Monday, August 11th I stopped by the Encyclopaedia Britannica offices on LaSalle street in Chicago. I visited Michael Ross, Senior VP of Corporate Development. Michael gave me a nice tour of the Britannica headquarters and I took some photos to share with everyone. You’ll see some remarkable similarities between an international publisher and a library.
They have bookshelves AND servers.
60+ servers in 3 locations as a matter of fact.
No, this isn’t spaghetti, it’s Britannica ONLINE!! Don’t cut the pink one….
Despite the thousands of wires to support Britannica online, they still have a print library collection.
And they use white boards to sketch out future plans.
I even got a sneak peek at the cover art for the 2009 Almanac!
And they dress business casual, just like me!
Seriously now, Britannica has a really cool feature coming to all of their online products sometime this fall. Right now it is called “project darwin” but it will take on a new name online. This new feature will bring web 2.0 features to Britannica online including user comment/feedback areas. Some other facts about Britannica:
Over one million visitors use Britannica online every day.
Britannica offers multiple interfaces for their products (they manage over 30) – public (free, with annoy wear) , individual membership, institutional/libraries, and multiple foreign language interfaces including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, and 2 in Spanish.
They offer thousands of videos too.
Britannica Blog offers daily posts on thousands of topics, by hundreds of writers – many well known.
For more information, check out Britannica Online here: www.britannica.com
And thanks, Michael, for the tour!