Book Business EXTRA! Q&A -- World Books’ Paul Kobasa talks about the changing landscape of encyclopedias
Above all, the content of World Book Kids has to reflect World Book’s traditional criteria for editorial excellence: accuracy, authority, comprehensibility, impartiality and utility.
EXTRA! -- What elements of the site, that make children interact with the content instead of passively reading articles, have taken off with test groups/actual users?
Kobasa -- Users are responding to the World Book Kids activities that propel them away from their computers and out into the world to explore and create. For example, one of the activities featured in World Book Kids is “Animal Tracks,” which turns a student into a naturalist exploring his or her own schoolyard or backyard. There are dozens of other activities as well. Also, we’ve included a feature called “Play It!” which allows students to browse the site by following a virtual trail of interconnected questions. Each question, when answered correctly, rewards the student with a congratulatory animation and brings him or her to a related topic on the continuing trail until the student loops back to the starting point. “Play It!” can help students grasp the dimensionality of a subject without loosing sight of the core information.