Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Name that ArborWiki!

28. December 2006 • Murph
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ArborWiki is a collaborative local information site that originated in Community High a little over a year ago. The site has approximately 1,000 articles at this point, and some of the maintainers have suggested that a name change / “rebranding” might help clarify the site’s purpose to the average reader. There are two aspects to the naming question, and, in good wiki fashion, nominations and discussion are requested.

  • Technically: “wiki” is still hardly a common word, and may not contribute much to the casual reader about the site. A site name that wasn’t based on the word “wiki” may provide more of a clue about the site’s content.

With ArborUpdate’s readership seen as a knowledgeable, locally invested (and easily flatterable) group of stakeholders, the question is put to you: what should ArborWiki be called?



  1. My own preferences are towards “HuronWiki”, “WashtenawWiki”, or “WashtenaWiki”. Largely because I have no good ideas on names that aren’t “Wiki”.

    “GeraldWiki” is right out.


       —Murph.    Dec. 28 '06 - 05:28PM    #
  2. I’ve got no good ideas, but I prefer HuronWiki to dealing with the W confusion of washtenawWiki (with or without the 2nd W).


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Dec. 28 '06 - 05:48PM    #
  3. “NorthcrestWiki” Trying to be efficient and squeeze out all that I can from the naming committee’s efforts.


       —abc    Dec. 28 '06 - 06:41PM    #
  4. If it grows large enough – MichiWiki

    WikiWashtenaw?

    Maybe something that sounds more like “Encyclopedia?”

    Washtapedia, Huropedia, Arborpedia, Ypsiarbopedia, Michopedia, Metropedia, etc


       —Ross Johnson    Dec. 28 '06 - 06:45PM    #
  5. I agree—I like the HuronWiki the best. While I understand the concerns about people not knowing what “wiki” means, I think that the word will become more common and if not, maybe people will check it out just to see what the heck it means. Also, a nice publicity campaign/marketing can clear up any confusion about “wiki”.


       —TeacherPatti    Dec. 28 '06 - 08:19PM    #
  6. Washtenawesome.


       —Brandon    Dec. 28 '06 - 08:20PM    #
  7. Ooh, or maybe BoPedia?*

    I do like Washtepedia – it flows a little better than Huro(n)pedia; ArborPedia doesn’t address my own geographic anti-bias, and I think Michopedia is a few years on down the line…

    (*Or how about a short slideshow of images of Ann Arbor – we could call it…Little BoPeepia. (I am so not funny.))


       —Murph.    Dec. 28 '06 - 08:20PM    #
  8. Welp… http://www.michipedia.com I know is already taken and (sort of) being used… but, michopedia.com isn’t.


       —Kyle Mulka    Dec. 29 '06 - 04:44AM    #
  9. Wiki4A2?


       —Scott Gowell    Dec. 29 '06 - 04:51AM    #
  10. I’m not very clever when it comes to these things, but I like names that convey a focus on Ann Arbor, even with the extensive surrounding areas. WashtenaWiki et al. just don’t have the same binding power. But know that I’m city-centric, so I’m open to new names.

    Any ideas for names that don’t include the words “wiki” or “pedia”? Those are more difficult, but also can be cleverer.


       —MattH    Dec. 29 '06 - 06:49AM    #
  11. Murph, I actually think that ‘Arborwiki’ is an excellent name for the project. It’s short and easy to promote, and most importantly, it’s a url that can easily be verbally communicated. Try that with ‘washtepedia’. Having the ‘Ann’ missing makes it sufficiently broadened, I think, since it will likely always have more information about Ann Arbor than anywhere else. While Ypsilantians are sure to loathe it, I think it’s completely fair to call Ypsi part of the Ann Arbor Area.

    As for the wiki part, if you look at some similar sites, like daviswiki or rocwiki , it almost looks like there’s a convention starting to emerge, and Arborwiki fits right in.

    It seems that you can handle the regionalization of the project by continuing with the regional landing/disambiguation pages that are already in Arborwiki. While it would certainly be more precise to rename the project ‘Huronwiki’ or ‘Washtenawiki’, I don’t think that that precision offers enough value to the project to justify discarding a short, promotable, established name.


