6 Oct 2008

Scribd For Free Documents And Marketing

Scribd is a essentially a document publication platform. Launched in March 2007, it now boasts more words than Wikipedia, and is in the top 300 websites in the world. As a writer, there are two main ways you can use Scribd.

Publish on Scribd

Scribd is a kind of democratic library - anybody can self-publish their articles, essays and books. Creating an account is free and you can upload documents in a variety of formats. Many documents are little more than advertorials, informational articles whose main task is to market the services or websites of the writer. There is no way currently to earn money directly from this, but it can be part of an overall marketing strategy and I think Scribd should be included alongside other article directories. One thing I have noticed recently is that all documents are now crawled by search engine bots, so that the actual texts are now indexed including, of course, your links back to your site.

Scribd for Writing Ideas

There are also many books on Scribd, including many out of copyright, as well as research papers, transcripts and lengthy essays. If you are stuck for a writing idea and are tired of trawling the news feeds, then Scribd can be another source of inspiration. You could write a book review, or summarize technical papers, or write a commentary on an essay. With millions of documents available there is no lack of choice. Treat it as your personal library.

iPaper, The Scribd Document Platform

Scribd could be just another document directory, but they have also developed their own document reader, iPaper. This is similar to Google's book reader and enables one single platform to read different document types. Just like YouTube, the iPaper can also be embedded into a website so that users can read the document without leaving your site. The advantage of Adobe's Acrobat Reader is that the documents are a fraction of the size and hence faster to view. I think this is especially useful if you have created a complicated image-rich content, such as a magazine article, which can be very time-consuming to duplicate as a web page.

Overall, I have found Scribd a good source of texts and a useful place to post polished lengthy articles. Just like when YouTube started, there seems no obvious way that the owners make any money, so expect increased advertising at some point. For the moment, the experience is clean!

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are lightly moderated. Any comments deemed to be mere advertising will be removed. If you want a link to your site then create a link to any of our pages and the source will appear in the list of backlinks - it is a fair exchange. Anything else deemed offensive, or merely pointless, will also be removed. If you wish to submit an article then best go to the Submit an Article link in the top right column.