The weird and wonderful world of brands and communication
posted by Stan Lee at 8:24 pm
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The interesting thing about old world encyclopedia is that half of their veracity lay in the packaging.I'm looking across the room at one of my treasures: The New Standard encyclopedia.If I ever wonder why I had a lifelong affinity with America it resides here. The information is so Ameri-centric it's funny in hindsight.But the good thing was that it was simple and had fantastic information architecture. Navigating one's way through was easy. It introduced me to cross references (think 1970s hyperlinks).I used to read them for fun. Have to say I had a prodigious general knowledge - even got me on TV as a kid.As a university lecturer I am aware of how easy digital encyclopedia make it for students to fake it in essays. Unfortunately for them cross referencing through Google torpedoes plagiarism just as quickly. Thanks Google. I don't even need to use the school's proprietary anti-cheating software.So my affinity for Wikipedia is high. The packaging doesn't have many of the trust cues of gold blocking on the spine and iconic, brittanic thistles (makes sense the thistle should be the symbol of encyc Britannia - as a Scot I can confirm that's where the brains are...arf)What I like about the Wikipedia is that I have learned a great deal. I accept it changes - 'knowledge' does - but I have more confidence in millions of people, both amateur and professional, than a few self appointed arbiters.
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