Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Scribd: Document Sharing Site

One of the most daunting tasks for people using the Web is the number of formats that are used, and the difficulty of using them cross platforms. This takes the idea of a PDF file and brings it to the Web 2.0 audience, allowing it to be used effectively on websites. From the Cogdogroo site:(http://cogdogroo.wikispaces.com/)   "Scribd is one of the best web tools for English Language Learners to use for language development. They can write a few sentences, a story, or an essay; easily upload it to Scribd, and, then, within seconds, have its text-to-speech capability read it back to them. Plus, it’s hosted there for free." (Larry Ferlazzo: http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/)


Scribd is a San Francisco startup company changing the way people share documents online. You can think of Scribd as a big online library where everyone can publish original content, including you!
Since Scribd launched in March 2007, it has become one of the top 300 websites on the Internet, receiving over 20 million monthly visitors. It has also accumulated over 17 billion words in its library, making it five times the size of Wikipedia.

The Ideas Behind Scribd
Scribd began with a simple observation – there are billions of documents sitting siloed on people's hard drives. By making it easy for people to publish their documents to the internet, Scribd has unlocked this treasure trove of information. Every day, nearly a million people come to Scribd.com, most of them seeking some piece of information stored in this library. Some percentage of these people sign up for Scribd to be a part of the Scribd community and upload their own documents, perpetuating the cycle which powers Scribd's growth.
One of early problems Scribd encountered was that there was no good format for displaying its documents, as formats like PDF, Microsoft Word, and PowerPoint were designed before the Internet existed.
iPaper and Scribd Platform:
In response, Scribd created iPaper, the first document format built for the web. Like YouTube's player did for video formats, iPaper standardizes all document formats into one viewer that can be seamlessly integrated into webpages. Recognizing the value of this technology, Scribd released the Scribd Platform, which allows any website to use iPaper to display their documents.
Through Scribd.com, iPaper, and the Scribd Platform, Scribd is changing the way people view, publish, and monetize documents. Through our vast library of content and our unique document display technology, we hope to unlock the information in the world's documents and make it readily accessible to everyone.