[okfn-discuss] new brand, new website: coming up next week

Tim Davies tim at practicalparticipation.co.uk
Sun Apr 13 13:57:14 UTC 2014

Thanks Laura for the engagement around this. However, I'm not sure the
responses really address the root issues here.

**Brand, vision and values are related**

A brand may not *be* the theory of change or strategy, but it needs to be
coherent with it. If the way you are communicating about the broad Open
Knowledge community does not represent the values held in that community,
you make it hard for people to stay within that community - or you force
people to distance themselves from the messages you are communicating
whenever they talk about what they are doing.

I see that you have updated the wiki to say "Our core *brand* purpose" but
it does not read as a purpose statement for a brand - it still reads as an
organisational core purpose - and any outside party is going to understand
it as such.

**The new brand doesn't meet the goals you set out for it**

I don't see how a data-centric brand and tag line on the main OK(F)
websites and presence meets the goal of making "it more appealing for many
people to get involved (eg joining your group, forming new groups, creating
new tools, sharing skills around lobbying, etc)" for those working groups
and chapters who work within a broader notion of open knowledge. It
actively harms this.

If the good suggestions about a more flexible tagline made on this list are
not factored into the *core* brand ideas (which they can - but which would
require a pause for more discussion before rolling out a new core brand),
then we don't get greater clarity at all.

I also do not see how you can claim "All of you have helped create the new
brand through your activities in open knowledge" if the new brand does not
represent the breadth of the knowledge community, and when the brand has
been presented as a done deal, not as something for consultation. There is
no problem with drawing on outside branding expertise - but it would be
very possible to have a process of broad community consultation around
draft brand ideas developed by those experts.

If the brand and values are not something that can bring the community
together - surely the ultimate consequence is more confusion rather than
greater clarity in what OK(F) and the wider movement is about.

**A pause for reflection?**
Aaron Wolf's point I think is really a vital one. I wasn't sure when
posting my reflections what wider feeling in the community might be around
the direction of OK(F) leadership and style of leadership on this branding
issue. I was hoping my concern was because I had simply missed prior open
discussions about values, strategy etc.

However I'm hearing quite a lot of concern across the community about how
OK(F) and chapters, WGs and others are relating right now - and potential
damage to the community model that has been a great success of OK(F) over
recent years. Is it worth considering a pause-for-thought before rolling
out the new brand, and planning for that wider conversation on values &

All best wishes

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