sable island
We Read It on Reddit

Since we relaunched the Historica Canada blog we’ve regularly featured a roundup of things various editors have learned from The Canadian Encyclopedia. We’ve provided enough facts for our readers to sound pretty cool at parties or at the very least up their trivia game. However, this content is produced by us, so I wondered if encyclopedia readers are having any of these “OMG THAT’S SO COOL” moments that I have on the regular?

Relying on Google Analytics, and the power of digging deep into the creepy realms of stats, I’ve found that readers are using The Canadian Encyclopedia to debate, challenge or educate one another on different websites.

One of our top organic traffic sources is the social network community website, reddit. For those unfamiliar with the website, it’s similar to a messaging board in which there are different subs (themes/categories) and people post topics and then reply in threads. r/Canada, for example, is where you’d go to get news and discussions relating to, you guessed it, Canada.

The Canadian Encyclopedia can be frequently found in a sub-reddit called TIL (Today I Learned) 1 Over the past year our readers have learned about Sable Island and the unique horse population that lives there, they have learned about the Battle of Kapyong as one of Canada’s greatest, yet least-known, military achievements, and have shared learning about the 36,563 islands in the Arctic Archipelago. Readers are also using the encyclopedia to debate fellow users, whether in a politics thread about Justin Trudeau, or discussing Terry Fox’s success in a Get Motivated forum.

It’s great to see that our content is being used for more than just school papers and actually extends beyond the classroom. With that said, I invite you all to share your own TILs and to keep learning. Trust me, knowing that not all beavers have tails WILL come in handy one day.

Image: William Malcolm Mott and Horse, Sable Island, Nova Scotia, early 20th century. Flickr/cc.

  1. We may or may not have got our roundup idea from here.