Talk:Communications/Sound Logo

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Sound Logo

This is a Brilliant IdeaEdit

I just need to add something in consideration, I believe that Devices check the web whenever any user ask about something they dont go open the link of the link they found on the search engine I think they articulate all the information they discover in the search page when they type the "thing that the owner of the device" is asking about, so what I am trying to say here that you need to also consider the voice logo with that content that appears in the search page not only the inside the website itself. unsigned comment by Amiratohamy, 19:58, 10 April 2022

Proactive work around the license complianceEdit

I like how you have been thinking about attribution already and would just like you to keep up the good work. In that, I think that WMF should be proactive and not only give advice on how proper attribution can be done, but also point out to reusers of content that don't do a good work in providing attribution. If they don't improve, the least the WMF should do would be to cease all cooperation, terminate any contracts and make some noise about it. Ainali talkcontributions 19:02, 16 November 2021 (UTC)

Do you mean to say that attribution should be proactively enforced after a sound logo is created? VGrigas (WMF) (talk) 16:15, 17 November 2021 (UTC)
It's not necessarily connected to the logo itself, but rather with anyone WMF partner with around audio content. If someone doesn't listen to good advice even before the logo is created, that's a good time to stop helping them. So this comment is perhaps a bit misplaced, but I was reminded I read the thoughts about attribution for this type of reuse. Ainali talkcontributions 17:15, 17 November 2021 (UTC)


Why no categories? Kaganer (talk) 19:39, 29 November 2021 (UTC)

You can add them if you like, this page should be in appropriate categories! VGrigas (WMF) (talk) 00:35, 30 November 2021 (UTC)
  Done Kaganer (talk) 10:44, 30 November 2021 (UTC)

Comments by Andy MabbettEdit

Page is tl;dr, but sounds like a great idea.

This needs something as distinctive as the windows startup sound or the Nokia ringtone. Maybe four notes, or chords, to represent the four strokes of the letter "W"?

Has any thought been given to asking a well-known composer, ideally one friendly to the open movement, to write something suitable? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:46, 29 November 2021 (UTC)

We've shared some information about the early-stage thinking on how to make a sound logo here. There's a lot to figure out, but having public submissions, including by talented composers, musicians, or sound designers, is something we're thinking through and can share more about in the coming weeks and months. --KStineRowe (WMF) (talk) 18:25, 30 November 2021 (UTC)

Will this make it more difficult for third parties to use Wikimedia content?Edit

Once a sonic logo is created, will we require third parties to use that sonic logo whenever they use Wikimedia content to generate audible content? If so, wouldn't that essentially be a change to the licensing requirements?

And, if we require third parties to play the sonic logo before or after generating audible content, how likely is it that some percentage of third parties will not want to comply with those requirements and therefore stop using Wikimedia content in their applications? For instance, let's say that Google uses Wikimedia content to generate spoken answers to some questions from Google users, and Google decides that they don't want to update their platform to play a sonic logo sound from a different organization in the midst of their answer. Therefore, Google decides to stop using Wikimedia data to generate spoken content. Is that potential loss of Wikimedia-consuming users worth the other potential advantages of using a sonic logo? Has anyone reached out to any of the most significant third party users of Wikimedia content to understand how they might react if they were required to insert a sonic logo into their applications whenever they use Wikimedia content? Scottywong (talk) 00:41, 30 November 2021 (UTC)

Thanks for your question. You are correct - we cannot require third parties to use the sound logo under our open licensing requirements and fair use. We think there is a decent chance that we’ll be able to successfully request that the sound logo is used by some major technology players through the work of our Partnerships team, which has done some early outreach and received tentative and early stage positive responses. A sound logo, especially one that meets industry standards, offers some advantages over the lengthy verbage used by some audio devices at present (i.e. “Here’s some information I found on” or “Here’s a summary from Wikitravel”) in that it is shorter and leverages the benefits of sound recognition over text. Ultimately, adoption is not something that we can or should force, as our knowledge is free for everyone.
Moreover, creating a sound logo and putting it into use is a long journey. We hope to do things the right way by first focusing on selecting/making a really good sound logo that meets high standards for multiple use cases over time beyond just audio searches on major technology platforms. The complexities of use by Google, per your example, and others is something we’re actively thinking through, but will take time to figure out; offering a high quality sound makes these conversations easier to negotiate. KStineRowe (WMF) (talk) 16:08, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
It's nice to hear that there's been some tentative positive responses! Getting this to actually be adopted seems likely to be the biggest obstacle. The overall impetus sounds good to me—when people know that information is coming from Wikipedia, that helps our brand and helps them flag errors for us to correct. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 22:39, 17 March 2022 (UTC)

