Monday, June 23, 2008

Brittanica opens up ... sort of

One of the web's running soap operas is the ongoing contest between Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Brittanica. I have heard Wikipedia derided as inaccurate and unreliable, even though independent research has determined that both claims are false. I have heard the demagogues bash Brittanica for isolating themselves in their ivory tower, refusing to allow anyone but their own designated experts contribute to the publication.

In defending their decision, Brittanica has made valid arguments. Yet, even they have come to terms with the realities of Web 2.0 capabilities. So they are launching a new web site, complete with an area for non-commissioned contributions and user feedback. It is not a perfect solution, but it does allow them to retain ownership of the intellectual property... and consequently protect the brand.

But how much is that brand worth in today's world? That's a question for another day. But if you want to read how they justified their decision, click here.

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