23 Oct 1999

Britannica's shift to Web - - -

"- The reputable encyclopedia company, no longer a financial giant, posts its entire 32-volume set online for free."

For more than two centuries, Encyclopaedia Britannica was the standard-bearer of knowledge in the English-speaking world, sold only through its own sales force at a premium price.

A shell of its former self, Britannica took the risky step Tuesday of posting the entire contents of its 32-volume set on the Internet for free. It hopes to make money by selling advertising on its Web site.

It is a risk Britannica officials believe they must take. The company will contiinue to sell both its 32-volume encyclopedia set and a CD-ROM version.

The 231-year-old Encyclopaedia Britannica hopes to transfer its unimpeachable reputation for trusted information from the paper world, where its product in book form sells for $1,250, to the online one.

While the Internet contaiins more information than could fit into an encyclopedia - digital or otherwise - the quality of that iinformation is often dubious.

And for researchers, who are an important potential online market for Britannica, it is not always clear that the information available on the Internet is complete.

"We want to become the most-trusted source of information, learning and knowledge online", said Jorge Cauz of Britannica.com Inc., the Internet arm of Encyclopaedia Britannica.

The new Web site - www.britannica.com
Above Excerpts From the Washington Post as printed in the Tampa Tribume 20 Oct 1999
Complete Article at: http://www.tampatrib.com/fr102008.htm

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