[WikiEN-l] Germany's Brockhaus Encyclopedia goes online

Steven Walling steven.walling at gmail.com
Thu Feb 14 00:20:59 UTC 2008

>If all encyclopaedias stopped being paper and went online free, it could
seriously bite into the >number of people donating to Wikipedia.

Our goal is not hoard donation money. Our goal is to freely distribute the
sum of all human knowledge. If our efforts force other publishers and
websites to do what we've done (publish information for free), then we've

As for threatening the project's existence, this is not going to happen just
with Brockhaus or Britannica publishing online. We are a wiki, and that
means we will always update faster and better than static sites.

On Feb 13, 2008 3:55 PM, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 13/02/2008, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Feb 13, 2008 6:34 PM, Meg Ireland <megireland99 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > Not so sure. If all encyclopaedias stopped being paper and went online
> > > free, it could seriously bite into the number of people donating to
> > > Wikipedia. It stands to reason more people may spend their internet
> > > time looking at these encyclopaedias for information, than Wikipedia.
> > ... If they had all the qualities of Wikipedia then why would we need
> > donations? Mission accomplished!
> > But they don't.  Thus my prior post.
> > So how do we emphasize qualities W,X,Y of Wikipedia when the public
> > still thinks of it mostly in terms of Z?
> It's not clear to me how they could compete with Wikipedia without
> becoming Wikipedia.
> Wikipedia gained its present hideous popularity through convenience -
> an encyclopedia with a ridiculously wide topic range, with content
> good enough to be *useful* no matter how often we stress it's not
> "reliable" (certified checked) as such.
> Britannica may be theoretically higher quality, but is not right there
> on everyone's desktop - it fails on practical availability. Most of
> Wikipedia's readers - the people who make it #8 or #9 site in the
> world - wouldn't have opened a paper encyclopedia since high school.
> So the paper encyclopedias put their content online. Can they provide
> a better website than Wikipedia? Ignoring the process, just looking at
> the resulting body of text? It'll be interesting to see. I bet it'll
> work to improve us too.
> I think it'd be a bad thing for Britannica and Brockhaus to go bust.
> I'm not sure how to save their business though.
> - d.
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