Publish and Share Your Documents Using Scribd

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image common property

The Publishing world has changed immensely in the past five to 10 years. No longer must you submit a transcript to 30 different publishing houses, only to receive 30 rejection letters.

Perhaps you have something you’d like to share, not for money, but just because you realize that others might benefit from it: a pattern, a list of recipes, a tutorial.

If you are like me, you have a lot of ideas swirling around – maybe you’ve written some of them down or stored them on your computer. Or maybe, just maybe, you sense that others might enjoy reading your term paper from your junior year of college.

None of these items are items that a traditional publishing house would consider publishing. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an audience looking for just that topic. If you upload your documents to Scribd and categorize them, you can share them with other readers.

Not only is it a site that is beneficial to writers looking for an audience, but there are many helpful tutorials, how-tos, menus, patterns etc for readers to seek out.

Using the iPaper area of the site, you can convert just about any major document format, including Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, OpenOffice documents, and PostScript files. Upload your documents and embed them on your blog/website. The embedding feature is really helpful and is a tidy and efficient way to place an entire document on your blog page or site. (see below for a sample of an embedded document)

Look into the Group area to find materials that are already sorted. Or use it to create your own mini-library. Create a group and choose whether it is private or open to anyone.

Consider using Scribd to free up space on your hard drive, or to finally be able to get rid of those boxes of old college term papers (scan them and upload them) There are many ways to use the site: learn something, share something, store something.

*One word of warning: there are no rating labels to show materials that may not be appropriate for children. I haven’t come across anything offensive, but, as with any other site, that doesn’t mean it isn’t on there.

(For more help or support visit the Support Desk.)

Sample Embedded Document:

Easter Peeps in a Jar

Your turn: Would you be willing to post documents for free?

Back Up Your Computer – a case study

In December, I ran a series on the importance of backing up your computer’s data. Unless there is nothing irreplaceable on your computer, backing it up is a must.

(sidenote: I have since come across several other companies who offer this service at a reasonable rate and will be posting on them soon)

Here is what almost happened to me:

In January, my computer started running slowly and freezing. Given the  amount of work and photos and music on my system, this alarmed me. I was already backing up documents that I used for my business, but there were plenty of other items stored on my computer that would have created a huge nightmare if they were to be lost.

I removed unnecessary files and defragmented my hard drive, but the problem continued.

I immediately signed up for the unlimited Mozy upload and backed up everything on my computer. Then I ran a total system recovery. This seemed to fix the problem, until a week ago, when my computer started turning off on its own, and freezing again.

Wednesday, I ran another system recovery but then my computer wouldn’t start. I received the dreaded DOS screen.  On Thursday, I spoke with my computer’s help and support team and discovered that (here’s the kicker:) my warranty had expired the day before. I tried running a recovery three more times but the issue became worse. Finally,  I submitted that my laptop was a goner.

Do you think I’m glad I had backed up my entire computer? You betcha. It has been a huge huge relief knowing that my data is all safe and sound waiting for my new laptop to be purchased. At this point, my only issue is that I am having to work on my husband’s six year old beastly desktop. But it could have been much much worse.

I don’t know when I will be able to purchase another laptop, but waiting will be much easier.

So consider this your fair warning. Don’t risk losing it all.

*(Mozy is $4.95 a month for unlimited storage. It automatically backups up your data at a scheduled time.
As I have mentioned, there are several other online storage companies, but for the purpose of this post, Mozy is mentioned because it is what I used and it is what, in this particular case, saved my butt.)

photo: Eleventh Earl of Mar

What’s New on Modern Media Mom:

This month I am reviewing online storage sites on Modern Media Mom.

Want to know the differences? Which one is best for you?

I’m layin’ it all out for you.

Resolve to back up your computer data in 2009.

Store Your Documents Online: Mozy

storage

photo: thatjonjackson

This month, I am taking a look at some of the sites available online for storing your documents.

At the end of the series, I will provide an overview of each of them – pros and cons, so that you can choose the product(s) that best suits your needs.

Previously, we took a look at Box.net, which offers both free (via the link on the post) and paid storage options.

Mozy, another online storage site, also offers both free and paid options. The free option allows for up to 2G to be stored/backed-up; 1G more than Box.net. For unlimited backup, it is $4.95 per month. However, unlike Box.net, it is strictly for storage.

One of the nice things about Mozy is that it can be set up to automatically back up your files. I was able to quickly backup my files, without much of a noticeable slowdown to my computer. There is an option to choose quicker backup speed or quicker computer. If you backup while away from your computer, this isn’t even an issue.

Bottom line: Mozy is a reasonable storage option for anyone who wants to be able to backup their computer without having to remember to do it.

*note: I have updated the Box.net post with more detailed information.

Store Your Documents Online: Box.net

stopnlook

Do you ever worry about what would happen if your computer were to get lost, broken or stolen? At one time, I spent many hours worrying, but externally in denial, about the countless hours and hours that I would lose, should that happen to me.

As we begin to place more and more of our information. documents and photos onto our computers, we are, indeed, taking steps to get organized and safely store our info. But we are also running the risk of losing those things forever, if something were to happen to our computers.

It is important to have another backup – just in case.

Box.net allows you to store up to 1G of your files for free. You must use this link to receive the 1G for free; otherwise, you will be directed to options that are only free during a short trial period. With online file storage from Box.net you can upload, share, and access your files anywhere.

For most of us, 1G is plenty. When you consider that there are other places to upload your images/photos/graphics, 1G is a lot of text documents.

I was able to upload 162 graphic images/designs and photos and used only 204 MB of the storage space. That has left right at 800 MB of storage remaining*.

The platform is easy to figure out, and simple to use. In fact, there is a drag and drop feature – drag directly from your computer.

In addition, once you upload your files, there are additional services connected to Box.net that you can use to:

  • Access and edit your documents from any computer
  • Share your documents with others directly from Box.net
  • Post files from Box.net directly to your blog (compatible with Blogger, WordPress, and LiveJournal.)
  • s (Open Picnik image editor)
  • Send, approve and sign contracts electronically, on the web
  • Fax any document in your Box.net account
  • Post to Facebook
  • (Send files to people through Gmail)

Bottom line: 1G is a decent amount of storage. If it is not enough, the prices for the increased storage are reasonable. And the ability to also access the documents from anywhere, makes the price more compelling.

In future posts, I will be highlighting other sites that offer online storage. There are pros and cons to each of them, and I’ll discuss these as well. At the end of the discussion, I will post a comparison chart so that you can decide which site is best for you and your storage needs.

*1GB is 1024 MB. 1024 MB is exactly 1073741824 bytes. That’s a lot of bytes.