Jo&Sanja on Wed, 20 Oct 1999 22:20:14 +0200


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Re: Syndicate: Free Britannica


good news, the bad news is that it crashed...
too popular for now


Jo van der Spek
journalist  and
coordinator of RIKS
Reconstructing via Internet Kosov@ Society
www.an.org/riks/

tel +31.20.6718027 mob. 06.51039318 jo@xs4all.nl
H.Seghersstraat 46 1072 LZ Amsterdam
Jo van der Spek is a free lance journalist and
programmer of public debates on matters political and cultural
both in the national and international domain

>*>*>*>*>*>*>*>*>*>*>*>*>
mos ban luft, ban dashuri

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Inke Arns <inke@berlin.snafu.de>
Aan: syndicate@aec.at <syndicate@aec.at>
Datum: woensdag 20 oktober 1999 17:29
Onderwerp: Syndicate: Free Britannica


>
>[From abcnews.com]
>
>
>Free Britannica
>Peruse 32-Volume Set at No Charge
>
>Encyclopaedica Britannica
>http://www.britannica.com
>
>By David Carpenter
>The Associated Press
>
>C H I C A G O, Oct. 19 ? The Encyclopaedia Britannica, afraid of becoming
>just a dusty relic of the pre-computer age, is making its 32-volume set
>available for free on the Internet. From a-ak (an ancient East Asian music)
>to Zywiec (a town in Poland), the Rolls-Royce of encyclopedias was there in
>its entirety starting today at the company?s retooled Web site. The
>231-year-old company dumped door-to-door sales three years ago and hopes
>now to make money selling advertising on its site. The move may have been
>inevitable in an era when students doing homework are more likely to get
>their information from a computer than from a book.
>
>The privately held company won?t reveal revenue figures, but sales of its
>print volumes ? which cost $1,250 a set and are now sold mostly to schools
>and other institutions ? have seen a steep decline, admitted Don Yannias,
>chief executive of Britannica.com.
>
>In an Internet-dominated market, ?you have to be free to be relevant,? said
>Jorge Cauz, senior president of Britannica.com Inc., the new company that
>holds the Chicago encyclopedia publisher?s digital properties.
>
>Free encyclopedias are only part of the lure. The Web site also will offer
>current information from newspapers, news agencies and 70 magazines as well
>as e-mail, weather forecasts and financial market reports.
>
>Analysts who follow Britannica say its belated but aggressive moves into
>the electronic world, including some significant success with CD-ROM sales
>over the past three years, just may work.
>
>?They?re clearly not going to be able to recoup their revenues in the short
>term,? said Aram Sinnreich of Jupiter Communications Inc. in New York. ?But
>the move just might save them in the long run.?
>
>The early response was promising. Britannica said the site received
>millions of hits today, temporarily blocking access for some.
>
>
>Britannica Set the Standard
>
>For generations, Britannica set the standard for encyclopedias. The
>leather-bound books were sold door-to-door, via direct mail, or at shopping
>mall kiosks. At its peak in 1989, Britannica had estimated revenue of $650
>million and a worldwide sales force of 7,500. But with direct sales
>abandoned, the staff shrank as low as 280 and is now about 400.  The
>company lost ground badly after it spurned Microsoft, which went on to team
>up with discount encyclopedia publisher Funk & Wagnalls to produce a
>colorful, multimedia encyclopedia on CD-ROM in 1993. Britannica?s own
>CD-ROM version, released a year later, was low on graphics and did not fare
>as well.
>
>Britannica became the first encyclopedia available on the Web in 1994, but
>there was an $85-a-year subscription fee. Since Swiss investor Jacob Safra
>bought Britannica in 1996, the company has been making a bigger push for
>the electronic market. The online subscription fees were dropped and CD-ROM
>sales began to account for the bulk of revenue.
>
>?Before we were more backward-looking ? looking back at historical events,?
>Yannias said. ?Now we can be right on the brink of current events,
>incorporating the news with the foundations of history.?
>
>Encyclopaedica Britannica
>http://www.britannica.com
>
>
>
>
>i n k e . a r n s __________________________ b e r l i n ___
>49.(0)30.3136678 | inke@berlin.snafu.de | http://www.v2.nl/~arns/
>mikro: http://www.mikro.org | Syndicate: http://www.v2.nl/syndicate
>
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