Can/should it include utterance of the word "Wikipedia"?Edit

Are there any reasons that the sound logo should or should not include a voice pronunciation of "Wikipedia"? New4Q (talk) 11:55, 26 March 2022 (UTC)

The community can of course take this almost any direction they decide, but most sound logos lack linguistic content (except inasmuch as they encode meaning by dint of existing and are arguably linguistic entities) for two reasons: the first is the difficulties of localisation. Wikimedia has shown itself to be surprising good at this, but going that route would mean a diversification of the sound logo which could complicate adoption efforts and make production of the needed variants more labour-intensive. The second is that sound logos are often quite short, on the order of merely a second or several (this is to allow them to be used in a wide range of contexts). While it's not impossible to fit a word into that span of course, it can be tricky to do it in a way that isn't confusing -- that is, enough information is given to make it not seem like just a random spoken word. If that information is also verbal, then we're back to "here's a summary from English Wikipedia" that most voice assistant software currently does. For these reasons, i18n (obviating the need for spoken language by using a sound effect, tones, or other nonlinguistic cues) is probably a better idea that l10n (translating). Arlo Barnes (talk) 08:56, 29 March 2022 (UTC)

"Contest" RulesEdit

I'm noticing that we're in the middle of a two month period listed as "Project team contest design". Is this design taking place in public anywhere? A previous branding initiative failed because off-wiki development lead to an incorrect assessment of community opinion, and it would be nice if this project didn't repeat those mistake by designing in private. TomDotGov (talk) 13:40, 28 March 2022 (UTC)

Hi @TomDotGov, thanks for your comment, appreciate you being here and making sure movement opinion is accurately assessed in discussions. We want to make sure on- and off-wiki discussions are aligned and happening transparently. Because of omicron and other issues, this project has been delayed a little bit. We are currently planning for a community conversation around the contest design in May and June. We will update the page on Meta as well as the timeline soon. Would very much welcome your input into the contest design discussions when they begin. This is where community members, staff, and sound-enthusiasts will collaborate before the contest even starts. We look forward to engaging with you and other community members soon around this exciting project. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 20:12, 29 March 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for getting back to me, and this sounds like a good start. It's important that as much as possible of the process be done in public, so that it can be improved as early as possible, as required. I saw the timeline said that the design was already in well in progress, so I'm glad that it's just a delay. TomDotGov (talk) 22:58, 29 March 2022 (UTC)

Refining and Reducing the TimelineEdit

So, today we had a timeline for this project posted, which is great. However, looking at the timeline, it seems like the actual contest isn't scheduled to start until September, at the earliest, about four and a half months from now. That seems like an very extended timeline for actually starting the project. Such extended timelines are problematic for actually accomplishing things, as it's going to be hard to hold people's attention for well over half a year from the start to the finish of the process. One of the (many) problems with the movement branding process was: "From initiation to design, the process took too long." That's a problem this timeline has.

We can compare this to mw:Project:Proposal_for_changing_logo_of_MediaWiki,_2020. There, the proposal to change the logo was made on June 22nd, 2020; the first voting began on August 10, 2020; and a final logo was selected on October 24th, 2020 - 4 months and 2 days, including two weeks spent on preliminary WMF legal approval. So the whole contest process fit in the time between today and when this project starts.

I'd suggest rather than spending over third of a year organizing the process, we adopt the successful MediaWiki logo process - to have a month or so of discussions and proposals, a month of voting, and then a month of refinement and voting on a refined version.

It's not clear what spending two more months on community conversations, a month on contest design, and then a month solely devoted to Wikimania would bring to the table that wouldn't come out once the actual contest has started. TomDotGov (talk) 02:06, 16 April 2022 (UTC)

