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BBC offloads h2g2, but don't panic!

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Members of the h2g2 community consortium are in the market for someone to buy the site or donate some cash to the cause, after the BBC confirmed earlier this week that it was ending its 10-year hosting of Douglas Adams’ Real Guide to the Galaxy.

The portal, a forerunner to Jimbo Wales’s runaway train Wikipedia, was unleashed on the interwebs in April 1999 offering an off-centre encyclopedic guide to life, the universe and, yes, everything.

And now it needs your help, after the Beeb said it would offload hosting of the project as part of the Corporation’s massive online cull.

That doesn’t mean all is lost for h2g2, especially seeing as the community has already begun mulling alternatives. But some have questioned the BBC’s decision to walk away from the portal, after it recently gave the site a fancy makeover.

“Hi - just to reassure you that we are not trying to decieve [sic] you, the decision to try and find a new home for H2G2 was taken well after the redesign started and also well after the initial approval by the BBC Trust for BBC Online's strategy,” said the Beeb’s social media exec Nick Reynolds, who responded to criticism about h2g2’s unknown future.

“Once we knew what the new shape of BBC Online was to be we then tried to see whether H2G2 would fit. Sadly we concluded that it didn't. But this work was done after the work for the refresh started.

“We could I suppose have stopped the work but ever since the MOT my view was ‘whatever is decided, we can't leave H2G2 looking like it is’.”

The encyclopedia’s community consortium is currently weighing up options about how to keep h2g2 alive and well online. It’s also put a call out for “people with technical skills, who can put together a proposal for costs and what’s involved, people who are willing to donate some money, people with time who can spread the word”.

So, what are you waiting for, dear readers? Get to it, or an intergalactic bypass might just gobble the whole thing up. ®

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