, a great find

March 20th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Following the simple concept of social sharing websites, Trip Adler, Jared Friedman and Tikhon Bernstam joined together to create , a social site whose primary purpose is to share documents to the world. The website described itself as a ″big online library where anyone can upload.”

At present, the document formats being accepted by Scribd includes DOC, PDF, TXT, PPT, XLS, PS, and LIT. With this formats, users can easily upload school papers, thesis, slide presentations, photos, poems and short stories, online books, essays, reviews and commentaries, spreadsheets, and even sheet musics. Files can be downloaded in formats like Word, TXT and even in MP3 format.

The website has the usual features of a Web 2.0 social sharing site. Published documents can be viewed, read, shared, embedded to webblogs and webpages, commented upon, rated or voted for, and tagged. If you fear that you will loose the rights as owner of the documents, you don't have to worry since uploaded documents are protected by Creative Commons licenses. Moreover, although the site has sign up options, it does not prohibit non-members from uploading files and posting comments.

Scribd is a pretty neat site. Functionality and navigation is efficient and easy. Probably the best feature the site has is the use of Adobe FlashPaper as viewer of the uploaded documents. Since the viewer is made from Flash, there's nothing to worry about in terms of compatibility across platforms and browsers. Moreover, it seems that FlashPaper does not slow down your browser which makes it easy to view documents regardless of formats and how big they are.

An equally interesting and very entertaining feature is a voice player which is located just beneath the ″Embed” options on the right side of the website. When you click the play button, a machine generated female voice will read the present slide for the viewer. Scribd is slowly becoming popular and already people are calling it the ″YouTube for documents.”

Anyways, I find the open letter about maxi pads a very good read.