The norm for my posts is to detail things that the reader may not be completely familiar with through a Wikipedia citation. It’s fast, it’s easy, and good enough for most situations. I probably need to do a more thorough explanation of Wikis and what I know about the process, but I can tell you that it’s a pretty reliable source,
The Long Tail has a great explanation of Wikipedia in contrast to a set of encyclopedias. It includes a comparison to actual encyclopedia entries. This is actually a pretty big debate…allowing Wikipedia (or any Wikis) to be used as reference, because they are user generated content, it could be inaccurate. The statistical variance in incorrect entries was low, and the update time for creating a Wikipedia page was incredibly fast for incorrect information. I may some day do a more proper review of that book, I read it some time ago, but until then I can say it’s a great introduction to ecommerce, amongst other things.
So what’s gives with the extended explanation of citation? It’s changing.
Visit this Techcrunch post on Encyclopedia Britannica for a primer on what EB is doing. The short story is that Wikipedia is essentially strangling their business. It turns out that no one is that anxious to pay exorbitant amounts of cash for book sets when the information is at their fingertips on line. So what is their next move? Build a business online. So they do that. Now all they have to do is wait for everyone to line up and pay them. Oh. Wait. You guys? Um, no one is lining up? Oh that’s right. The content is free everywhere else online.
Stop. How do we market this? Position it as a higher end service. Give away to sneezers and see if numbers pick up.
So I signed up. And now I have a year’s subscription to Enycylopedia Britannica Online. Why would I do this? Do I think that Wikipedia isn’t good enough? No. I think it does the job well. The reason I’m doing this is to understand the marketing behind what EB is attempting to do. They are behind. They are likely not going to catch up with a campaign such as this. People will take free most of the time. So let’s wait and see.
But to be fair, I’m going to try and use the new service as much as possible and weigh the value compared to free searches. Should be fun. I’ll detail this in a few months. So the first official EB definition I’ll use is….what else…. MARKETING!
UPDATE: I attempted to link to the Brittanica definition of marketing through my RSS, and when attempting to view the article, it continually had a pop up interrupt. Very annoying. If you go through the my actual URL (www.redmarketer.wordpress.com) you can read continuously. So if the definition is important to you I’d advise that for now. I’m sending EB an email about it.