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Communications/Wikimedia brands/2030 research and planning/project summary

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Project statementEdit

The Wikimedia 2030 goals offer our movement some major challenges: We have lots more people to reach and invite into our movement, mostly in regions where Wikimedia (and even Wikipedia) are not well-known.

Branding (summarized as name and logo associations with projects and values) is a powerful tool for simplifying our invitation and increasing the familiarity of both Wikimedia projects and our values. If we are to make Wikimedia projects the essential infrastructure of free knowledge, we need to make sure people can quickly recognize who “we” are and what the connections are between parts of our ecosystem.

Project approachEdit

This was a two-part project began by assessing the current position of Wikimedia brands and then considered how our system could be improved to reach the 2030 goals. The process lasted 6 months, with research findings directly informing the strategic suggestions.

The research sought to answer following questions:

  • What does Wikimedia mean to the world?
  • What Wikimedia projects are well-known and which remain unfamiliar?
  • How much does a general internet user know about the Wikimedia movement?

What were the findings of the brand research?Edit

Wikipedia enjoys a remarkably high level of awareness among internet users in the North Atlantic:

Country Awareness
Spain 89%
USA 87%
Germany 85%
UK 81%

Awareness of Wikipedia is also fast-growing in emerging internet markets:

Country Awareness Awareness

in 2016

Mexico 53%
Nigeria 48% 27%
India 40% 33%

Wikimedia projects are not very well-known. Even among the reported “high awareness” projects of WikiBooks and WikiNews, the research team found that participants were reporting high awareness because the common nouns made the projects seem familiar:

Project Awareness
Meta-Wiki 6%
Wikivoyage 8%
Wikispecies 8%
Wikimedia Commons 13%
Wikiversity 14%
Wikidata 20%
MediaWiki 22%
Wiktionary 25%
Wikisource 30%
Wikiquote 32%
Wikibooks 42%*
Wikinews 50%*

*Higher levels of reported awareness of these projects were partly driven by people “recognizing” the common nouns (books, news) and extrapolating the meaning to report they had “heard of these.”

  • Considerable interest in the importance of knowledge materials and the Wikimedia movement’s efforts to make knowledge available. Among Indian, American, German, Egyptian, Nigerian, and Mexican responses:  
    • 92% said they were interested in reading Wikipedia content
    • 84% said they were interested in exploring additional Wikimedia projects
    • 58% said they were interested in contributing content.
  • Study participants said that not fully understanding the Wikipedia content model prevented them from acting on their impulse to share content. Some even felt that the global reach of Wikipedia was intimidating and raised the stakes of adding content.
    • “I think I need more knowledge, because it is something read in every corner of the world so I really don’t want to go wrong in any way,” - Indian survey respondent
  • Recommendation: lead with high-visibility entry point in order to better introduce the world to our range of projects; to better connect with the world’s internet users and show clear connections between movement projects.

What is the proposed brand strategy?Edit

  • Using Wikipedia as the central movement brand rather than Wikimedia.
  • Providing clearer connections to the sister projects from Wikipedia to drive increased awareness, usage and contributions to all movement projects.
  • Retaining Wikimedia project names, with the exception of Wikimedia Commons which is recommended to be shortened to Wikicommons to be consistent with other projects.
  • Exploring new naming conventions for the Foundation and affiliate groups to use Wikipedia rather than Wikimedia.
  • Considering expository taglines and other naming conventions to reassert the connections between projects (e.g. “______ — A Wikipedia project”).

The community review processEdit

The approachEdit

  • The Communications team is beginning a three-month long consultation process that will go through May.
  • We will be collecting feedback both online and in person from interested community members. We are specifically looking for feedback that enables us to answer the following questions:
If we move forward with brand changes
→ What are the benefits of the existing proposal?
→ What, concretely, needs modifying from the existing proposal?
If we do not move forward with brand changes
→ What, concretely, are the benefits of staying with the current system?
  • The Communications team will compile comments, concerns, and affiliate stances on the proposed changes into a report for the Board of Trustees. The report will offer a summary of the movement’s reaction and, based on that summary, will offer a recommendation on whether, and if so how, to move forward with the proposal.

Consultations and feedback sharingEdit

We want to make providing constructive feedback as easy as possible for volunteers across different communities, and will be offering consultations in the following formats:

  • Conversations with affiliate groups in small or large group discussions.
  • Conversations with volunteers in virtual group discussions, which can be requested via the email address below.
  • Conversations on the project’s Community review talk page.
  • Conversations via email: brandproject@wikimedia.org.

