question. That's because there is no presumption that any
> > > of those bodies (or types of bodies) will continue to exist in their
> > > current form - the changes from the strategy process may well be much
> > more
> > > profound than finessing the names of categories of entity that currently
> > > exist.
> > >
> > > Thanks,
> > >
> > > Chris
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (1)
> > >
> >
> > > Community_Conversations/Roles_%26_Responsibilities#Scoping_questions
> > > _______________________________________________
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> --
> -Andrew Lih
> Author of The Wikipedia Revolution
> US National Archives Citizen Archivist of the Year (2016)
> Knight Foundation grant recipient - Wikipedia Space (2015)
> Wikimedia DC - Outreach and GLAM
> Previously: professor of journalism and communications, American
> University, Columbia University, USC
> ---
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