Web 2.0; Da Vinci 1.5; readers 0

Via 101 reasons to stop writing blog, I learn that Dan Brown is to revise the Da Vinci Code to correct various minor and not-so minor errors in the previous version. Although small changes have been made in various print runs, this new project is a proper revision, named Da Vinci Code 1.5,  that will be "like re-reading the book for the first time".
From the stop writing post: "When asked if the revisions made substantive changes to the plot of the novel, Brown replied, "Oh sure. When you take out all the factual errors, baseless conjecture and flawed reasoning, the whole storyline basically collapses. All you’re left with is a guy who’s good at solving puzzles running around Europe for no reason. I don’t even like Europe. The new version is entirely set in Connecticut, so I could fact-check everything myself without having to drive more than two hours." "
Read on at the link for the full horror. Unfortunately, owing to work load, the publication date of the revision has slipped from 1 April to 31 April. Can't wait.

Britannica joins the blogosphere

You may have read or heard that the other day Encyclopaedia Britannica introduced WebShare, which it describes as a "special program for web publishers, including bloggers, webmasters, and anyone who writes for the Internet. You get complimentary access to the Encyclopaedia Britannica online and, if you like, an easy way to give your readers background of the topics you write about with links to complete Britannica articles." Apparently it should not take more than 24 hours to receive your free subscription, and WebShare offers you a range of widgets and twitter feeds of the encyclopaedia's content to add to your blog or site. If you are interested, there are various help, FAQ and other pages from the main page here.
The move has been met with muted approval on the blogs and sites I've read so far. (Thanks also to Dave Lull for sending me a link to the Britannica's article about the initiative.) Barry Graubert of Content Matters blog writes: "Britannica has clearly been on a path towards the dead pool since the birth of Wikipedia. Initially, they simply took the position that a wisdom of crowds approach could not compare to the expertise of their editors. That argument was put to rest in the comparison conducted by Nature a few years ago. Wikipedia today has nearly 4 billion monthly page views, while Britannica has only 21 million. In providing blogger access, Britannica has taken a baby step towards addressing the problem of whether they even exist on the Internet." Barry points out that the Internet is all about links, incoming and outgoing, and that Britannica does not get that. Even the WebShare blog, he writes, has no links at all in it, not even to the encyclopaedia's own twitter feed. That particular omission has now been rectified, but it is true that the blog seems to exist in its own insulated space apart from that one link. Barry has applied for a WebShare ID and will keep track, he writes.

Update: in a strange reverse-twist, I have just read that Random House is to publish Wikipedia as a book.