Response KPIsEdit

  • The purpose of this community review is to assess the interest in making this change for our movement. Responses will be collected, assessed, and summarized into a report for the Wikimedia Board of Trustees to review.
  • We are seeking to understand substantive feedback around this proposal. As mentioned in the approach section, we will be paying particular attention to the feedback that enables us to assess:
If we move forward with brand changes
→ What are the benefits of the existing proposal?
→ What, concretely, needs modifying from the existing proposal?
If we do not move forward with brand changes
→ What, concretely, are the benefits of staying with the current system?
  • In general, strong opinions are voiced louder than neutrality. Therefore, we will calculate the ratio of informed to opposed: a measure of the number of people that explicitly oppose the proposal (ideally explaining why the current system works for them/their community) over the number of people who have been informed about the proposal.
    • We will consider the proposal to have strong support if: no more than 20% oppose.
    • We will consider the proposal to have substantial support: if no more than 30% oppose.
    • We will consider the proposal to have moderate support: if no more than 40% oppose.
  • Making a big change requires big support. We will also track the ratio of strong support for the proposal.
    • Benchmark: 20% voice strong support.

Frequently Asked QuestionsEdit

  • What would this proposal mean for my project/affiliate group’s name?
    • The proposal does not recommend name changes for the projects, except for Wikimedia Commons, which it recommends shortening to Wikicommons to match other project naming conventions.
    • The proposal recommends that movement organizations and affiliate groups (including the Foundation) explore changing their names from Wikimedia to Wikipedia.
  • Would this proposal have implications for my project or affiliate group’s logo?
    • The current proposal does not make recommendations about logos. Changes to logos would only be considered as part of future community consultation processes.
  • What type of support would be provided to affiliate groups in changing their names under this proposal?
    • If the proposed changes are adopted, the Foundation would plan to offer considerable support for affiliates updating their branding. In particular, legal, financial, messaging, design assets, and translation services would be made available. These services will be largely defined by this consultation. In other words, tell us what you would need :)
  • What other branding actions are being considered post-name-change?
    • There are a variety of places in the Wikimedia movement that use branding. Each of these would need to be assessed for possible updates depending on community direction.
    • Branding touchpoints include:
      • Wikimedia users interfaces which could be improved to show clearer connection between projects, driving more visibility, usage, and hopefully contributions, to other projects.
      • Naming conventions would also be developed in order to show how projects connect back to Wikipedia.
      • We could imagine expository taglines, for example, that would describe “Wiktionary” as “a Wikipedia project.”
      • A new visual identity, linking projects together with a unified “Wikipedia” movement mark and style, would also be considered.
  • What would this mean for existing wikimedia.org subdomains?
    • If the proposed changes are adopted, subdomains (including email addresses, etc.) would be reviewed and updated to align with new naming conventions. The Foundation would provide support for making these changes.
  • I heard this decision has already been made. Why should I share comments?
    • We are actively trying to assess if this proposal will help our Movement achieve the 2030 goals. Your perspective matters. No choices on this proposal will be made until the community review is complete so please share your thoughts with us via email (brandproject@wikimedia.org) or the Community review talk page.
  • How will you inform people of this proposal?
    • We currently have two outreach plans in action.
      • To inform affiliates (especially organizations that use Wikimedia branding in their identity), we are reaching out directly to group leaders to set up presentations and discussions. We are asking the affiliate leaders to determine how, where, and when they solicit responses from their communities. We are further asking the affiliate organizers to report back on how many people reviewed the proposal (the “informed” number) and what suggestions/concerns/opposition were identified.
      • To inform individual contributors, we are currently using a wide range of mailing lists (including interest and regionally-based lists) and social media groups. When proposal materials are translated, and reviewed with local stakeholders, they will also be shared to village pumps for response. This is an iterative process, so we welcome suggestions for additional approaches for informing around the world.
  • In countries with tense political climates, affiliate groups have relied on the Wikimedia name to distance themselves from Wikipedia. How would these groups be able to distinguish themselves in the future should they need to?
    • We would want to learn from our affiliates what affiliate naming scheme would be most effective. Under the proposal, incorporating Wikipedia into affiliate group names could take different forms, ostensibly some with more and some with fewer qualifications around the term ‘Wikipedia’. Considerations for any proposed change would include the possible risks and benefits of increasing the connection between community groups and the volunteers who author project content. We understand that many volunteers and community groups operate in difficult political environments and we want to ensure that any proposed brand shift supports community safety and legal needs as much as possible. The legal grounding for the separation of affiliate groups and projects would still be in effect, and the Wikimedia Foundation would remain committed to enforcing this distinction.

Additional ResourcesEdit