Over the last few years, Encyclopaedia Britannica has had to sit and watch as more people turned to what was easily available and free, to look-up information on a certain topic or event instead of their physical encyclopedias. The simple fact that the Internet, and particularly Wikipedia, is universally accessible to anybody with an Internet Connection and Britannica is not hasn’t been such a good thing for them. To help bring them up-to-date and up-to-speed with their competition, they’ve decided to go social which includes offering Encyclopaedia (yes, that’s how they spell it) Britannica to bloggers for no cost. The program is called WebShare.
Clearly they have to benefit somehow, right? Otherwise they wouldn’t be doing this. So here’s how bloggers are going to help. Any blogger who has gained access to the new WebShare program (bloggers have to get approved first) will have access to over 56,000 articles online. Of course that isn’t even close to the number of articles Wikipedia offers, but theirs are all professionally written and edited (to most, this fact doesn’t really matter). If a blogger is researching a topic and comes across useful information on WebShare, they can link to it and readers will be able to go view the complete article on Britannica’s website. Readers won’t be able to view anything but the article that the blogger linked to, but it still gets them to the site. In the end, the benefit to Britannica is that they’ll have all kinds of links pointing to them which will certainly help their ranking on search engines and might get more people to their site.
We also mentioned that they are incorporating a social aspect to the site. The social aspect is made up of widgets that can be posted on a blog or web site, a new blog, a Twitter Account that people can follow, and an RSS feed.
WebShare has unofficially launched, and the official launch with a Press Release will not happen for another week. Already bloggers are able to register for an account which can be done here. The only requirement for getting the same benefits as paying subscribers is that you need to be a “Web publisher- a blogger, webmaster, or writer.” With such broad terms, just about anybody will be able to at least attempt to register for an account, although that doesn’t mean you’ll get approved.
Thanks for the tip Omar!