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Is This The End or Death of Encyclopedia

October 2nd, 2009

Before the age of Marvellous Internet, there were the years of Marvellous Computer. And before that was Marvellous Hardcover Encyclopedias.


Encyclopedias used to be hardcover books, probably for durability and also so that it looks like some heavy stuff in your book rack.

If you have an entire set of Encyclopedias at home like the Encyclopædia Brittanica set, I think it speaks volume of your family’s wealth. 🙂

Then when computer came, the set of Encyclopedia is digitized to a format of better mobility, for instance a compact disk.


Even Microsoft had yearly editions of its Microsoft Encarta then.

I am constantly amazed by how they get people to compile so much of information into hardcover books and also CDs, only to be later pirated or copied by others.

And then when the Internet came, it changed the whole Encyclopedia game. People do not need to flip through hardcover books, look through index and search for pages anymore.

Search engines like AltaVista, Yahoo!, and now Google instantly became everyone’s best friend for searching information, and it takes less than a second to return a search results for whatever you want.

However, for definition and encyclopedia-like resources, somebody (Jimmy Wales, and Larry Sanger) thought of a collaborated dictionary or the Free Online Encyclopedia : Wikipedia.


Wikipedia started in 2001 and expanded exponentially ever since, until recently.

The English version hit the 2 million — article mark in September 2007 and then the 3 million mark in August 2009 — surpassing the 600-year-old Chinese Yongle Encyclopedia as the largest collection of general knowledge ever compiled
via (TIME)

Wikipedia is now having lesser contribution of articles probably due to a few reasons:

  • There are so many articles already, so everything that needed to be compiled are already done
  • Problem in managing of the editorial team?

TIME had a report on it which basically summarizes why Wikipedia is having lesser articles and editors.

Eventually, things will grow and evolve, maybe online Encyclopedia will be going that road too?

Like MSN Encarta. 😉


While we are overloaded with information, businesses that survive on selling such information might be having a tough time to survive.

Or is this just a part of evolution? What is the next form of Encyclopedia?

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Gossips, Internet, Technology

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    1. October 5th, 2009 at 20:25 | #1

      hehehe.. retrenchment ya lols

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