The Right Social Network for You
Media Sharing Sites
Friends on one of the mailing lists to which I subscribe often attach Microsoft Word files containing poems, reports, and other kinds of text to their messages, hoping that someone on the list will read them. Undoubtedly, most recipients simply delete those messages, because e-mail is not a convenient way to share files. Online file storage has boomed in recent years, but eSnips goes beyond simple storage, combining it with networking and creating online communities centered on content categories such as musical styles, painting, poetry, photography, animation, and humor. After you have uploaded your text, audio, image, video, or other type of file to eSnips (using a handy browser toolbar, if you wish), you can opt to share it with the world or with a more select group by e-mail invitation. You can even sell your work through the eSnips Marketplace. eSnips helps you find like-minded people among its reported 4 million users by creating a statistical analysis of your uploaded content, called your "SocialDNA," and matching it with that of other users. Each account receives 5GB of storage for free, currently with no additional storage options.
The Scribd service differs from its competitor eSnips in one important way: It has no storage limits. In fact, you don't even need to sign up for an account to upload files--just browse over and click the big green upload arrow. You do need to sign in with a user account if you want to maintain ownership of the files you upload, however, and you must designate who can see them or delete them later on. In addition, logging in lets you specify whether your files are private, either making them invisible to everyone else until you send out e-mail invitations or marking them as publicly viewable.
Used in combination with Scribd's bulk file uploader, the service can act as a handy limitless online backup tool, or as an alternative to Flickr's limited accounts. Scribd arranges your uploaded content into topical groups, as eSnips does, but Scribd doesn't suggest files it thinks you'll like--a feature you may be willing to give up in exchange for unlimited storage.