Wikipedia On the Go, a Yes or a No?

How much would you pay to have access to Wikipedia anytime you want?  $50?  $100?  $1.89?  (sorry for the lame infomercial opening).   But if you guessed $99, congratulations, you just bought yourself WikiReader, a new  mobile device by The Openmoko group.wr_hand2_small

Idea:  It’s pretty simple, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia of sorts, lets make it portable and market it as an updated version of the electronic encyclopedia.  But is it really a good idea?

Pros:  What I do like about the product is that it is pretty small, it does not need internet connection and it does serve a purpose, all while capitalizing on the growing fondness of a more pop-centric encyclopedia.

Cons:  Would I really pay $99 and a small annual or monthly fee to keep updating it?  It also looks dated and it’s black and white.   Plus it’s small, but it’s not small enough to carry around in your pocket.  Especially considering I already have an iphone in there, which, conveniently can connect me to the actual Wikipedia website.   And there is also something called the Laptop, or Netbook, which most people find portable enough to carry around with them.

Conclusion:  I love the desire to make Wiki’s more available, I just think the concept is about 5 years too late at best (although 5 years ago Wikipedia would have been celebrating its 1 year anniversary).  I also wonder if maybe this would be better served as a package to download onto an E-reader or Kindle?  I do think we will start to see similar types of products and eventually, who knows, one might just get it right.

~ by danjsilver on October 13, 2009.

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