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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Scribd: "the YouTube for print"?

This started out as an e-mail to a few friends who work in publishing..but then I found that Scribd allows one to embed docs right into webpages (duh), so figured I'd turn it into a blog post:

I was cleaning out the inbox, and scrolled thru a newsletter that I subscribed to many years ago, but haven't actually read in quite a while, called BoldType:

I didn't actually read any of their features, but their newswire at the bottom included a link to this Publisher's Weekly article about Scribd:

"Scribd Signs Deals with Major Houses"

Scribd, Inc., the “social publishing site” that posts a variety of written documents daily, has signed deals with a number of publishers to post novels, chapters and other content on Among the publishers working with Scribd are the Random House Publishing Group, Simon & Schuster, Workman., Berrett-Koehler, Thomas Nelson and Manning Publications.

According to the company, more than 50,000 new documents are uploaded daily using Scribd’s iPaper reader, which makes it easy to upload, share and embed original writings and documents. Publishers who have signed on say they see using Scribd as a way to give greater exposure to their titles. Links allow users to buy a book.

The link about Scribd caught my eye b/c I'd come across Scribd via some blogs..specifically Brad DeLong's. For example, if you want to see Scribd in action, DeLong's review of Krugman's recent book, The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 is embedded on his blog here.

Actually, the beauty of Scribd is that it's portable--just like YouTube, they give you the html code to embed the content into any web page. Hence, here is DeLong's review of Krugman:


That is pretty wild, I can read DeLong's review w/o visiting his website, the LAT website (which published DeLong's review), or even Scribd itself. And it looks great.

(In fact, I didn't even have to go to Scribd to embed--just click on the "More" menu in the embedded doc above, and then "Embed Codes")

More on Scribed: Publisher's Weekly ran a slightly longer article about it a few weeks ago:

"Publishers, Authors Weigh Merits of Scribd
Document-sharing site raises both visibility and copyright concerns"

While it's certainly not the only document-sharing Web site,, with more than 50 million users and more than 50,000 documents uploaded daily, aims to be the YouTube for print...

Scribd's main feature is its iPaper application—a Flash reader that allows creators to upload original writings—which permits both uniform publication display of documents and content to be embedded from the site and easily shared. Documents can be downloaded for free, and iPaper allows users to embed text on their Web sites, blogs and on Twitter. Beyond book publishers, Scribd is working with publications like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to embed material in their online stories.

The game keeps on changing...

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