CyberNotes
Weekend Website




Today’s Weekend Website is called Docstoc. If you’ve ever looked for a web-based service for sharing and discovering documents, you’ll want to check it out.

What is Docstoc?

Docsto.pngDocstoc is a platform for web-based sharing and discovery of documents. Sound familiar? That’s because its main competitor is Scribd who offers something similar. Docstoc is aimed more towards professionals, so you’ll find professional types of documents in various categories and languages. All documents are free to upload and free to view. At the moment they have documents with various file types available including .doc, .pdf, .xls., .ppt., and .txt.

Categories of Documents

As mentioned, Docstoc is geared towards professional documents, so you will find various document types under the following categories:

  • legal
  • business
  • financial
  • technology
  • educational
  • creative

Aside from viewing documents in categories, you can also view documents by those that have been viewed the most, those that were downloaded or reviewed the most, those that have been uploaded most recently, or those rated the highest.

I decided to view the “educational” documents and then filtered it down by the most downloaded to see what types of documents were available. The overview for this section was interesting because it explains that you can “find and share free educational documents, free term papers, and class notes. Download sample class outlines, college essays, graduate materials and much more.” So in other words, it seems as though Docstoc is promoting users to cheat, by pointing out the fact that users can find and share term papers, for free.

Document Filtering

You can filter the documents that you view by either document type or language. Examples of document types you can view include:

  • Adobe PDF
  • MS Word
  • MS PowerPoint
  • MS Excel
  • Rich Text Format
  • Plain Text

It would take us too long to go through all of the languages that are supported because there are many of them which makes this a Global service. A few examples include English, Dutch, French, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and more. In all there are over 65 different languages.

Private Documents

One of their latest features allows you to monitor your private documents to track who is viewing, downloading, and emailing them. Another feature allows users to allow only viewers of their documents to simply view the document and not download them.

Below is a screenshot of what a document activity log shows — it tells the document owner which visitors viewed the document, and which ones downloaded it:

document activity log.png

Using Docstoc as File Storage

Once you create an account, you can begin uploading your documents. At this point there is no limit on how many documents can be uploaded. And because you have the option of keeping your documents private, Docstoc could potentially be a solution for backing up your documents. They did say that at some point in the future, they might have to put a limit on the number of documents people can store, but for now it remains unlimited.

Then it’s just a matter of determining whether you feel comfortable or not leaving your documents in the hands of Docstoc which is in beta.

Request a Document

If there’s a particular type of document that you are looking for, they offer the option to request it. What you’ll do is fill out a form of the key elements like name, tags, a category, language, and file type. Should someone upload a document that meets your request, you’ll receive an email.

documents.png

Docstock OneClick

Docstoc wanted to make it easy for users to email large documents without needing to attach files. Their solution for this is Docstoc OneClick. Once you download the OneClick application (for Windows only, unfortunately), you will be able to right click on supported file types and choose the option to email them (either as private or public). They do limit you to 50mb in size per document.

Overall Impressions…

Docstoc does a decent job of providing users a place to find and share documents. They’ve got a community rating and comment system that could potentially be useful, but it doesn’t get used nearly enough. Whether you are looking for a sample contract, a budget planner, or a term paper, Docstoc does a pretty good job of helping users find the documents they need online.