Document-sharing website Scribd.com relaunches today with a new design, marking its leap to the social-networking terrain.
A San Francisco startup founded by Jared Friedman and Trip Adler, Scribd.com is set to emerge as a new-genre/hobby-based social site with the aim of becoming the largest book club in the world. Besides scraping off its old logo, Scribd.com's new design will let users:
- enter their musings in a "scribble box";
- see live updates from other subscribers in the network;
- subscribe to other members' status feeds;
- search for authors with related literary interests;
- access a virtual bookshelf that showcases people's "reading lists"; and
- review books using a five-star rating system.
With the improved website, writers are expected to take advantage of the written word's newfound dynamism. Scribd.com can now serve as a venue where writers can share their work, even in the middle of the writing process, and easily get feedback from readers.
Of course, you, being a self-confessed literary geek, can post all the stuff you read on Twitter and Facebook. However, if you don't want to cause nosebleed to friends who are not used to seeing titles like Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time or Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, then Scribd.com is the best place for you to be in.
Before the redesign, Scribd.com was getting 40 million unique visitors a month, but they tend to visit the site only to upload their work and/or look for a document, then leave. The developers hope that the new interface will make these users spend more time on the site to "hang out" with other people as well.