UPDATE: Here’s the Official EB Statement/Blog Post and Video Featuring EB Execs
The blog mentions that for the next week Britannica Online is free. Of course, many have access for free 24x7x365 via their local library.
After 244 years, Encyclopedia [sic] Britannica will cease production of its iconic multi-volume book sets.
Britannica usually prints a new set of the tomes every two years, but 2010’s 32-volume set will be its last. Instead, the company will focus solely on its digital encyclopedia and education tools.
The news is sure to sadden champions of the printed word, but Britannica president Jorge Cauz said the move is a natural part of his company’s evolution.In truth, Cauz says, the death knell sounded long ago. Though the name “Britannica” calls the print sets to mind, Cauz says they represent less than 1% of the company’s total sales.
Britannica will start offering more free content to entice potential subscribers. But Cauz doesn’t expect Britannica to replace or even overtake Wikipedia. He sees the situation as “different senses of responsibility.”
He adds: “Wikipedia is a wonderful technology for collecting everything from great insights to lies and innuendos. It’s not all bad or all good, just uneven. It’s the murmur of society, a million voices rather than a single informed one.”
As many of you know, the name of the publication, web site, and company is Encyclopædia Britannica and Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. Perhaps the CNNMoney teams needed to do a bit more research. (-: