Saturday, March 01, 2008


I'm not sure what I make of iPaper, described as a potential "YouTube for Documents." Jeff Young gives a succinct description in his Chronicle of Higher Ed article. TeleRead has a post. TechCrunch briefly touches on the business model. ReadWriteWeb has a longer post.

Basically, documents are uploaded (a number of formats are supported) and streamed to a Flash player for page turning. The iPaper player is also available for integration into other sites.

There is a lot of pointing to an astonishingly bad essay that has been posted for its humor value, and the comments are frequently much obscenity laden. How is this useful? One can see the YouTube comparison here dumb things people do in document form rather than video.

I see uploaded offprints of articles, sheet music, and car manuals, test answers for past medical residency exams, among other things, made publicly accessible. Is copyright status being confirmed in any way?

This could be useful -- a place to upload documents with unlimited storage for public access or sale,that supports review and commenting and social bookmarking. But how do you find what's really useful among tips of reducing your golf slice or "secret White House plans"?

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