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Scribd FAQ's

1. What is Scribd?
2. What kinds of things can Scribd do with documents?
3. What kinds of documents can I publish on Scribd?
4. How is Scribd different from a blogging site?
5. If I publish writing on Scribd, how will people find it?
6. Do I keep the rights to documents published on Scribd?
7. How do I convert between different document formats?
8. How do I embed a document in a webpage/myspace profile?
9. Can I make money for my work using Scribd?
10. Who started Scribd?
11. How do you guys make money?


What is Scribd?
Scribd lets you share and discover documents online. There are all sorts of features that make it easy and fun to publish, convert, embed, read, and do many other things with documents.


What kinds of things can Scribd do with documents?
To name a few:
  • Embed a long or complex document in your blog or webpage with our slick custom Flash player
  • Convert documents between many different formats, including Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, plain text, HTML, Flash Paper, and even audio
  • Publish a document online in an attractive format that will be indexed by Google and other search engines and read by a lot of people
  • See all sorts of statistics on who is viewing your document, including a graph of page views, a log of every view, and a map of the geographic locations of every visitor
  • Receive ratings and comments on your documents
  • Browse popular documents using view counts, ratings, tags, and other ways that let you find content that is interesting to you


What kinds of documents can I publish on Scribd?
Literally, anything you can put in a word or PDF file. Here are some things people have uploaded to Scribd.
  • School papers
  • Poems
  • Academic research articles
  • Cartoons
  • Free online books
  • Commentary on current events
  • Musical scores


How is Scribd different from a blogging site?
Publishing on Scribd is conceptually very different from blogging. Here are a few reasons:

  • Each piece of writing on Scribd stands completely by itself. Rather than being like an online journal, in which all the entries are related to the others, each document is a stand-alone publication.
  • There is no pressure to post multiple documents on Scribd. Unlike a blog, you can post one piece of writing and then never post anything again.
  • You don't write things for the purpose of putting them on Scribd. Instead Scribd is meant to be a tool for publishing things you have already written.
  • Writings on Scribd are timeless. They don't have to be about what you did during the day or the current events of the week. They can even be things you wrote ten years ago!
  • Unlike a blog, Scribd allows you to upload a Word or PDF file with richly formatted text

Rather than a blogging site, Scribd is more accurately described as a writing repository, or as we like to call it, a "wripository." It's a collection of wonderful things that people have written throughout their lives.


If I publish writing on Scribd, how will people find it?
In several ways. First, all entries get indexed by Google and other major search engines so people who don't know about Scribd will still find your work. Second, we attract readers to the site by organizing all the writings with tags, ratings, view counts, and more. This helps direct readers to high quality and relevant content. Third, articles on Scribd can be submitted to sites like Digg and Reddit, which can drive huge amounts of traffic to top articles.


Do I keep the rights to documents published on Scribd?
Of course. When you upload something to Scribd, you keep all the rights to it, including the right to remove it at any time. You grant Scribd only the right to host the document until you choose to remove it. If you choose to, however, you can give other people limited rights to share and reproduce your work, by publishing it under a Creative Commons license.


How do I convert between different document formats?
First, publish the document on Scribd. Then, once it's online, choose the format that you would like to use to download the document.


How do I embed a document in a webpage/myspace profile?
Next to each document there is a piece of HTML code in a text box. Copy and paste this text into the code of the webpage.


Can I make money for my work using Scribd?
Not directly. While Scribd does not allow you to charge for access to your work on the site, you can use Scribd to promote your paid work. For example, if you have a blog with ads on it, you can upload one of your best entries to Scribd as a way to get more readership. If you have a book in print, you can upload an excerpt (or even the whole thing!) to Scribd as a promotion.

However, Scribd does offer a neat little printing service through Print(fu). Every document you upload automatically has a link to the Print(fu) service, where readers can get a printed copy mailed to them for a few dollars. Every time someone orders a print copy of your document through Print(fu), Print(fu) will email you $1 using Paypal. Some things to keep in mind:
  • Don't get too excited - the amount of money you will make is likely to be trivial. This is a fun service, not a serious way to make money.
  • For this to work, you must put a real email address on your profile.
  • Scribd currently does not take any cut of the money you make through Print(fu), though we reserve the right to do so in the future.
  • If you don't want the Print(fu) link, you can always take it off by editing your document's properties.


Who started Scribd?
Scribd was started by Trip Adler and Jared Friedman, two guys who thought there should be a better way to publish writing online. They hope to create a unique community around writing that lets people share their work with each other and get it read.


How do you guys make money?
Trip plays sax on street corners sometimes.