An interesting post on Facebook‘s official blog this morning touted “A New Chapter in Reading with Friends“. Being librarians and avid readers, our interest was immediately piqued. The news that followed, was interesting to say the least. The Facebook has expanded its instant personalization offerings in a new partnership with Scribd. And so, the world’s largest social network meets the world’s largest social publisher. For readers and publishers, this could be a marriage made in heaven.
Before we talk about Scribd, which the iBraryGuy team loves, let’s talk about what is happening with Facebook. Starting today, if you visit Scribd while logged into Facebook, you will get personalized reading recommendations based on what your friends are sharing and your own Facebook likes. Should you come across something that grabs you, you will be able to click the Like button and share it with your friends. This interaction between Facebook and Scribd is designed to personalize your reading experience. Pretty cool!
But some of you may not be familiar with Scribd. You really should be. Scribd is hot! As we mentioned above, it is the world’s largest social publishing and reading site. Their vision is “to liberate the written word, to connect people and organizations with the information and ideas that matter most to them.” Using Scribd, you can turn virtually any file (PDF, Word, PPT) into a web document and share it through such connected sites such as Facebook , Twitter and even Google. From books to presentations, Scribd users are sharing almost 60,000 items daily! There’s a lot to read and, thanks to this partnership with Facebook, it just got easier to find!
Facebook’s instant personalization initiative has been embraced by some and villified by others. Whether it is just an example of how the Web can bring you more of what truly interests you or a more insidious strike against our individual and collective privacy remains to be seen. What we can say is that as a program, Facebook is pressing ahead with it. This particular area of instant personalization is one that interests us as librarians and Scribd users. Frankly, we are excited by the possibilities! The motto behind the initiative is that “the web is better with friends”. We are hoping it is better with friends who like to read and write as mucha s we do!