Hello, I have waited to return to this thread until I could clear enough space in my mind to try to address it thoroughly. Apologies for the delay. I will try to address multiple topics in one email.
I think that the Wikipedia brand is, in a way, the brand of the community. WMF is the steward of the brand, and should not use the brand in ways which the community has not authorized by consensus. There was a previous mailing discussion on Wikimedia-l in September 2019. I would have expected an update after that discussion if WMF was considering moving ahead with rebranding itself. An email announcing that the matter was being reviewed by the Board, and/or that WMF was starting an RfC, would have been fine. Community consultations or an RfC could have taken place at that time without using outside contractor. I don't appreciate being surprised. Given that the focus of this effort in WMF is inside of its Communications Department, I think that staff should be especially proactive in communicating what they are doing with regards to major initiatives, and prior to engaging in a contracting process with donors' funds. Staff appear not to have addressed, at least in public on English Wikipedia, the sockpuppeting allegations with regards to Snøhetta.  . Also worth noting is the RfC, which was previously mentioned in this thread: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/Should_the_Foundation_call_itself_Wikipedia. The current count as of the time of my writing this email is 26 support and 292 oppose. This series of events should have been handled differently. Nobody is perfect, but there are problems here that appear to be more significant than a simple one time failure to communicate on an issue of moderate importance. One oversight that I made in my earlier email, and which I will correct with an apology for not stating this earlier (I too can be wrong), is that problems in this series of events could include decisions that were made by the WMF Board. However, without access to WMF's internal communications, it is impossible to know how this series of events happened. I am not advocating adding stress to people who do good work, or people who have so much work that they can't realistically handle everything that they're told to do. It is possible that staff are simply overworked. However, while I don't enjoy writing about this topic, sometimes changing personnel is for the best. This happens in government organizations and companies, and I imagine happens on occasion in WMF, although often in private. Also, in WMF and in affiliate boards, sometimes board members are replaced as a result of elections. In the community, we occasionally revoke people's permissions or block people in public, and here too people sometimes are replaced as a result of elections. I realize that this is a topic that can be stressful, but I think that candor is appropriate. I feel rooted in the English Wikipedia community and I think that what I say in this paragraph is consistent with how our community works, and is consistent with how I see government agencies sometimes work in the United States. At the same time (and I wish that I said this in my previous email) the point isn't to have a culture where people should be fearful on a daily basis. I would hope that generally things go OK for people, and that one time mistakes which are easily reversed don't result in someone feeling fearful. What is more concerning is a pattern of problems, or an error that results in a single major problem that is difficult to reverse. I personally have made considerable efforts during my personal time to try to address what I heard was widespread fear among WMF staff about communicating in public, and that interest continues. A "culture of fear" can limit communication and erodes trust. At the same time, I think that the WMF Board and staff should communicate proactively about initiatives and decisions with significant implications. Pine ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Sn%C3%B8hettaAS  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Leilaoes _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l New messages to: Wikimediafirstname.lastname@example.org Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>