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Wikipedia the disruptor?
Wales discusses Wikipedia as a disruptor of markets
In a panel alongside the founder of Skype and a representative of the Mozilla Foundation, Jimmy Wales discussed Wikipedia as market disruptor. The Guardian's digital content blog covered the discussion in "Skype, Wikipedia, Firefox – is the internet about disrupting markets?" "Wikipedia is a very, very bad business", said Wales. "Everything is free. It is really hard to compete with us."
Britannica must reposition to survive
Sam Vaknin, writing for the Global Politician, argues that Encyclopaedia Britannica must reposition itself within the information market to survive: "it is too detailed, costly, and thorough to cater to the wants of the occasional peruser, yet it is not sufficiently authoritative to serve as a bibliographic source in a textbook or doctoral thesis" and should therefore "re-brand itself as an archive of the history of ideas rather than a mere work of reference". Vaknin argues that Britannica should work with Wikipedia or implement crowd-sourcing, perhaps employing a Citizendium model. It should be noted that in 2006, Vaknin wrote an opinion piece where he detailed six of our "deadly sins" and direly predicted that it was only "a question of time before the (sic) Wikipedia self-destructs and implodes".
Dire criticism of their business model and market disruption by Wikipedia aside, according to a March 2009 statement by Britannica president Jorge Cauz, the venerable encyclopedia has been profitable for five years running, with most revenue now coming from online sales.
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