Have you been feeling like its been a while since a new online web tool has been released? Me, too. I’ve seen several sites that are trying to be better versions of some other popular site, but nothing really that new. I have been seeing a few sites that combine ideas that already exist into a new idea. Scribd‘s new iPaper site looks interesting for educators.
What Scribd basically does is nothing new – on the front page they proclaim that you can “publish yourself online.” Plenty of sites do that, but Scribd (that is hard name to type over and over again) adds a different twist – you can share you papers like you share videos on YouTube. You can upload any popular file format – Microsoft (doc, ppt, pps, xls), OpenOffice (odt, odp, sxw, sxi, etc.), PDF, RTF, text, and even images – or just enter text directly into the website. Documents will get displayed in a Flash-based viewer like on YouTube, which you can also embed on any website that accepts code. People can even comment on your papers.
(SlideShare does does the same thing with PowerPoints, but also gives you the ability to connect your presentation to an audio file and synch a slide show with that file.)
Below is an example of an embedded paper (The 2007 Horizon Report):