Wednesday, February 20, 2008

iPaper, a better way to show documents on the web

iPaper is a flash widget that can be embed in any web page to show various document formats. Its like YouTube, but instead of showing video, this one shows documents such as Word, PowerPoint, PDF, etc. It features the ability to add Google Ads directly in the documents. And it also has social features built in to encourage users to share their documents with their friends. In security side, because iPaper documents are embedded in webpages, the documents will naturally inherit the website's existing security system.
Scribd, the developer of iPaper offers 3 methods to begin using iPaper. QuickSwitch, that automatically convert documents on your website. Scribd API, for those who know more about programming. And the simplest method is by using the embeding system. This last method works by uploading document to Scribd website, and then you can copy and paste the embed code on Scribd to embed them on your website. If you do not have a website or just want to share the documents, you can choose to view it directly from Scribd website.
One thing that really interest me is the idea of sharing documents (like YouTube does with video) is something that really sell. Just go the homepage of Scribd and you will see a lot of people share documents. There a lot of documents from simple thing like cake recipe to some heavy stuff in political or religion. And not just documents, here are the list that can be uploaded:
  • Microsoft Office Word (.doc, .ppt, .pps & .xls)
  • OpenOffice (.odt, .odp, .sxw, .sxi, etc)
  • Text (.txt & .rtf)
  • PDF (.pdf & .ps)
  • Images (.jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png)