Have you heard of / used Scribd? It’s a popular, social document publishing and sharing website that permits users to load, search or embed documents into websites. It also serves as a popular browsing and reading spot, with 50 million monthly users and 50,000 daily document uploads.
I caught a press release today (link here) advising that Scribd is now offering premium printing options, allowing consumers to print business material, books, magazines and tens of millions of other written works and illustrations using print-on-demand services from HP’s MagCloud, Blurb and Mimeo. From the release:
users can now choose to print commercial-quality, four-color hard and soft cover works with no minimum requirements or upfront costs — and directly from the convenience of their home or office. Printed and bound copies are shipped directly to the consumer from the selected partner. Because of the breadth of available content on the site, Scribd will offer print options based on document types and other criteria: HP’s MagCloud offers self-publishers the ability to print in a magazine format; Blurb makes it easy to print affordable, professional-quality books; and Mimeo provides overnight document printing.
Scribd is clearly moving away from its original tag-line as the YouTube for documents and now looks more like a publishing facilitator for those who need cheaper, alternative methods for getting their publications to the masses. Case in point: their new mobile publishing solution, whereby users can send Scribd content to their mobile device (iPhone, Android, Kindle, and just about any other mobile format you can think of) with two clicks. The sent information consists of a link back to the original PDF. Read more about the mobile initiative here. Actual mobile applications with place holding and local storage features are in the pipeline.
In a time when people are fearing the demise of the ink and paper version of books, Scribd’s new service appears somewhat anachronistic. But, when you consider their stated desire is to bring to users the ability to consume and share publications on or in any imaginable platform, offering old-fashioned paper books makes a modicum of sense. Got to give them some credit for being thorough. By the way, its pronounced “scribduh”, with emphasis on the “scrib” part. Just in case you were wondering.
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