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Good Luck, Brockhaus!

February 13, 2008 — Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann

For me as a studied librarian yesterdays announcement made by the Brockhaus publishers was the news of the day: The Brockhaus, Germany’s best-known encyclopedia, will no longer be published on paper but go online only. In addition, the new business model will be solely based on advertising. This move ends the over 200 year old Brockhaus old tradition of a printed high-end encyclopedia — but may also be solution to counter the decreasing sales of the printed edition. As Brockhaus directly competes with the Wikipedia, the differentiating factor needs to be quality and reliabilty, which will be tough though.

My take: In the days of CD based electronic encyclopedias I clearly opted for the paper edition simply because it was easier accessible. Today, with a fast Internet connection available almost everywhere and 24/7 as well as Macs waking up from sleep mode in less than a second, this does no make sense anymore. So, for me, this move makes sense to me and I can just hope that the new business model works out for Brockhaus. Good luck, I will use your new service!

Addendum: Just found this, fitting the subject: The US daily newspaper Capital Times, located in Madison, Wisconsin, will from now only only be printed twice a week, the rest of the newspaper moves to online only.