  • Hi TomDotGov, thanks for your comment. Happy to share some more clarity. Our thinking was to host the community conversations from mid-May to mid-June (that doesn't look super clear on the timeline) ... hopefully we get a lot of fruitful engagement :) Then we'll take some time to refine and clean up the notes (i.e. July), work with a technical partner to set up the space for submissions, promote the contest and be ready ... hopefully for many submissions from around the world. I know a lot of musically-inclined Wikimedians and sound enthusiasts in the movement (I love WikiProject bird songs), but creating a quality sound logo takes a bit of finesse. We don't want to assume people know how to capture good audio and mix it, and definitely don't want to leave anyone interested out. So, we are hoping to have workshops around Wikimania and then kick off the contest shortly after. You raise valid points though, perhaps we could start the community conversations later or start the actual contest earlier. Let us discuss internally and see what's possible. Thanks for caring. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 09:43, 16 April 2022 (UTC)
    @MPourzaki (WMF),
    I don't understand what benefit the movement will have from community conversations that will take a month to start, a month to complete, and a month to summarize; especially when the bulk of conversation is almost certainly going to happen when the contest has already been promoted, submissions are coming in, and the whole thing is "real". We should have a conversation about how the contest should be run, and what submissions are and aren't acceptable. We should start with what worked for the MediaWiki logo contest, and figuring out how we want to change it, and at the same time working on the basic standards of what's acceptable as an audio logo. (eg, "no longer than a second" "48,000 samples per second or better uncompressed" "must work in multiple languages", etc.)
    Conversations on this talk page, promoted slightly more widely (like to the news on the front page of meta, which would then be picked up by other sources), seems like all we'd really need before the start of the contest proper. Rather than a formal timeline, these should run until consensus is achieved, at which point the earliest possible date for the contest could be chosen and promotion could begin.
    I'd strongly counsel against developing a novel platform for submissions, discussions, and voting. Two areas where previous brand work went wrong were "We intentionally designed a process that looked different from typical community consultations." and "Our “non typical” process was seen as less legitimate." We should avoid making these mistakes again. MediaWiki has the advantage of allowing discussion to be intermixed in a freeform manner with supporting information and voting, that's something that should be taken advantage of - especially when compared to creating a novel platform that will only be used once, something that will take time and money. I'd also worry somewhat that a less freeform system would eliminate novel approaches to sound logo design.
    The project team should enable people who might not be familiar with wikis (eg. professional sound designers) to participate by accepting submission via email and posting on their behalf. That's a better use of WMF resources.
    I don't think that we should be attempting to develop sound logo design talent as part of this project. That's not part of the WMF's Mission. By holding a contest that is widely publicized (certainly by CentralNotice, and perhaps even by the larger media), we'd be able to access existing talent inside and outside the community, which will likely produce better solutions.
    Finally, I'd hope more discussions could take place in public, rather than internally. For the contest to be successful, the WMF will need to communicate well and in real-time, and it makes sense to start practicing that sooner, rather than later. TomDotGov (talk) 14:56, 16 April 2022 (UTC)
    Hi TomDotGov,
    Sorry for the delay, MPourzaki (WMF) is on vacation this week and it was a holiday for me yesterday. I like your ideas, you bring up reasoned thoughts above, I'll try to address what I can now:
    • The community conversations in the timeline for May and June are there partly to discuss the contest design. Much of what you say above I think we can address then because we can all point to and critique and rationalize the same documents together once we have a contest model to discuss.
    • Ideas for promotion of the contest are welcome.
    • There are currently no plans to develop any sound logo design talent. We do plan to allow people to contribute where they can to develop ideas or find audio for existing audio design talent to use.
    • There are plans to reach out to people unfamiliar with wikis, like professional sound designers.
    I'll add that we are working on updating the sound logo page (and translations), sorry for any bugs. VGrigas (WMF) (talk) 15:18, 19 April 2022 (UTC)
    @VGrigas (WMF)Thank you for replying. I understand that it's _possible_ to address the contest design a month from now. The question is, is that the best approach. This project has, according to the timeline, been running for about 6 months at this point - do we need another four before the contest actually starts? What do you plan to learn in "Community conversations" that you didn't already learn in "Community outreach & discussion"? What's the hold up in starting community conversations here, now - just put a post on the front page of meta, send an email to wikimedia-l.
    It shouldn't take ten months for the core of the project to start. TomDotGov (talk) 17:05, 19 April 2022 (UTC)
    I'm happy to reply. Omicron slowed the sound logo team down for several weeks, I do think we would have been further ahead now if that hadn't happened. In the 'community outreach & discussion' phase we (myself and others on the team) had:
    • Messaged many individuals and groups on talk pages who might have an interest in the sound logo because they are into audio, podcasters, media ,etc.
    • Made a video and published a blog post to raise awareness of the project. (you can see all the talk pages the video is on)
    • Monitored for any feedback on this talk page, and in other forums
    From that we read and learned what current community interest seems to be, and we have been developing a contest model. We want to start more and wider discussions when we have that model so that we have something new and ideally well-thought through to discuss. VGrigas (WMF) (talk) 00:56, 20 April 2022 (UTC)
    @VGrigas (WMF) The first comparable, the mediawiki rebrand, took place during the worst of COVID - 2020 was before the first vaccines were available.
    A second comparable is the Wikifunctions logo contest, which started around mid-November 2020, and selected a logo around Mid-March, so again, about 4 months, with similar world issues. (The logo didn't pass legal, but the top candidates pointed the way to a useable logo.) It's probably a closer comparable, since the concept of Wikifunctions is very difficult to understand, and because there was no existing logo to work with.
    According to the timeline, this process will have gone on for twice as long as the comparables before the contest begins, and the current plan is to design a "contest model" - that is, "design a non-typical process". These are the same things that caused previous branding work to fail. Could you post what you've been developing already - even notes would be fine - so we can compare it to successful branding processes, and come up with a synthesis sooner rather than later? TomDotGov (talk) 03:46, 20 April 2022 (UTC)

I'd ask that WMF staff not remove the comparisons with other projects timelines until the problems with this project's timeline have been fully addressed. Comparative timelines provide the valuable context that comparable projects were finished in the time this project took on community outreach (ie, talk page messages and a minute-long video) To not include that is an important omission. TomDotGov (talk) 00:34, 26 April 2022 (UTC)

Hi @TomDotGov:, I’ve moved your timeline here to the talk page. This is the forum to discuss.

