Like most bloggers I know, I tend to link to information resources online when I’m writing about a particular topic.

One reason is simply that linking to an explanation of something provides a reader of your content with an opportunity to find out more, or see something in more depth, without you the blogger having to explain it all in your blog post.

And like just about everyone I know, I tend to link to material on Wikipedia more than any other online information resource.

Why? Because it’s easy to do so, it’s free, Wikipedia’s definitions are often all you might need, and because you can have reasonable confidence that what you’re linking to is likely to be accurate enough.

So I’ve been quite intrigued to have been exploring Encyclopaedia Britannica online during the past few weeks and getting to know how a raft of new and free social media-related services, aimed squarely at bloggers and other people who publish on the web, will work.

(Disclosure: I’ve been working with Shel Holtz, whose client US-based Britannica is, on getting advance word out to some people in Europe about the upcoming launch of Britannica’s new services; as part of this, Britannica gave me a free account.)

Unlike Wikipedia, Britannica’s information resources require a paid subscription, one reason undoubtedly why free Wikipedia is an easier option for many.

Now, you can link to the full content of a Britannica entry, without having to have a paid subscription, through a new programme called Britannica Webshare.