Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Document Reader Par Excellence : Docstoc Document Sharing, Downloads and Embedding in Blogs and Websites

Docstoc (beta) at, as reported by Frank Gruber, senior product manager of myAOL at AOL, at his blog Somewhat Frank, was launched on October 30, 2007 as a "a user generated community for sharing professional documents" which we think may become popular as people become aware of its potential.

Docstoc permits the sharing of documents of all descriptions (legal, business, financial, technology, educational and creative).

Docstoc's most important feature in our view is the ability it gives to embed documents on blog and website pages by means of shockwave-flash as a "flash include" so that the embedded document functions quasi like its own widget. As a sample of what Docstoc does, we have embedded below three documents from Docstoc.

The first is a "Patent Outline" by Jason Peterson, CEO of GoDigital Media Group & Symbolic Entertainment (use the slider to resize the text):

PATENT OUTLINE - Get more free documents at Docstoc

The second is a popular document, a Web Development Contract Agreement, as uploaded to Docstoc by Jason Nazar, CEO of Docstoc. Embedded documents can be customized by height and width, so that this is only one of many possible formats (we have made this format narrower and shorter than the one above - use the slider to resize the document):

Web Development Contract Agreement - Get more free documents at Docstoc.

As one can try by experimentation with the above document, embedded documents can be searched using the search box at the top of the document, the size of any viewed page can be changed within the quasi-widget format by a slider at the top of the page to a minimal decrease of 25% and a maximum increase of 250%, the pages to be viewed can be specifically selected by the page-selection box (or one can use the integrated slider button or scroll bar), and there is a print option and also a special button allowing the quasi-widget format to be converted to widescreen (full screen) presentation. Any page can be moved up, down, left or sideways with the hand icon enabled and the mouse arrow held down and moved (this only works if the document view has been resized, e.g. if you have made the document larger and want to look e.g. left and right at something). The search function highlights the found word or phrase and moves to that first found occurrence of that word or phrase - and in the case of multiple hits, pressing the magnifying glass button viz. icon takes you from one hit of the word or phrase sought to the next. Try those all out on the third document below, of which we are the authors (at the time of posting this document was not yet available, as it is a tough format to convert, so I hope it shows up soon):

Writing Origins : Pharaohs, Moderns and Dyslexics
Get more free documents at Docstoc

Document-finding menu options are provided at the Docstoc website, e.g. under the menu item "legal" to cover all docs, contracts, employment, family, forms, incorporations, IP, M&As, Real Estate and Wills and Trusts. Each of these is again subdivided into additional menus. IP for example offers a separate menu selection for copyright, international, license, other, patent, sole proprietorship, trade secrets, and trademark . Nevertheless, we found the subdivided menu attribution to be incomplete and we got much better results with the general Docstoc search box, e.g. our search for "Patent" also gave a completely different set of results than "Patents".

IMPORTANT: The documents which are shown upon selection of any menu item correspond to the item marked in the "master menu" selection in the left column of the Docstoc website, where documents as a whole are highlighted for selection either as most viewed, most downloaded, most commented, most recent, or highest rated.

There is also a "mouse over" feature so that documents can be viewed briefly and do not have to be opened.

Free registration at Docstoc enables the user to have a profiled account.

For enthusiasts, there is the Docstoc blog....

Tal Siach at Docstoc sent us the following information about Docstoc:

"Docstoc is a community of users sharing their professional documents, and we have thousands of legal and business documents that can be downloaded for free.

Here are some highlights about docstoc:

1) 55,000+ free legal forms, business documents, excel templates, free real estate forms, sample business plans.
2) Backed by the co-founders/investors of MySpace, Baidu,, and

3) Launched about three months ago and have 30,000+ registered members and are ranked by in the top 14,000 most visited sites.

4) Selected as one [of] the presenting companies and most promising start ups for the TechCrunch40 conference by (Selected out of 700+ applying startups)

5) The premier online community for professional content

For additional information feel free to check out these links:

Bloggers have also found our embed feature very helpful - you can embed documents into your Blog after uploading them to docstoc. You can read more about it at our post here:

I would also like to take this opportunity to invite you to take part in our community at and share your own documents on our site. Once submitted, you may place a link to your own personal website or service in order to use our platform to drive more traffic to you. Furthermore, your uploaded documents get indexed at the top of search engines like Google and Yahoo, so it provides you key visibility.

You can register here and can upload your documents by following this link".

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