Tuesday, May 31, 2011

FOR, May 31: Scribd.com

Pronounced "Scribbed" (not "scrib-D", which I'd probably recommend the site go with), Scribd.com is a site you may have already heard of, but which deserves a belated FOR anyway. It's a big site, and not easy to describe, but it goes by the label "social reading and publishing." In short, you can read e-books on the site, but you can also publish your own work in a variety of formats. Not everything is self-published; in fact, it looks as though the majority of works are books previously published in print, made available by the publisher. This includes books in all genres: history, cookbooks, novels, poetry, travel, on and on.
Scrib.com uses the logic of tagging and recommending--"2 of your friends liked..." etc. If I like a book, I can "readcast" it, or announce its presence and goodness to all of my friends on my social media tools.
Thus, published and self-published books and documents of all types hang out side-by-side, waiting to be recommended.
Many of the books are available in PDF's embedded on the site itself--you simply scroll down. I downloaded one title for free, was asked to pay for others, and can't figure out the pattern.
Scribd 101 was somewhat helpful in this regard, if not answering that particular question. The sprawling, benignly chaotic nature of the web site necessitates a bit of an orientation.

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