“By comparison, the timelines for successful branding efforts were:

Project June 2020 July 2020 August 2020 September 2020 October 2020 November 2020 December 2020 January 2021 February 2021 March 2021
MediaWiki Logo Proposals and discussions Proposals and discussions Proposals and discussion, Voting round one Voting round one, preliminary legal clearance, Voting round two Voting round two, logo selected Legal clearance
Wikifunctions Logo Brainstorming, setting up, finalizing rules Proposals and discussions Proposals and discussions Voting, logo selected*
  • Legal clearance and refinement of the Wikifunctions logo continued until October 2021.”

VGrigas (WMF) (talk) 16:51, 26 April 2022 (UTC)

@TomDotGov: The sound logo is new and more complex than other previous image logo contests, and it needs to be developed. There isn't an 'off-the-shelf' generic model or template that can be easily modified and applied. I've stated already above that the sound logo team at WMF will have a model to present. The closest 'generic' or 'off-the-shelf' logo contest model is the [logo selection procedure], which was made with image logos in mind and does not address any of the technical, licensing, time-based (audio takes time to listen to) or accessibility considerations of a sound logo. Moving too quickly could quite easily cause problems in any of these areas. Please be patient, we will have a contest model to discuss. VGrigas (WMF) (talk) 17:42, 26 April 2022 (UTC)
[[@VGrigas (WMF): I've replaced the comparable timelines on the front page, per the movement strategy goal of managing internal knowledge. Part of that is comparing future plans to where we've succeeded and failed in the past. This is part of the way that, as a member of the community, I'm trying to contribute to this project. Right now, this project is failing, in the same way the prior Movement Brand Project failed. I'd like to figure out what we can do to salvage this project.
I don't believe that the prior successful projects are so different that this one requires a non-typical and less legitimate process. Sure, audio has its own considerations. So did trying to represent an abstract concept. All logos have constraints - that's no reason not to start with a typical process, and change it as required. I was part of the 2030 Movement Brand project, warning against such non-typical processes. That was ignored by the Foundation team, and look at how well that turned out. Let's not repeat that mistake here.
I think the time for patience might have been in the first month or so of this project, the usual time it takes to get a project like this off the ground. So, no, instead of being patient I think we should immediately talk about what changes can be made to move this project from a path to failure to a path to success. Once we've done that, the comparative timelines will serve no purpose, and can be removed. TomDotGov (talk) 20:42, 26 April 2022 (UTC)
Hi @TomDotGov, I'm glad you care and that you're passionate about this project's success. Glad to have you as an ally and I look forward to receiving your input when the community conversations begin, especially your roadmap to success. Please help us get there. Per the Movement Strategy goal of Innovate in Free Knowledge, I think it's ok to experiment with new ways, no? Things shouldn't always be done as they were done before, it gets a little boring doesn't it? All across the movement we are struggling with burnout, exhaustion, renewed interest and participation. Anyway, I can't wait to share the draft contest proposal with you and other community members so we can finalize it together. In my humble experience, whenever I have shared a draft proposal with community members, discussions have been more fruitful and productive. We are all editors at heart after all. Phase 1 really was about exploration and mainly built around the project team attending existing community events from October to December. That was before I joined. Now we are picking things up again, starting right with a community conversation. There are no hidden agendas here, no secret meetings, no master plans. Though I'm struggling to feel it right now, I kindly ask that you assume good faith. Along with @VGrigas (WMF), we are trying to clean up the front page, that's why we have condensed the previous FAQ and created sub-pages. I have also moved the sign-up part up so people see it immediately and can remain engaged as we launch the consultation. Thanks for your determination for this project's success. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 20:58, 27 April 2022 (UTC)
@MPourzaki (WMF) I think the problem with experimentation - and why I first posted here - is that it's clear at this point the experiment hasn't been successful. We're at the point where we should be figuring out how to fix things, rather than staying on a timeline that starts the actual contest four months from now.
One problem that I experienced with previous branding work was a lot of work by WMF staff was being done off-wiki, in secret. It would emerge, community feedback would be that changes needed to be made, but they'd never _be_ made, and the process would proceed to the next step, unfixed. It's not great for anyone that a ton of work is done, and then we have to choose between redoing it or going with something that doesn't respect community concerns and prerogative. The successful branding projects involved collaboration, not consultation. That means developing the contest proposal with the community early, rather than waiting to share it.
From the experience of past projects, if we were to collaborate on-wiki to develop the contest proposal, we'd be ready to start in about a month. What worries me from my prior experience with branding is that a ton of work will be performed without a meaningful opportunity for it to be improved by editing and the effective bold-revert-discuss process. TomDotGov (talk) 23:32, 27 April 2022 (UTC)
I hear you @TomDotGov, I understand you, and that approach would upset me too, it's not how I work personally. I value volunteer time–I come from the HIV sector where so much is run by amazing volunteers–and make sure when we do consult communities or have conversations in the movement, it's a true collaboration with real intentions and an open dialogue, no secret agendas. This is going to be a public contest after all, so it can't be secret. We really wanna figure things out together. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 13:33, 28 April 2022 (UTC)
@MPourzaki (WMF) That was exactly the same thing that was said during the Movement Brand Project - right before the Foundation Brand Project Team worked off-wiki to produce three proposals that were almost the exact opposite of what the community required of them. Experience shows that 'consulting communites' and 'having conversations' haven't worked well in the branding space, and collaborating on-wiki works quickly and well.
What I'd like to figure out is given that on-wiki collaboration rapidly produces good results, and that on-wiki collaborations in the branding space do not require additional steps to be successful, why does the project schedule contain those additional steps? What value does off-wiki work bring that won't be brought by less dangerous on-wiki collaboration? TomDotGov (talk) 15:39, 28 April 2022 (UTC)
Hi @TomDotGov, it seems like you have a hard time moving on from the renaming kerfuffle, I understand. This just isn't related. Sound logo is an open global contest with an open vote at the end, not a one-way proposal at all. What we are putting forward during the conversations is actually the approach to the contest – the where, what, and how of the contest itself, not the actual sound. And we hope to finalize this with the community on wiki to then officially launch the contest. That's pretty much it. Take care. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 19:31, 28 April 2022 (UTC)
@MPourzaki (WMF) It's the next branding project after that one, and created in the same Board resolution that ended the previous project, so I believe you're confused if you think the two projects are unrelated. This is a good opportunity to show the WMF has learned from it's mistakes - and that's an opportunity that's currently being wasted. You should not be the ones putting forward the approach to the contest when the community knows how to effectively run them - that was the mistake behind the 2030 movement brand project, and it's a mistake that seems very likely to be made again, from the way you're interacting here.
I'm trying to help this return to the right track early, before it stops being an inefficient failing project and turns into another eminently predictable disaster. TomDotGov (talk) 21:58, 28 April 2022 (UTC)
But there isn't just one way to run a contest, just like there isn't one community. A proposal that brings multiple approaches together and one that is open to co-creation, edits, and overhaul is a solid foundation for a wide-reaching contest. I appreciate your help and input. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 21:13, 29 April 2022 (UTC)

