When I think of a book club, I think of middle-aged women sitting in a circle discussing a book centered around a murder or torrid affair. In today’s media 2.0 world, that notion has been replaced with Scribd, a book club for social media types who can connect with their Facebook friends to exchange, find, share and discuss eBooks and millions of other documents for free.
Scribd describes itself as “the world’s largest social reading and publishing company.” At its core, you can share and discover “entertaining, informative and original written content across the web and mobile devices.” Scribd’s mission is to “liberate the written word” and “to connect people with the information and ideas that matter most to them.”
When you first access Scribd, you are automatically connected to Facebook and shown documents and other material that your friends find interesting, and documents based on your profile that you might find interesting too. If you have few seconds to explore the site, you navigate through categories, which promote featured documents in each category. Another tab features trending documents, like documents in the news such as the “Groupon Editorial Manual” and the highest rated documents, which currently include “What Happens To Your Body If You…” You might also notice that Scribd also functions slightly like a social network by allowing you to follow another user. This lets you see what they have published and what’s on their “Shelf”, which includes their uploads, Readcasts, and collections.
Scribd makes it easy to read documents, search within a document and comment about what you read with Scribd, and Scribd also offers the ability to share documents on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. You can even embed the document within another site, like a blog. Scribd also says they have converted over a billion pages of written works into web pages, which means that it’s also easy to access what you’re reading from any web-enabled mobile device like an iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone, or even Amazon Kindle. In addition, most Scribd content is available to download or print.
Scribd is definitely not the book club of yesterday. It’s not about just one document — or the hottest topics. You can find just about anything you want on Scribd, or even upload your own documents to share and start a conversation about. It’s also free, which could be a gamechanger in the way we think about sharing our ideas.
Have you used Scribd? Will you use it to find free documents and eBooks? Would you give away your documents and eBooks for free?