Thanks Andrew! Let me repeat here my vote for “Wikidata” as the brand name, too

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> On Apr 10, 2019, at 9:05 PM, Andrew Lih <> wrote:
> 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.
> - 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.
> - 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. 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.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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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