The URL, http://www.wikipediaondvd.com/site.php, says “DVD” but (and I thought this was a bVerlogosphere joke) it is according to the text a CD/ROM containing articles from Wikipedia. Well, there are lots of things on the market we didn’t know we needed.
The listserv news that intrigued me most today, after the staggering valuation of the Chinese business-to-business company Alibaba ($21 billion), was about the competitors to Wikipedia that are setting up shop. I knew about Larry Sanger’s Citizendium, but here are two more: Veropedia and Scholarpedia.
Does this send a chill up my spine? It does mean more competition for traditional scholar-written encyclopedias, after all. No, I’m elated by the evidence that the fundamental concept of a comprehensive, well-organized, easy to access, and expert-written publication is one that continues to matter to people. We publishers (and our librarian colleagues) need to learn some things about how to reach the audience that clearly exists for reference articles, but I know that what we’re producing is better and more relevant than virtually all the material online. The more the merrier, as far as Berkshire is concerned.