Questions gridEdit

I thought that starting a grid to ask and answer non-frequently-asked-questions might be helpful for reference and understanding. Please feel free to add or edit appropriately:

Caption text
Answer A, Wikimedian A Example Example

VGrigas (WMF) (talk) 14:44, 2 May 2022 (UTC)

@VGrigas (WMF) I don't get what the grid is supposed to entail, but I would like to know how long of a sound logo Amazon, Apple, and Google (and other voice assistant providers) would be willing to play before information sourced from Wikipedia. Would it be longer if the sound logo took over part of the response (ie, a stylized 'According to Wikipedia'.)? TomDotGov (talk) 00:09, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
@VGrigas (WMF) Is there any progress to answering this question? I don't see how this process could move forward without figuring out what the requirements are. TomDotGov (talk) 20:21, 19 May 2022 (UTC)
Working on it. VGrigas (WMF) (talk) 17:27, 20 May 2022 (UTC)
Hi @TomDotGov, we thought if questions kept coming in, the grid would be a good place for it, but I don't think it was understood. Starting new headings as per community practice might work better. By the way, I just shared the contest proposal, just waiting for the translations to come in. Looking forward to the community feedback. The standard for sound logos is between 1 and 4 seconds, and we are aiming for the same. There is also the opportunity to re-record or reproduce concepts and proposals with MassiveMusic in case adjustments need to be made later. Happy creating. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 19:22, 23 May 2022 (UTC)

Contest ProposalEdit

Here's a new section for discussing the contest proposal.

Looking at the question-and-answer format chosen isn't good, as it makes the proposal hard to edit. For example, there's a question "Is there a prize?". I'd say that this is something that should be discussed, because reasonable people disagree from it. It's not clear where I would put the observation that "The multiple successful logo contests that wikimedia led to high-quality logos without the need for monetary prizes; therefore, there isn't a need for a prize in this case." I'd strongly suggest reformatting this as a discussion where the responses are signed, so it's clear what's going on. Otherwise, we'll get into a scenario where we have to edit the proposal directly, and that's bad.

