Electronic Publishing
A Workshop for Candidates in the Masters in Information Management, University of Western Cape, Cape Town
4-5 June 2002

Roger Clarke

Principal, Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra

Visiting Fellow, Department of Computer Science, Australian National University

Version of 26 May 2002

© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 2000-02

This document is at http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/EC/EPublW3.html

Here are the PowerPoint slides supporting this session

The home-page for the Workshop is at http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/EC/EPublWksp.html

08:30-09:30 - Presentation

The purpose of this session is to consider important factors in the business application of electronic publishing. The session commences with a presentation, under the following headings:

  1. e-Commerce Success Stories
  2. Organisational Change
  3. Impacts on Industry Sectors
  4. Markets for I.P. Objects
  5. Payment Schemes
  6. Publisher Risks

The following readings are recommended to accompany the presentation:

09:30-10:30 - Group Breakout Session(s)

  1. To what extent is amazon.com in the electronic publishing business?
  2. amazon.com now sells a substantial volume of physical books over the Internet, and it has a substantial reputation. What new risks do these successes bring?
  3. Who will be buying e-books during the next five years, and why?
  4. Sophisticated marketspace services for electronic information are emerging. From the perspective of established businesses, is that an opportunity or a threat?
  5. How can an electronic publisher get paid on the Internet?
  6. To what extent is the 'industry value chain' an appropriate model to use in analysing electronic publishing?
  7. What differences are there between electronic publishing:

10:30-11:00 - Coffee Break

11:00-11:30 - Mini-Case Study 3: Encyclopaedia Britannica

In 1991, Encyclopaedia Britannica sold about 400,000 printed sets, and in 1997 about 10,000. The collapse was triggered by the success of Microsoft Encarta and other CD-ROM versions of lower-quality but approximately equivalent collections sold in a convenient and inexpensive form.

Since then, web-based information services have mushroomed. Despite its brand reputation, and the apparent quality and presumed value of the content the company owned, revenue halved, losses have accumulated, the company has changed hands several times, and survival remains uncertain (Rayport & Gerace 1997 - HBS Case 396-051, Evans & Wurster 1997, Melcher 1997, Downes & Mui 1998, p.51, Pang 1998, Shapiro & Varian 1999, pp. 19-21, 26).

Since 1997, in its scramble to survive, EB has tried CD-ROMs, an advertising-funded web-site, gratis look-up of any individual topic, and a web-site that supports subscription-based access by consumers, and subscription-based access by educational institutions.

What should Encyclopaedia Britannica have done in 1991, in order to protect its market-leadership and profitability?

11:30-12:00 - Groups report back in Plenary Session

12:00-13:00 - Lunch Break


Go to Roger's Home Page.

Go to the contents-page for this segment.

Send an email to Roger

Created: 22 May 2000

Last Amended: 26 May 2002

These community service pages are a joint offering of the Australian National University (which provides the infrastructure), and Roger Clarke (who provides the content).
The Australian National University
Visiting Fellow, Faculty of
Engineering and Information Technology,
Information Sciences Building Room 211
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, ACN: 002 360 456
78 Sidaway St
Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, 6288 6916