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Lonely Planet e-book travel guides now on Scribd
April 17, 2014 | 10:25 am

lonely planetThe popular Lonely Planet travel guide e-books have headed to Scribd. The e-book subscription service let customers know about the newest addition through email. When I think of e-book subscriptions, I tend to imagine a digital library with thousands of titles ready for me to read. I think more along the lines of fiction titles and perhaps memoirs and biographies. But the addition of a Lonely Planet makes it seem as though e-book subscriptions can also be used as a reference tool for the price of $8.99 a month. Having guides such as Lonely Planet at your fingertips seems useful especially for travelers. Scribd...

Oyster and Scribd release different, but significant app updates
January 22, 2014 | 6:47 pm

app updatesWhile content will always be important to subscription services, we can't ignore the importance of reading environment. The greatest content in an unusable app won't attract many subscribers. Both Oyster and Scribd recently released app updates, and while they took different approaches, both were significant for users. Oyster added annotation and sharing features to their app. (Hat tip to Nate at Digital Reader for covering it.) While those aren't features I care about, I know lots of readers love the ability to highlight and share passages. Sharing of highlights is also good passive marketing for Oyster. I assume the shares mention Oyster...

Scribd and Smashwords Author Compensation: Why It’s Confusing
December 27, 2013 | 10:47 am

scribd and smashwords author compensationTwo weeks ago, we covered the new Scribd/Smashwords partnership, and one of the things I noticed when I read the announcement was how complicated were the Scribd and Smashwords author compensation terms. I've already covered the first part of my interview with Andrew Weinstein, VP of Content Strategy at Scribd where he discussed piracy. When we finished that subject, I asked him about the compensation terms. You may remember that while Smashwords authors receive payment from Oyster when a reader completes 10% of the book, it's different for Scribd. The short version is that authors are paid in full when a reader completes...

Scribd and Piracy: What Are They Doing To Stop It?
December 23, 2013 | 4:50 pm

scribd and piracyWhen Scribd announced their partnership with Smashwords last week, I did some poking around various boards to check the reaction. What I discovered was that Scribd and piracy were linked together in the minds of many people. On Friday, I had a chance to talk with Andrew Weinstein, VP of Content Strategy at Scribd to ask him what they were doing to change that impression. He was candid, and some of his answers surprised me (in a good way). One of the complaints I had read was from a reader who refused to subscribe to the service because of what she...

Scribd to Partner With Smashwords. Adds More Than 225,000 Titles
December 19, 2013 | 9:45 am

scribdAs an author, Christmas has come early for me. Although I'm still writing the article detailing my experience, I decided last month to distribute my books through Smashwords. One of the reasons was the partnership with Oyster, and I was crossing my fingers that Scribd was to come. And today it has. Scribd just announced their partnership with Smashwords, and there's a lot to like, both as readers and authors. For readers, the number of books is close to on par with Oyster, who has already partnered with Smashwords. Unless I'm missing a partner, that gives both services basically the same book...

First Impressions of new Scribd Service
October 2, 2013 | 3:32 pm

It was ironic that a reminder popped up for me yesterday to cancel Oyster. Cancel one service and sign up for another. Susan has covered the essentials well in her article. What I wanted to write about was my impression as a user. So far, I like it. The selection is similar to Oyster, and I found plenty to read in a quick perusal. Nate over at Digital Reader noticed that some of the books showing in searches are marked as Unavailable, and when I dug a bit further, I found that to be true. That's definitely a disappointment. One of the...

New York school’s summer reading list features hilarious but unforgivable typos
July 11, 2013 | 4:20 pm

summer reading listSome Long Island students might find it difficult to fill out their summer reading list this year. Why? Because some of the books don’t exist. A summer reading list for the Hempstead, N.Y. public school system had more than 30 typos, according to Newsday. Some of the books on the list include "The Great Gypsy" by F. Scott Fitzgerald and "The Lovely Bone" (which sounds like something not meant for children) by Alice Sebold. Some author misspellings include Charlotte Bonte (instead of Bronte) and George Ornell (instead of Orwell). (Scroll down to see this beauty for yourself. —Ed.) One or two mistakes probably would...

Scribd fails to sell news aggregation app to Yahoo
March 20, 2012 | 12:10 am

TechCrunch has a piece on Scribd, the document-sharing platform with 100 million registered users and 90 million monthly active users. The piece focuses on the iOS news aggregation app, Float, that Scribd developed and almost sold to Yahoo for between $2 and $8 million before Yahoo decided to walk away in February. Float had gotten off to a good start, with up to 200 news partners and good ratings at the app store. However, it soon ran up against some stiff competition: “When we originally launched Float, Scribd wanted it to be Instapaper and Read...

Scribd self-censors to stop SOPA
December 21, 2011 | 11:13 pm

Wikipedia isn’t the only site considering a public demonstration of the evils of SOPA. Scribd has gone ahead and done it. Scribd has added a script to its page that blanks out documents word by word before users’ eyes, followed by a pop-up explaining what’s happening and why we should all be concerned about SOPA. This analysis of why SOPA is unconstitutional is cited as an example. (At least, in theory. It didn’t work on my computer, nor on those of some others who posted comments on Scribd’s post.) That puts me in mind of a tool I...

Senate to distribute documents via Scribd
August 2, 2011 | 11:15 pm

The United States Senate has reached an agreement with Scribd to provide ad-free hosting document hosting for public Senate documents, as well as an “official Scribd liaison” presumably to help the Senate figure out how to use it. They will be using a number of other digital services as well, such as Sharepoint and UStream, to give the public a greater view into Senate proceedings. Of course, it remains to be seen just how many people will actually bother to take advantage of this openness, but it’s nice to see the Senate taking advantage of new technological platforms....

Scribd launches iPhone reader app, hopes to become ‘Netflix of reading’
July 19, 2011 | 11:23 am

scribd-float-favorites-oScribd is launching an iPhone app called the Float Reader, through which it hopes to become “the Netflix of reading.” Unfortunately, I can’t try this app out on my first-gen iPod Touch—it requires iOS 4.0—but from the news coverage it looks like an interesting attempt to bring some of the benefits of iPad-only reader apps like Flipboard to the smaller smartphone interface. The Float Reader provides access to a user’s Scribd documents, as well as to articles from 150 partners including The Atlantic, Time, Salon, and TechCrunch, and to excerpts of articles friends have shared on Facebook, Twitter, or...

Scribd apologizes, pledges changes over archive fiasco
September 22, 2010 | 8:15 am

image1061[1] For those who’ve been following the outrage about Scribd instituting a paid archive feature in which the site charged for downloads of content that had been meant to be downloadable for free (we covered it here), TechCrunch reports on the latest development. Our earlier report on the issue came from Lynn Viehl’s blog (and subsequently, Scribd responded with an editorial in the Huffington Post), but another vehement denouncement of Scribd’s apparent malfeasance came from law professor Eric Goldman. It turned out that Scribd had started moving older files into an archive for which there was a charge...