Up until now, I didn’t quite know what to do with my old .doc and .pdf documents. They are high school or college papers, corporate documentation, or simply free written artistic work. I would just let it sit there and not delete it, thinking that it could always come in handy.
That’s where Scribd steps in. Yesterday, I met and interviewed Trip Adler, one of the founders and the CEO of Scribd. The atmosphere in Scribd’s San Francisco downtown offices is very laid back; it is a company composed of young minds conveniently sitting on top of a potential multi-million dollars market. Scribd is a Youtube for documents. Same as when you download a video on Youtube for the whole world to see it, you download your documents on Scribd. Scribd has developed the iPaper, a new enhanced and lighter version of the old Adobe’s Flashpaper. The iPaper lets you view all types of document – doc, ppt, xl, pdf… – in real time, through a flash widget (just like videos on Youtube).
Things got a little bigger last week when Scribd released APIs so that publishers can hook their system to the Scribd platform to share selected documents. Since it is converted to Flash, Scribd went a step further and now lets publishers insert Google Ads inside the documents to monetize the content they share. It is the first company to ever insert ads in desktop-type documents.
With a player that makes it easy to view documents, APIs that make it easy to share documents, and a monetization system that makes document-sharing a profitable activity, Scribd has great chances to become one of the icons of the Web 2.0 sharing revolution.