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It highlights one aspect of Scribd, though: so far all links to Scribd I have seen were to pirated content (I don't think pg's essays are open source). That seems to be a huge difference to YouTube to me. At least YouTube enables people to share their homemade videos, which wasn't so easy to do before. For sharing homemade texts, there already lots of other established mechanisms (ie blogs).

What they have in common is the neat user experience (YouTube videos are the only ones that almost always work). I wish them the best anyway - though I'd rather see PDF and other bloated text formats disappear (and flash, too, for that matter - I don't want to be forced to keep the flash plugin just because all texts and videos come through YouTube or Scrib).

pg's essays are pretty much open source. You can even submit patches!

The point of Scribd using Flash is that it doesn't launch a separate program and window which breaks your flow on the web.

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