       —eli    Dec. 30 '06 - 02:06AM    #
  12. WashtenKnow
    WashtenKnowledge

    Solicitations to people to contribute articles about themselves or their organizations, neighborhoods, etc.: Be in the Know … the WashtenKnow.

    Designations/Recogition of folks who contribute a huge amount of material to the enterprise: WashtenKnow-it-alls.

    One could imagine a “Just say WashtenKnow” campaign.

    I think Eli’s point that the Wiki-formative is becoming increasingly widespread is well-taken. But I wonder if the value of using the name itself as a signal that the information resource is user-editable is worth the trade-off of a possibly more broadly-accessible semantics.


       —HD    Dec. 31 '06 - 01:14AM    #
  13. I do personally think that “wiki” is a perfectly acceptable piece of a name – witness the name recognition of Wikipedia.

    But, having grown up outside of Chelsea and currently living in Ypsilanti, I can say that both of those may be in a region frequently identified by its largest city (“the Ann Arbor area”), but neither are Ann Arbor. I set up Ypsiwiki specifically because there are people who won’t use something named “Arborfoo” because, “We’re not in Ann Arbor, so it doesn’t apply to us.”

    I know Ypsi bloggers who, years back, asked to be removed from the Arborblogs directory, because they weren’t in Ann Arbor; I know lots of people in Ypsi who don’t read ArborUpdate, because they’re not in Ann Arbor – and, from the other direction, mentions of Ypsi on ArborUpdate can draw comments about how this here is _Arbor_Update. I know people in Ypsi who think ArborWiki is a great idea, but who sigh at the name.

    So certainly Eli (like Matt) may see no problem with the A2-centric name, but I’ve seen enough “regional” online efforts around here fail to gain regional interest because the name and initial focus were too limited. I’d rather not see ArborWiki limited by something as silly as a failure to pick an inclusive name.


       —Murph.    Jan. 2 '07 - 03:55AM    #
  14. If Ypsi people won’t use ArborWiki because of the name, why the merge in the first place? I think ArborWiki is a great name. I don’t think many people outside of the Washtenaw county will latch on as well to a name that isn’t associated with Ann Arbor.


       —Kyle Mulka    Jan. 2 '07 - 06:57AM    #
  15. re: why the merge?

    As the primary contributor to YpsiWiki, I asserted that the merge would gain more (in terms of A2-based contributors who wouldn’t contribute to splintered wikis and in terms of joined categories) than it would lose in people who were turned off by the name. I didn’t get any disagreement strong enough to not perform the merge, but that doesn’t mean that it was a no-cost decision.

    It strikes me that the “Arborwiki” and “Ypsiwiki” brands need not disappear with the creation of a “big tent” brand – and I know some Ypsi types refer to :Category:Ypsilanti as “YpsiWiki” even though that word doesn’t now appear on the page. It would, I think, be possible to have a bigger name for the whole site, with YpsiWiki.org sending one to an Ypsilanti portal page, ArborWiki.org to an A2 portal page, and potentially others in the future as other projects are built out within the site. Internally, navigation to such top level categories could be presented the way that “City” and “University” are currently presented across the top banner.


       —Murph.    Jan. 2 '07 - 04:08PM    #
  16. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a great compromise on this one for all the reasons mentioned above. Washtenawsomething would be good except there really isn’t much of a county identity here so I think it would end up getting lost. I also like the name Arborwiki and YpsiWiki is even better, but they are very specific and limiting (I know I would be unlikely to check YpsiWiki since I don’t live there).

    Now, there is a possibility that is already out there, albeit in a different form. It isn’t very creative, buty how about Ypsi-ArborWiki. At least it could have a cool logo, especially since Bowl and Wiki have the same number of letters . . .


       —Juliew    Jan. 2 '07 - 04:55PM    #
  17. We discussed some ideas in person, and I don’t remember who came up with this one, but I like it:
    Point ypsiwiki.org invisibly to a portal page for Ypsi, washtenawiki.org to a portal page for the county, and so on. Hopefully new design iterations will make this possible.


       —MattH    Jan. 5 '07 - 01:21AM    #
  18. Late to the party, but I love Brandon’s suggestion:

    WashtenAwesome


       —Mark    Jan. 8 '07 - 11:38AM    #