I think a deeper problem is that this seems to make a lot of assumptions about what a sound logo should be that haven't gained consensus yet. Unlessed I missed something, I'm not sure I see any community decision that sound logos containing words should be disqualified - I could certainly see quite reasonable options that would involve words. I think a problem here is that it's proposing a single-phase contest, where the initial inputs are basically, a fully-executed sound logo. (At least, that's how I interpret it, given that there are fairly detailed technical standards for submission. There doesn't seem to have been any sort of challenge to these assumptions, which means that the proposal seems to have unconscious bias as to what the result will be.

The list of creative prompts also seems like something that should emerge out of on-wiki community discussion, rather than something that is supplied as part of the proposal. I think it's likely that a community member could specify a creative prompt that is better than these.

The ideal contest would be a two-phase thing, where we first have an on-wiki support/oppose discussion for various schemas of sound logo, where any audio produced would be expected to be more illustrative than final. Requiring "well-developed submissions" seems kind of bad, as everyone whose work is being represented by the sound logo should have a say in what the sound logo is like, rather than limiting it to only people able to create well-developed submissions. After a round of voting, the top 2-3 schemas would then be opened up for full submissions, and the contest could then proceed approximately as discussed through the review and voting phases.

Right now, though, it's not clear how to adjust the proposal, so guidance on how to do that would be appreciated. TomDotGov (talk) 23:02, 23 May 2022 (UTC) .

I just went ahead an tagged the pseudo-FAQ with the same neutrality warning we developed in the Movement Brand Project, so that people know that the content there hasn't gained any sort of consensus. It really should be moved to a talk page, so there can be responses, and so that the opinion of a small group of WMF staffers are not unduly privileged. TomDotGov (talk) 00:02, 25 May 2022 (UTC)
Hi TomDotGov, this is not an encyclopedic entry on Wikipedia that needs to be neutral, nor is it in any way claiming to be. It's clearly a proposal from the project team with a wide open invitation to discuss the elements proposed here on the talk page. I have updated the banner to reflect this. We were inspired by the Wikidata logo contest format of question and answer. This proposal will eventually become an FAQ once we have heard from community members like you and others and have settled on the specifics together. The actual contest page will have simple instructions and clear resources and not be in a question and answer format. So, from you I'm hearing:
  • There shouldn't be a prize
  • You would like the option for spoken words to be included in the sound logo
  • You would like a multi-phase contest where concepts are first discussed and then produced
  • Is there a creative prompt you are thinking about? I invite you to start a section here if you like or on the sound collaboration page
  • The suggestion for a prize and the involvement of professional musicians in the process actually came from Commons admins. I'll ask them to provide some thoughts here.
  • Finally, the opportunity to professionally record the winning concept was specifically added so that if a community member has a great idea but not the means to produce it well, they wouldn't be left out.
If you share your ideas here clearly in bullet form, I think more people would be able to engage and feel invited to share their thoughts too. Let me know if I have summarized your input well. Thank you. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 10:06, 25 May 2022 (UTC)
@MPourzaki (WMF) It is a wiki page, though, and it should either be editable through the bold-revert-discuss process, or else organized in a way that allows multiple perspectives to be added, like allowing the community to add answers to the pseudo-FAQ questions. (The wikidata blog post is a bit of a non-sequitur, being a blog post rather than a wiki page.)
I'd like to avoid a scenario where portions of the proposal are treated as having gained consensus without that being demonstrated. This was a recurring problem with prior branding work - treating WMF work product as if it had consensus when it didn't. TomDotGov (talk) 12:58, 25 May 2022 (UTC)
@TomDotGov: Your tagging action appears very pointy, and pointless as its still in development and open for anyone-everyone to join the discussions. The talk page is also here to raise ideas along with open discussion times in the next few weeks. There has been a lot of discussion about the Sound logo's at many of various global meetings. As I see this its those ideas and concepts that have been put down here to provide a central point of discussion. Musical copyright is very complex, and even the professional industry is littered with copyright issues and legal decisions raised many years after the initial recording, managing this will be a s complex and something like this shouldn't over load commons with maintenance. I for one would like having an identifiable Wikimedia audio bite that can be used regardless the language. Any language use does run the risk of creating bias, we'd need 400 different language versions in male and female voices thats without going down the path of accents. Many of our competitions have multiple prizes, WLE, WLM, other events I dont see any problem with that. Gnangarra (talk) 12:03, 25 May 2022 (UTC)
@Gnangarra, I was using text that the WMF staff came up with for FAQ-like pages that have not achieved community consensus. This was developed during the 2030 Movement Brand Contest. My original approach to such pages was to tag them as 'Essay', but that was shot down, and this was what was preferred by WMF staff. I'm very open to anything that doesn't imply the existence of pages that are both authoritative and fundamentally not community editable.
I'm a little worried that discussion is taking place in 'global meetings', rather than at this page. That seems like a procedural problem we should fix ASAP, as global meetings are inaccessible to most.
What do you think the right approach to indicating pages like that, that are in the FAQ format but have not gained consensus, is? The posting of pages using authoritative-seeming language but without consensus has been a hallmark of the communications department when it comes to branding, and it's something that needs to be guarded against, probably by opening such pages up to the usual editing process.
I don't believe that creating 400 or even 4,000 files is that absurd for a project like this with board backing. We have an underutilized brand studio that has the ability to subcontract work out, and so cleaning up the voices of wikimedians should be well within our resources. Original voice work also would have less copyright problems, minimizing legal effort.
One thing that worries me about prizes is that I'd think a good brand would be a collaboration between many people. Say I liked a musical cue you developed, but I suggested adding an echo. How should we split the prize? TomDotGov (talk) 12:51, 25 May 2022 (UTC)
The concept was raised and discussed, this page brings the thoughts from those discussions to one place to build upon, that is good procedure. I see no need for tags which just stymie discussion about the idea. I'd assume any collaborative result would be split equally. Thats enough of my voice lets not scare others way, I'll try to be at the meetings to hear other opinions and listen to what idea get brought to the table Gnangarra (talk) 13:22, 25 May 2022 (UTC)
I have no problems whatsoever if a prize (or several) are offered. Cheers! 3BRBS (talk) 21:44, 10 June 2022 (UTC)

