Britannica Opens For Users

Almost two years ago I wrote a post about the competition between Britannica and Wikipedia, "asking" the executives at the oldest encyclopedia in the world, to leave the "expert" way of thinking about their product and move more closely to the needs of the users and today I am happy to discover that this is already happening.

Few days ago, Britannica announced that users will participate in the creation of the encyclopedia and that "readers and users will also be invited into an online community where they can work and publish at Britannica’s site under their own names."

The articles written by users will be fact-checked by experts and if they’re found to have merit will be published and properly credited to original authors.

It will be interesting for me how Britannica plans to balance the conflict of interests that sometimes arises from different expert views on particular subjects.

For more details, go to the announcement on Britannica's WebShare blog.

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One Response to Britannica Opens For Users

  1. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:

    The comments about Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia are interesting.Encyclopaedia Britannica did not think that an open source product like Wikipedia would significantly challenge the credibility of its brand. They were dead wrong and Encyclopaedia Britannica's staff seriously misread the global market. They are now very concerned about the widespread use of a free Wikipedia vs their paid subscription model. From a corporate and financial perspective, Encyclopaedia Britannica is in significant trouble. It will be interesting to see if Encyclopaedia Britannica survives, but recent indications do not look good. It is the combination of a) the success of Wikipedia and b) improved search engines that has put financial pressure on Encyclopedia Britannica over recent years. Many libraries, schools & individuals are questioning the need to pay for sets of expensive books, or to subscribe to Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, when the content is free on the internet, and much more comprehensive.

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