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AuthorTopic: Who killed Britannica?  (Read 1936 times)

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Offline SysAdmin

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Offline CritAnime

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Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 02:45:46 AM »
I remember at school there were dozens of editions of Britanica where they tried to update it. then one year they got a few copies of encarter. And that was that. Though now Encarter no longer exists as it was closed back in 2009. But Britanica still exists online....
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 02:50:46 AM by CritAnime »
 

Offline Duce

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Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012, 04:20:00 AM »
Britannica is one of the very few companies in print media that "got it" very early into the digital revolution.

People are claiming Britannica is going belly up.  No.  They have decided to cease the print version - a version that made up a pissant 1% of their sales last year.  The company is doing tremendously well digitally.  

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304450004577280143864147250.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/13/encyclopedia-britannica-halts-print-publication?newsfeed=true
 

Offline Kesa

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Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2012, 07:49:30 AM »
I don't understand the relevance of Britannica in the 21st century. I mean, who would pay for an online encyclopedia that is out of date? And what can it offer that the free Wikipedia cannot?

Besides encyclopedia's are highly overrated in their usefulness for information anyway. Any information they contain is too generalized too be useful.
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Offline Duce

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Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2012, 08:15:05 AM »
Educational institutions are more than happy to pay for Britannica services.  They keep their online information up to date Wikipedia style, sans the community input aspect Wikipedia has, which can breed false information.

Wikipedia is a community resource, and as such cannot be 100% trusted for valid information.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 08:18:16 AM by Duce »
 

Offline itix

Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2012, 08:24:44 AM »
Quote from: Duce;683971
Educational institutions are more than happy to pay for Britannica services.  They keep their online information up to date Wikipedia style, sans the community input aspect Wikipedia has, which can breed false information.

Wikipedia is a community resource, and as such cannot be 100% trusted for valid information.


And you trust Britannica?
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Offline Senex

Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 09:02:25 AM »
Quote from: itix;683972
And you trust Britannica?


At least much more than Wikipedia. Don't know about finnish version, but german one is very much controlled by a certain political direction. Thus while Wikipedia is certainly useful for looking up aspects of (most) natural sciences, one definitely can't rely on it with regard to political, historical and probably also some other aspects.
 

Offline itix

Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 10:40:31 AM »
Quote from: Senex;683974
At least much more than Wikipedia. Don't know about finnish version, but german one is very much controlled by a certain political direction. Thus while Wikipedia is certainly useful for looking up aspects of (most) natural sciences, one definitely can't rely on it with regard to political, historical and probably also some other aspects.


I dont trust Wikipedia either (political, historical and other aspects you mention) but I dont see any reason why should I have more trust for printed media.
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Offline Kesa

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Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 10:44:48 AM »
Buuuuuuuulllllllll. Shhhhhhiiiiiiiitttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!

People are always going on about Wiki being unreliable but i disagree. First - if anyone changes something the original poster is notified by email immediately and they usually change it back immediately. And second - if something is "wrong" and if enough people complain wiki will step in and resolve the issue. And third - Who is to say that one person is right over another? Historical facts will always be disputed, whether they are idiots on A.org or academics that are well respected people will always disagree. Overall Wiki isn't anymore trust worthy than Britannica.
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Offline huronking

Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2012, 11:03:13 AM »
I use wikipedia everyday and it is a great resource. It can't be denied that it is degraded by people with agendas, though. I've seen perfectly legitimate and informative articles deleted repeatedly for little reason at all beyond ignorance and prejudice with no sincere recourse.

I wish it wasn't broken.
 

Offline Duce

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Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2012, 11:17:18 AM »
Do I trust Britannica?  Do I trust Wikipedia?  As in using either for a single, definitive source of information?  Absolutely not.

I've also not had to write a term paper for 20 years, so any "pedia" use for me is purely out of curiosity.

If you are trying to claim an open source/community contributed project like Wikipedia is just as soild of an info source as a closed source, there's simply too many factors to figure in.  Cite Wikipedia in a term paper, I dare you :)

Jerkoff Wiki user #1 decides to deface a Wikipedia entry.  Let's say it's an obscure Wiki entry where the original contributors no longer look after it, followers of said content are few and far between.  Jerkoff Wiki User #1 could deface that with all sorts of bull**** and it might not be noticed by anyone for 2 weeks, except some poor kid writing a paper based on the information.  The flaws and benefits of Wikipedia style affairs are pretty clear.  Flaw - everyone can contribute, and some dick can put false facts.  Benefit - up to the minute updates on entries, assuming they are fairly popular you can assume they are relatively accurate.  A new vs. old media mindset to some degree?  Sure.  What is great about Wikipedia is also what is wrong with it.

Drawbacks of Britannica type things are few, but if you are daft enough to assume they only update online materials once a year like the old print versions, you are wrong.  Is it up to the minute up to date as Wikipedia is?  No.  But it is fact checked, and inherently cite-able. The Britannica won't tell you who Beiber is dating right now, or who's banging Paris Hilton this week.  If I'm looking up detailed historical data that I can actually cite without my Prof laughing me out of the class, I ain't going to Wikipedia.
 

Offline persia

Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2012, 01:24:00 PM »
Wait, they used to print to dammed thing?  Well that's just stupid....
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Offline JimS

Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2012, 01:33:54 PM »
My dad tried to give away the set he bought for us kids back in grade school... No takers. Of course, that set was written in cuneiform on clay tablets. ;-)
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Offline odin

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Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2012, 02:45:13 PM »
When I was young I loved browsing the (paper) encyclopedia my parents own. I could lose myself in it for hours, much like browsing Wikipedia in modern times =).

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Re: Who killed Britannica?
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2012, 06:13:06 AM »
Quote from: Senex;683974
At least much more than Wikipedia. Don't know about finnish version, but german one is very much controlled by a certain political direction. Thus while Wikipedia is certainly useful for looking up aspects of (most) natural sciences, one definitely can't rely on it with regard to political, historical and probably also some other aspects.


Sometimes paid help can get knowledge that free help cannot.  I would hate to be relying on someone who wasn't an engineer for engineering advice.  We have a co-worker who went to school but we couldn't let the person work on installing 220 volt electric because our co-worker wasn't licensed.

Wikipedia cannot substitute for a doctor or true medical advice.

I think viewpoints and personal things are one thing but knowledge from someone who has a master's or Phd goes a long way than something that is free on Wikipedia.

I'm amazed that Wikipedia has some good content but I've had to pay for specialized content because only true professionals can provide that.  I think more man hours was put in the making of Brittanica and it will sorely be missed.