Joint entry?Edit

Hi, would someone be interested in forming a team with me? I already have an idea for a short 'jingle' stuck in my head ever since this idea was announced, and would love to talk to someone with an interest in music production. --Gnom (talk) 07:58, 27 May 2022 (UTC)

Submission criteria questionEdit

I have been listening to some sound logos, and the submission criteria of the 4 seconds maximum length seem slightly arbitrary? I was tinkering also with some sounds, and even though I made a 4 seconds file (based on the beat), when I rendered the file with the software, the last sound/chord has an echo that fades into a silence that prolongs for 3 more seconds, becoming 7 seconds long in the end. Could it be clarified if this 4 seconds mark is a hard limit and where the rationale for this number came from? Also, what would happen if the sound logo lasts the time requested/required, but there is an echo of a note or a silence at the end of the file for whatever reason? Just wondering about this specific topic of the length limit and wanting to know more about it. Cheers! 3BRBS (talk) 08:00, 6 June 2022 (UTC)

Hi @3BRBS, thanks for your question and great to hear you're already tinkering. I wanted to let you know that I've seen this message and I'll get back to you shortly particularly about the lingering effect or the echo fade that you point out. I want to have a proper response for you from a musicologist / sound expert. Sound logos are generally 4 or 5 seconds long, but voice assistants are changing their response structures a lot. I know that we would like to have a flexible set of sound logos, like a long, medium, and short identifier, all identify the Wikimedia successfully. We wanted to have clear submission criteria, so let me get back to you with the specifics. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 13:59, 8 June 2022 (UTC)
Hi @3BRBS, we checked with MassiveMusic, the technical partner on this project and this is their guidance: the priority use case for Wikimedia’s sound logo is audio-only devices. The winning logo will need to be short enough to be effective on this touchpoint, or at least has the potential to be adapted (cut-down) whilst still sounding recognizable as the winning entry. If we were to extend the time limit to above 4 seconds, the winning sound logo may be too long to feasibly work on the priority touchpoint. In our experience, most sonic logos are between 2 - 3 seconds. We have suggested a buffer of one second on either side to allow for creative flexibility. There will be a hard time limit on files longer than 10 seconds which will allow for submissions to still proceed past initial screening if there is any silence or echo at the start/end of their sound logo. Thank you for your question. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 17:45, 9 June 2022 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for the prompt reply. Just to clarify, since I'm not an English native speaker, and the phrasing of the technical partner seems particular to me: There is a maximum 4 second hard limit (could be less of course) on the musical information (the actual notes/sounds), but the actual audio file cannot exceed 10 seconds, so far the remaining length of the file is non musical information (silence/echo). Thanks a lot for addressing this subject. 3BRBS (talk) 15:48, 10 June 2022 (UTC)

Music scoreEdit

I was thinking that maybe an option of adding a music score (only on a voluntary basis) along with the audio file could be interesting? I have no idea if there might be issues with this? Maybe uploading an audio file has different licensing limits than uploading a score? Well, just wondering, any thoughts are welcome. Cheers! 3BRBS (talk) 21:50, 10 June 2022 (UTC)

I don't believe there would be any issues, please feel free to share! VGrigas (WMF) (talk) 15:03, 17 June 2022 (UTC)

Rechannel this enthusiasm for financial prizes :)Edit

A substantive cash prize or donation seem out of the spirit of the projects. It also strongly discourages collaboration, frequent riffing off one another, and learning together how to make what is for most a new output format!

