I was in a panic a few weeks ago to post a sketch on our website of a suspect sought by Milan Police for exposing his private parts to a child. The problem was that the sketch came in pdf format and I didn’t know how to convert it into a jpg, the format I needed to upload it to our website. So, I asked for help from our online support team at the Journal Register Co. headquarters. Leslie Wenzel suggested I visit Scribd.com and use it to get an embed code, instead of converting it to jpg. At the time, I was on deadline and under the gun, and wasn’t very interested in learning something new. I begged for her help and she did it for me, providing the embed code. But she also, wisely I might say, ordered me to sign up for a Scribd account the following Wednesday after deadlines. Out of guilt from having to seek assistance and fear for what Leslie would do if I didn’t, I signed up that Wednesday. And I am glad I did.
Since then, I’ve used Scribd to upload a huge list of 4-H Youth Show exhibitors and winners from Washtenaw County, a sketch and flier of a suspect wanted for an assault, and a news release from police about a traffic advisory for the filming of a public service announcement near Saline.
The items I posted may have otherwise never gotten published, but using Scribd made it a lot easier. I didn’t have to convert, format or edit anything, as those 4-H documents, in particular, are very long and would have taken hours to perfect. And then there’s the space issue. There probably wouldn’t have been enough room in the print product, but space online is infinite. I was able to share the information quickly via Facebook because you can link Scribd to your Facebook account, and I also used the embed code in a brief for our website.
I also used Scribd to entice Facebook fans of the A2 Journal to get the print product by uploading an early page that was already finished in pdf format to tease the Aug. 19 edition. The page, our Second Front, produced by Joe Gray, looks amazing. Anyone who enjoys a beautifully designed page with full color should be interested in seeing more of the newspaper as a result.
Scribd not only provides another avenue for sharing the news and enticing readers with our printed pages, but it offers access to government documents and other information. Check it out and see how it can help you do a better job, reach readers or at least provide an alternative when you’re in a pinch.
A suggestion from Jon Cooper at JRC:
A tip for using Scribd … use their embed function and put the pdf back on your site. Was looking at your FB link to the beer page and noticed the link drives to Scribd.
When we used Scribd at NHR and during BFP we encourage people to use the embed function so you retain the traffic. Linking to Scribd gives Scribd the page views. If you drive folks back to your site(s) then you get the benefit of the page view, the unique visitor and the time spent on site.
If you’re already doing that on other links then please just help spread the word so others do it too.
We want to reap the benefits of all the work our folks do.
See you soon.