Scribd – “The Youtube of Text Documents”

I noticed Scribd, a tool for sharing text documents, in a recent TechCrunch article. It’s being touted as “the Youtube of text”. So I thought I would give it a shot and see how it handles a larger document. I uploaded my recent dissertation to the site. You should see it below.

There are several neat options. When I uploaded the document, it was converted to .doc, .pdf (kind of), .txt and even .mp3 (yes an audio file). I didn’t notice any open formats, however.

I think it choked on this document. The PDF conversion didn’t really work. The other conversions were pretty much what I expected. I may try it with a few other documents, as it does look promising in some ways.

Update: Yea, when I went to look at how it was embedded into this post, it doesn’t seem to work. Likely, the document is too big. This obviously has serious implications for the usefulness of the service. I’ll leave it up for now, maybe one of the Scribd people will find this and offer an explanation. Here’s another URI to the document that may be more useful than the embed code.

3 thoughts on “Scribd – “The Youtube of Text Documents”

  1. Hi there!
    Thanks for trying out Scribd and uploading your dissertation! I’m very sorry that the conversion didn’t work for your document at first. It’s not a file size issue – Scribd has no file size limitations. It seems to have just been a scaling issue related to the enormous traffic spike Scribd got yesterday. Anyway, it seems to be working now, but you may need to clear your browser’s cache in order to see it.

    Best wishes,

  2. There is another cool new company in this space. It is called OpenFloodgate. Their slogan is, “Opening the path to publication to everyone.” This site now allows you to share your work (anything that can be uploaded as a doc or pdf) and will soon allow you to sell it. Also, you can make each work public, private, or only available to a select “club.” Check it out at

  3. Hi Alec,
    this is just to congratulate you about your great work. I’m writing my dissertation and yours is helping me to fill a lot of holes.
    Thank you and all the best

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