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Encyclopedia Britannica available to bloggers – for free

20 April 2008 245 views 2 Comments

I remember getting an encyclopedia as a kid – it was a big deal.  We couldn’t afford an Encyclopedia Encyclopaedia Britannica and got Grolier’s instead (I guess it’s the difference between Harvard and a state school).  My dad’s first job in America was selling encyclopedias door-to-door, and I wondered whether the industry would survive the internet.  Wikipedia was the potential stake in the heart, except it’s not a true authority.  You know that the facts are right in an Encyclopedia Encyclopaedia Britannica.

EB wised up and has unveiled Britannica Webshare – basically Britannica widgets for bloggers.  In their own words:

A special program for web publishers, including bloggers, webmasters, and anyone who writes for the Internet. You get complimentary access to the Encyclopaedia Britannica online and, if you like, an easy way to give your readers background of the topics you write about with links to complete Britannica articles.

I love this – I’ve liked Wikipedia for the convenience, but always knew that there was a possibility of opinion or misinformation.  Now we can get access to more reliable information, which is an absolute goddess-send for homeschoolers everywhere.  I tried signing up and their registration form seems busted, so perhaps they’re getting deluged with requests.

Another bonus – I’m pretty sure they have no information on Britney Spears, Paris Hilton or other objects of popular obsession.  I don’t know for sure, since I haven’t had access to an Encyclopedia Encyclopaedia Britannica for ages.  It’s very possible that the’ve succumbed (or will) to compete with Wikipedia, but such a move would rank right up there with MC Hammer’s gangsta album.  Hammer’s ability to be a hard-as-nails OG is about as believable as the Encyclopedia Encyclopaedia Britannica giving a crap about going into rehab for the 8th time.

2 Comments »

  • Omar Upegui R. said:

    ” love this – I’ve liked Wikipedia for the convenience, but always knew that there was a possibility of opinion or misinformation. ”

    I’ve been using Wikipedia for as long as I can remember, and can’t recall an incident where I got inaccurate information. It is the most updated source of information anywhere.

    Britannica is also a highly-reputable reference source. Both have a life in the information ecology.

    Omar Upegui R.’s last blog post..Encyclopedia Britannica Steps Into the Spotlight

  • Arp (author) said:

    It’s inevitable in a collective, public effort that everything won’t be perfect. That’s just the nature of humanity. If EB establishes a wiki in the future, the possibility of errors will certainly be introduced. But I agree that both have a place. I don’t see myself eschewing Wikipedia in favor of EB – in all likelihood, Wikipedia is probably easier to use.