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Defining quality

this is the thing with brand, as you guys will see when someone posts my graphic (LOL) or not see, or as you may already know from your own experiences with various brands -- ONE customer experience can and will define the entire brand for any given customer/user. ONE bad wiki -- one incomplete, poorly written, unvetted wiki -- can and will define the Wikipedia brand for millions of users. As any brand specialist will tell you -- it is common knowledge that getting a customer back is SO MUCH HARDER that just keeping him or her in the first place.

that said, consistency is key. users need to know at all times what state a wiki is in, and they need to understand what the ultimate goal is. With the current structure for wikis, that is just not possible. Currently, wikis are sometimes really bad or incomplete or... yet they still carry the Wikipedia brand.

Originally, creating Wikipedia out of nothing took a lot of daring just to make it exist. But the same conditions of introducing a brand no longer exist. Now Wikipedia is an established brand and users see it as a valid information source. Going to the next level may mean changing the way the infrastructure works in order to stay TRUE to the Wikipedia brand. That may mean that inaccurate or misleading information may never be tolerated as a "public" or "finished" wiki. That may mean that we have to create an interim wiki for discussion and work (FT2's idea off list that we are still hashing out a bit in small group -- email me if you want to be included in the email) that eventually gets posted with a "done" (or close to done) status... there are many possibilities, but in the end, the brand that users experience as Wikipedia matters.

Bhneihouse16:30, 28 November 2009