Professors always tell students NOT to use Wikipedia as a source. Even though I doubt no one does, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t getting any information off of it anyway. It just so happens that one of my professors today read us a definition straight from Wikipedia. Part of the reason Wikipedia is not a credible source is because people can go into the articles and edit them on their own. So what would happen if a research name we trusted created a website like Wikipedia?
Encyclopedia Britannica is doing just that. Later this week, users will be able to edit and enhance content on Encyclopedia Britannica’s website. Some of the approved content that users post will even be published in the print copy of the encyclopedias!
“What we are trying to do is shifting … to a much more proactive role for the user and reader where the reader is not only going to learn from reading the article but by modifying the article and — importantly — by maybe creating his own content or her own content.” – Jorge Cauz, Britannica’s president.
There are so many PR related issues in this article. First I immediately thought of brands. The goal of many campaigns is to make people trust in a certain brand, so they will be loyal consumers of that brand for a length of time. Wikipedia is not a name that people trust, but Britannica definitely is. Also, it’s mentioned that Britannica is 241 years old, and they obviously want to spice up their traditional approach to research. How many of us still go to the library and search through encyclopedias when doing a research paper? Just like many companies out there, Britannica wants and NEEDS to keep up with the times!
So how about it? Do you think Britannica can take on Wikipedia? Who will come out on top?
Find the whole article here!