Scribd is a free, web-based, document sharing community and self-publishing platform. A kind of YouTube for e-books, Scribd lets you publish, distribute, and share your own documents with the world.
Scribd is a great tool for teachers and students. It lets you publish and discover documents online. It is like a big online library where anyone can upload and download. You can upload one or more documents without even signing up. Scribd supports PDF, Postscript, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OpenOffice, Rich text, plain text, and other OpenDocument formats. After you upload a document, Scribd converts it to an iPaper format so that it can be viewed inside a web browser or embedded into your Website or blog. Scribd can also convert your document into several downloadable formats including PDF, Microsoft Word, and plain text. You can print your document, view it full-screen, and even hear them read aloud. If you do sign up, you can see various analytics about your documents, such as how many people read them and from what locations.
Like the YouTube video player, the iPaper viewer utilizes Adobe’s Flash technology. Originally, Scribd used FlashPaper technology developed by Macromedia. Since Adobe brought Macromedia in 2006 and discontinued the development of FlashPaper. As a result, Scribd developed its own iPaper from the ground up – with better document fidelity, better features, and a better interface. Unlike traditional document formats, iPaper is viewed inside a Web browser and does not require additional software. Furthermore, the iPaper is fast, lightweight (about 100 KB and is 1/1000th the size of Adobe’s Acrobat Reader), and is designed with Web users in mind. In my opinion, iPaper is an outstanding document viewer which could be a total Acrobat killer. To see an example of iPaper, you can view my Call for Chapter Proposals on Scribd or the iPaper file as shown below.