Some alternatives:

  • Good audio gear for all the finalists; no special award for the final choice other than eternal infamy
  • Professional sound support for everyone involved who could use it – incentive to participate rather than incentive to be chosen
  • Some other sort of workshop for the whole group (an online course like, w/ a brilliant musician or sound engineer)
  • Encourage rather than discourage collabs: apply the above to members of small groups. –SJ talk  19:43, 11 June 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for the thoughtful suggestions, if multiple individuals or parties are involved with the development of a sound logo, they can of course share any prize funds. VGrigas (WMF) (talk) 15:07, 17 June 2022 (UTC)

Keep In Mind Section questionEdit

In the keep in mind section it states: "Your sound logo should comprise of at least two overlapping layers, textures or sounds." Chords, counterpoints, melodies and/or melodic lines will be considered as overlapping sounds/textures/layers? Thanks a lot! 3BRBS (talk) 13:24, 14 June 2022 (UTC)

Good question, yes I believe that multiple musical elements will be considered sufficient. VGrigas (WMF) (talk) 15:04, 17 June 2022 (UTC)
Thanks! 3BRBS (talk) 19:02, 18 June 2022 (UTC)


I don't know how this works and I don't want to get involved in a lengthy parliamentary process. I'm also only a folk musician. F below middle C. F above middle C. A above middle C. FFA. Free for all. Keep it simple if you want it to be iconic. Compare. GMGtalk 21:43, 17 June 2022 (UTC)

That is very cute and I like it. Unfortunately the initialism would only work in English (although other languages might be able to contrive a backronym). Playing the arpeggio on, seems like it's a minor chord when taken together? Arlo Barnes (talk) 09:33, 22 June 2022 (UTC)

logo vs. intro and thoughtsEdit

It took some time to understand what is meant by a sound logo.
Reading through the sound lab I think we have to differ two things: An intro and a logo. An intro could be a bit longer (like for a podcast), but a logo should not be longer than I would say 0.75 second 1 seconds at max and be comprised of one maybe two sounds or tones. The reason would be that you would hear the sound logo a ton of times (as often as you encounter Wikimedia in the modern IT world - in short: EVERYWHERE). This can get bothersome really fast if it's too long or too annoying. Imagine hearing something and starting with a deep sigh because you hate the sound logo so much. Since there is only audio for a sound logo and you didn't want to listen to the logo in the first place it has to be very unobtrusive. In my opinion the start logo of the PS 3 is a good example (listen here @ 2:22)
My thoughts about the logo is that it will be very hard. If you don't want to go with any sound design how would you include all of what Wikimedia is? What does free and open knowledge sound like? I have to be honest I have no idea at the moment. --D-Kuru (talk) 09:45, 18 June 2022 (UTC)

For me just seems fun. Anybody can try, and I'm pretty sure something truly awesome will show up. If we don't try, it won't happen right? 3BRBS (talk) 19:01, 18 June 2022 (UTC)
+1, fun a big part of it. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 00:13, 28 June 2022 (UTC)
Hi @D-Kuru, you raise a great point here. The use case will surely evolve and grow over time and fine-tuned, beginning with virtual voice assistants, for example playing after somebody asks Alexa or Siri a fact and the sound logo would play after "according to Wikipedia." We definitely want to introduce people to our sound logo, but not in overwhelming way, aiming to be unobtrusive as you suggest, hence the suggestion for a warm and global sound logo. We have heard all kinds of suggestions already, from the very literal (Free For All -- Fa Fa La) to much more nuanced, like enlightenment or collaboration. Any concepts you've been thinking about? MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 00:13, 28 June 2022 (UTC)

Introducing the liaisons and Wikimania session detailsEdit

Hello all,

I would like to introduce the community liaisons for the sound logo project and announce an upcoming event taking place on August 11.

The community liaisons for the project are Arupako, CalliandraDysantha, Erina, Muhammed and myself, Jon.

We would like to invite the Wikimedia Commons community to attend an interactive audio masterclass with our technical partner MassiveMusic at this year’s Wikimania Thursday, August 11 from 13:10-14:00 UTC, and the Wikimedia sound logo roundtable on Sunday, August 14 from 10:30-11:20 UTC. Visit the Wikimania wiki for registration and program information. Please feel free to share your questions, ideas, or comments on the project below. Jon Kolbert (talk) 19:31, 8 August 2022 (UTC)

Return to "Communications/Sound Logo" page.