As usual, Phoebe states very eloquently what I've been struggling to put
into words myself.  And like she, I would have been excited about this
brand change several years ago.  But we weren't ready / missed / didn't see
the need for that opportunity then.  I think that moment has passed.  I'm
not sure that the cost outlay and the time that it will take to clear up
the confusion that a rebrand will cause is demonstrably worth the value
received from it, for the reasons that Phoebe lays out below.

(former staff, still a volunteer, though of greatly reduced volume)

On Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 9:42 AM phoebe ayers <> wrote:

> Dear all,
> I haven't weighed in before. But it seems to me there's a simple question
> underlying all of this: do we actually want, or need, to increase public
> awareness of the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia chapters/affiliates (as
> opposed to the projects themselves)?
> Having Wikimedia be a more recognizable entity or brand does not seem to me
> like it would help us in our core goals, of recruiting editors and content
> to the *projects*. We do not typically use the Wikimedia name to do
> outreach, or to talk about the projects; the handful of us that are
> insiders and give presentations about the WMF is small, relative to the
> number of educators and librarians and editors talking about Wikipedia. (I
> give many trainings on editing Wikipedia every year; talking about
> Wikimedia is irrelevant for this purpose). Perhaps a rebrand would make
> fundraising easier -- but we already use the project brand for that, as
> most fundraising is directly off the projects, and the fundraising that
> isn't (grants and large donations) has a lot of communication around it. So
> I'm not sure how a rebrand would help here either.
> The premise of this whole exercise is that people knowing about Wikimedia
> as an entity will somehow help us. But we are not trying to recruit
> contributors to the Foundation, or to the chapters; we are trying to
> recruit them to the projects, and if the infrastructure of our network is
> invisible, I am fine with that. I think to increase the centrality of the
> *organization* is a distraction that misses the point of both our mission
> and the role of the organization, which is to provide infrastructure. We're
> not selling shoes here; more brand awareness of the Foundation does not
> translate into a direct furthering of our mission, and more focus on the
> organization is at best a distraction for overworked volunteers.
> Like Andrew, I might have been excited about naming it the Wikipedia
> Foundation ten or fifteen years ago. But now, I think there is a wide world
> of free knowledge that we want to imagine -- including a future of our
> projects remixed into something new, beyond Wikipedia. So for that reason
> too, I am skeptical.
> regards,
> Phoebe
> (former WMF trustee)
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