Web 2.0 is about sharing stuff. No need to repeat that any more than it’s already been said. But for many “Web 2.0” sites/services out there, sharing is really the only thing they do. For instance, when you don’t really get anything by uploading a video to Metacafe or YouTube – you just share. But Scribd, the Web 2.0 “startup” (It’s been there for a while now…) for sharing text is a bit more than that. When you post content to Scribd, you tend to benefit in exchange.
When you upload a document to Scribd (which accepts almost all popular formats like OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, PDF, PowerPoint, and more), it’s automatically converted to .doc, .pdf, and .txt – and it comes with a converted-to-audio MP3 version as well. But most importantly – it’s a hell of a lot more convenient for your readers.
While you can embed a self-hosted video in your blog and have it streamed to your readers with little to no effort, inline and all, it’s a lot more complicated (rather, impossible) to embed a binary-encoded text file in a post or article. With Scribd, you can instantly embed a document like this:
That’s (our good friend) Andre Da Costa’s recently-published Windows Vista Quick Start Guide originally uploaded to Scribd as a PDF. Previously, it required having Acrobat Reader (or an alternative) installed, a couple of minutes to download, and a lot of RAM to boot. Not “easy” to say the least. You should read it, it’s quite interesting :)
Even better, you can just click a button and have it sent to you in the format you choose. Quite handy! You can also click in the textbox at the top of the embedded document and search for text.
Scribd has lots of little nifty features each of which doesn’t seem like much, but in our opinion, at the end of the day all those little features add up and can blow your mind – and reduce your hosting costs, too.
Bottom line: Scrbd is one Web 2.0 services you don’t have to be “on the bandwagon” to use and love; it’s just one of those things that make sense no matter what way you look at it.