Feeds

Britannica opens kimono, reveals widgets

Free access for bloggers

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Britannica is opening up its content for use by publishers - including amateurs - but insists it isn't threatened by the world's biggest compendium of unusually-shaped vegetables.*

"We don't think there's any threat right now," Britannica Inc's president Jorge Cauz told us recently. But he acknowledged that Britannica's material needs to have a much higher web profile.

Hence the new WebShare program, which soft launched last month and is now official. This allows bloggers and commercial publishers to use Britannica material, either via an embedded widget or a URL.

"It's not a link-baiting strategy," said Cauz. "We know we need to be much more relevant in people's lives - and let people know what Britannica's about."

Which is?

"We have fast food and junk food and gourmet food - and it's important people understand the differences in content as well as food."

It's unlikely that WebShare will do anything to upset the domination of Google by Wikipedia, and the dozens of scraper sites that use its material. But that isn't the goal. Cauz says the move allows more people to sample Britannica's core strengths.

"We believe in making something understandable and we've been doing it for almost 240 years. I don't believe humanity has lost those values."

Now that's a job that's never done. Perhaps they can turn their attention to making WiReD magazine editor-in-chief Kevin Kelly understandable. The Wikipedia evangelist wrote recently:

"I am convinced that the full impact of the Wikipedia is still subterranean, and that its mind-changing power is working subconsciously on the global millennial generation, providing them with an existence proof of a beneficial hive mind, and an appreciation for believing in the impossible."

Er. Right.

WebShare is the first in a series of initiatives designed to raise Britannica's profile. Bloggers and pro writers are being offered free subs, too.

Applicants undergo a vetting process, to exclude offensive sites and "personal diary" type blogs. Publishers can apply here. ®

Bootnote

*Hat-tip to Valleywag.

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.