Proposal:Brand name consolidation

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  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation



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Summary

Our movement has very wide potential and very high ambitions in reach and participation. Outsiders view us as "Wikipedia". We want to reach those outsiders and engage them into participation. Our message should be simple and clear: we are Wikipedia. From the confusing picture as can be seen on the left, we should move to a unified picture as can be seen on the right. No content of projects will be thrown away. The content of the projects will be integrated.

Proposal

Consolidate and unify our message by:

One: focusing on a single brand name, Wikipedia

Currently the Wikimedia Foundation hosts Wikipedia and other projects. In the future that should be: The Wikipedia Foundation hosts Wikipedia. This strategy is about the future direction of the Wikimedia movement. That unified direction will become the Wikipedia movement.

Two: integrate other projects within Wikipedia

Where will 'other projects' go? 'Other projects' will go to appropriate, new namespaces within the current Wikipedia projects. For example, content of en.wikiversity will move to the wikiversity namespace of en.wikipedia.

Where will the content go of other projects without language subdomains, like commons? Slightly more complicated, indeed. Files will go to the file namespace, as is now. However, that will be (and already is) a special namespace, all files coming from a single file repository, some metadata could be commonly shared as well, descriptions will be in the language version of the Wikipedia.

Three: (not necessary, but nice) opt for a .wikipedia TLD

We'll convince Rod Beckstrom of ICANN to allocate the .wikipedia Top Level Domain (TLD) to the Wikipedia Foundation. Should shorter alternatives TLDs such as .wpd, .wkp or .wkpd be considered?

Motivation

  1. To outsiders Wikimedia and Wikipedia are the same, as are other projects. Reaching those outsiders, we have to speak their language. To them it is all Wikipedia. Trying to explain the differences between Wikimedia and Wikipedia is nitpicking.
  2. Currently the movement manages thousands of trademarks, thousands of brandnames and thousands of domain names (treating each language version as a different mark). Consolidating Wikipedia and the dozen other projects under a single name, namely 'Wikipedia', and under a single trademark 'the puzzle globe' and under a single domain name '.wikipedia' (after dropping .org or promoting .wikipedia to TLD status), reduces the burden of managing trademarks, brandnames and domain names by at least 90%.
  3. Navigating between projects becomes easier - namely moving to another page on the same site, not to another domain name.
  4. Reintegration of commons into Wikipedia - one way of resolving the governance of commons discussion.
  5. Wikipedia dominates all other projects. Having the content of a specific project integrated into a specific namespace of Wikipedia would immediately increase its visibility and recognition. Reuniting currently split communities and possibly increasing collaboration might be a favorable result.


Key Questions

  1. Validity of outsider perception of Wikipedia: What is the outsider perception of Wikipedia, other projects and the organization?
  2. Possiblity of integration of other project content into specific namespaces within Wikipedia: What is the technical feasibility of the proposed integration?
  3. Effectiveness on reach and participation: Will consolidation help us getting a short, single, simple, message across (We are the Wikipedia movement. Help us in providing access to all human knowledge.)?
  4. Won't this destroy the nice things of PTD, PTY and FC on commons? (No, those nice project specific community efforts can be supplanted within Wikipedia as well)


Potential Costs

  1. The proposed process looks initially at least as complicated as the move to Single User Login, which was a multi year effort, requiring a considerable amount of developer time and a ten times as big effort in multi channel communication to gain required community support. These costs are small in comparison with the costs of publicity campaigns. Consolidation in a single brand name, unification of our message, reduces however future publicity costs enormously.
  2. Some (long term) editors will take a wiki break after reading this proposal, or when this proposal is implemented. So be it.


References

Erik Moeller started a thread on this issue on foundation-l on 8 May 2007 with his rethinking brands post; see also m:Wikimedia brand survey.


Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal talk:Brand name consolidation.

Want to work on this proposal?

  1. --Saeed.Veradi 15:06, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
  2. .. Sign your name here!