Friday, June 15, 2007

Encyclopaedia Britannica - Google integration

We subscribe to the encyclopedia britannica - mostly for sentimental reasons. It's not terribly useful; Wikipedia has better coverage for the topics I need to know about. Still, it's handy when the kids have questions, though even then it can be flaky. Tonight most of the links were dysfunctional when I used Camino, a switch to Safari fixed that problem. (I suspect I was hitting a bad server and switching browsers randomly assigned me to a working server.)

Really the EB seems to have been on its last legs for ages. The web site has been remarkably uninventive; for example, they've never really tried to build a community of users. I figure they've been waiting for Google to bail them out.

Maybe that's starting. Just by chance I came across this Google co-op integration feature:
Co-op Encyclopaedia Britannica integration. I've used Google co-op to create my own custom searches, but I'd not heard of this option.

I clicked the button, and now, as long as I'm logged in to my Gmail account, my Google searches include results from EB at the top. I'll give it a try for a while. Maybe I'll even use my EB account more than once every six months - if they can get their site working! (Wikipedia, by contrast, never fails me.)

The Co-op site, btw, provides other search integration options, but I didn't see any others I wanted.

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