The words “Document-sharing website” probably won’t thrill too many people who aren’t stationery geeks. Nevertheless, one such website, Scribd.com, has released a new feature that could make online news reporting a more interesting experience for the journalists and the readers.
But first, a dose of background: Scribd is a website that lets you do all sorts of things in publishing, including selling electronic copies of books. Some of us at Media File use it for a different purpose: embedding documents related to our reporting inside blog posts. See this blog post I wrote about pharmaceutical company Mylan’s legal tussle with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. At the bottom of the page, you can see the legal documents that I wrote about in the blog post and posted by using Scribd.
On Wednesday, Scribd said news outlets The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Mediabistro will use Scribd’s document reader on their sites in the same kinds of ways that I used it on Media File.
Scribd is letting the sites use it for free, sensing what advertisers and publicists like to call a “branding opportunity.” The reader would include Scribd’s name on it, but also the name of the media outlet in question. Think of your personal notepaper that reads, “From the desk of…” at the top.
Here’s more from Scribd’s press release:
The document reader turns nearly all file types — including PDF, Word and PowerPoint — into a Web document that can be shared on Scribd.com and any website that allows embeds. It can help news organizations: