What is Scribd.com?
Next time you’re on your computer, take a look at your hard drive. Is it clogged up with loads of files, Word documents and similar that you hardly use anymore? If this is you – and if you’re like everyone else, it probably is – and you’re thinking of deleting these files, don’t. At least, not immediately – instead, why not put them to use and share them at Scribd.com?
Described as a “big online library” by its creators, Scribd.com is a new website that came into fruition in 2006. Created by three friends – Trip Adler, Jared Friedman and Tikhon Bernstam, Scribd.com is notable for having gained backing from such heavyweight Silicon Valley businesses like Y Combinator and the Kinsey Hills Group. So what exactly is Scribd.com, and should you care?
Just as its creators suggest, the best way to look at Scribd.com is as a huge online library. Users can upload any document and allow other users worldwide to read them, use them, and learn from them – pretty much anything, really. In this respect, it’s not too dissimilar to Wikipedia, in that it shares information for various purposes. The difference here is that the scope is potentially far greater than even Wikipedia could hope for.
How it all Works
One of the nicknames that the Internet received early in its life was the Information Superhighway, and Scribd.com compounds that even further. By uploading the documents on your computer, you’re basically educating the online community even more, as well as entertaining. The types of documents and files you can upload to Scribd.com are almost endless:
· Office documents such as PowerPoint presentations, Word docs, Excel sheets, etc
· Academic papers and old school papers and notes
· Music sheet papers
· Online books and Ebooks
· Personal points of view (as long as they’re not racist or likely to incite)
In fact, pretty much the only stuff you can’t upload is copyrighted work and advertisements. On top of the files that you upload, you can also do a whole host of tricks and amendments to them once they’re uploaded. For example, you can make an MP3 out of a standard document; change formats so that Word documents read as PDF files, ideal for creating your own Ebooks; and a whole lot more besides.
Why use Scribd.com?
So what’s so different about Scribd.com anyway? With blogging being so popular as well as social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, isn’t Scribd.com a waste of time? Far from it – as well as sharing information that could be extremely useful to someone in another part of the world, Scribd.com lets you have your own unique online voice. You can let people read short stories you may have written years ago; there’s no time limit how long your upload stays on the site; and best of all, it could even lead you to winning a book deal from a passing publisher!
Although still early days for the site, Scribd.com is gaining ground quickly on the more established websites that offer a similar service. However, by allowing users to share pretty much anything they want to, Scribd.com offers something these other sites can’t, and that’s a true worldwide audience for even the silliest of things you’ve written. Remember that the next time you’re about to delete something.