A lot of people are assuming that this is an April Fool’s joke, but the press release is already circulating signaling that this could very well be real. Scribd is well known for taking your digital documents and turning them into an online version that can easily be shared with others. Now they are taking it a step further by accepting your physical paper documents, and converting them into “iPaper.”
Any documents that you send to them will be scanned by a third-party partner, and will be run through an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) system. The cost of doing this is apparently offset by showing relevant ads to those viewing the documents that get scanned in and published. What happens to the documents that you send in to be scanned? Your guess is as good as mine.
So how do you go about doing this? Here are the instructions they include in the press release:
To participate, just send a brief description of the type and quantity of your documents to firstname.lastname@example.org. A Scribd representative will reply shortly with further instructions for how and where to mail the documents. Scribd will have the content scanned and published on Scribd.com to be easily shared with anyone. Include your Scribd username along with your paper so that your content will be published in your account. If you are not a Scribd user, include your email address, and Scribd will email you a link to your published content.
One thing that I noticed on Scribd’s site is that they say “this program will be available for a limited time only.” So I assume that they are doing this as a trial run to see how successful it will end up being. If that’s the case you might want to shoot them an email soon to make sure you’re not left out in the cold.
So only time will tell whether this is an April Fool’s joke or not. If it does turn out to be real I think they could have held out for another day to avoid any of the confusion going around.