Scribd to kill the e-mail attachment

Document host Scribd has a new service for people afraid of opening attachments. It's simply an e-mail address (iPaper@Scribd.com) you add as a CC recipient on your e-mails. If there are any documents attached, they'll be uploaded to Scribd and hosted for you. Less than a minute later the service sends a second e-mail with a link to that document or documents on Scribd, all of which have been set to private--regardless of whether you or the people who are getting the e-mail have Scridb accounts.

Last week I sat down with Scribd co-founder Trip Adler to chat about this new service and Scribd in general. The last time I wrote about them it was for the dubious Paper-to-iPaper program, which lets people send off their paper documents to be scanned and hosted. I gave it a try and it actually works as advertised--they even send it back free of charge. The whole process took about three weeks, which Alder says will be shortened as the program progresses.

WW: What are users uploading the most of?

Alder: We get a lot of academic papers, school work, study notes, things like that. We get a lot of eBooks and presentations for work and legal documents. We get a lot of slideshows of photos.

WW: What's the average size of what people are uploading?

Alder: It ranges. We have a lot of really long documents that go over 1,000 pages, and a lot of really short ones too. The long stuff tends to be more interesting, it gets a lot more traffic too.

WW: Have you thought about spinning off versions for niche sites, like adult content or something document heavy like the Smoking Gun?

Alder: We've thought it, but we're working with educational institutions and big enterprises, and people can find that stuff somewhere else.

WW: Speaking of which, how is the push to get school to use your service?

Alder: There are institutions using it, we haven't been pushing that hard because it takes forever to contact universities. We talked to Harvard for example, where I went to school, and it's so hard to get the entire organization to use a single tool because it's so segmented into different areas. MIT OpenCourseWare is uploading all their documents. They created an account just to test it out--they don't have that much yet. They're going to upload about 100,000 documents. As we get bigger and get more resources we'll definitely try to get out and talk to more universities and get them to upload content.

WW: Do you have any users who are uploading an outrageous amount of stuff?

Alder: Yeah we have some power users. We had one guy who was uploading 40,000 documents or something. We ended up hiring him and now he's our community manager.

WW: What type of content was it?

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JetBlue adds more e-mail options to in-flight Wi-Fi

JetBlue passengers, rejoice. Now there is yet another way to pass the time during flights. JetBlue's free in-flight Wi-Fi will no longer require Yahoo or BlackBerry accounts to check e-mail and chat with friends.

Starting Wednesday, JetBlue's plane equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi will let users with Gmail, AOL, Hotmail, and Windows Live Mail addresses check their e-mail while onboard. It also will offer Microsoft Exchange so travelers can communicate with their office on the ground. No Web surfing is available, but thanks to a deal with Amazon, passengers on the so-called BetaBlue plane can log on to the … Read more

Cellity hands out e-mail, free SMS, and cheap calls abroad

Cellity Communicator (download) is an e-mail, SMS, and calling client and service for Java cell phones that's better than it looks. That may not sound terribly heartening, but it's no derisive knock. Designing an app that crams phone calls, conference calls, various tiers of texting, and e-mail into a mobile application and still manages to look simple is quite an achievement.

It is arguably overly so. Compared with other mobile communication applications, like EQO and Fring, Cellity Communicator reveals a rather dressed-down interface that requires a few too many clicks to get contacts added and messages started. To … Read more

500 invites for do-it-all e-mail aggregator Orgoo

Awesome Web 2.0 communications de-cluttering tool Orgoo is set to open its doors in the next couple of months. Its creators wouldn't pin down an exact date to me, but they have been nice enough to give Webware readers 500 invites to use the system in full before it's open to all (go here to get yours). The expansion of the beta is the last step before going open, and is for both scaling servers and getting more user feedback.

I've been using the tool on and off since I wrote about it in September of … Read more

Large companies paying workers to read employee e-mail

If you were thinking of using your work e-mail for job hunting or online dating, think twice.

A new survey finds that 41 percent of large companies (those with 20,000 or more employees) are paying staffers to read or otherwise analyze the contents of employees' outbound e-mail.

In the study, which was commissioned by e-mail security provider Proofpoint and conducted by Forrester Research, 44 percent of the companies surveyed said they investigated an e-mail leak of confidential data in the past year and 26 percent said they fired an employee for violating e-mail policies, according to security portal Help Net Security. … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 727: Microsoft to Yahoo: Let's take it slow

Actual tech news today! For example, Microsoft is re-wooing Yahoo, Nintendo is stomping through the console market like Godzilla in Mario's Kart, the first public Firefox 3 candidate is now available, and Apple is trying to win direct downloads for the new iPhone. Oh, and if our caller from UPS is to be believed, those iPhones might be starting to arrive in stores right now! (Dear CBS: Send pie!) Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 727

Microsoft, Yahoo forced into each others’ arms http://www.news.com/8301-13860_3-9947185-56.html http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/technology/AP-Microsoft-Yahoo.html http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7407585.stmRead more

ClearContext tames Outlook

Update! I forgot to mention that you can get access to the ClearContext beta by using the invite code webware on the ClearContext site.

The Outlook plug-in Xobni (download) has been getting a lot of press recently, but it's not the only Outlook helper out there.

On Monday, ClearContext, which has had a paid, enterprise-level e-mail organizer for a while now (download), is releasing ClearContext Personal, a free, de-featured version of the product (download). ClearContext isn't Webware, but since I've covered Xobni here, I'd be remiss to ignore it.

CEO Deva Hazarika acknowledged to me that … Read more

Survey: One-fifth of Americans have never used e-mail

The digital divide is apparently alive and well.

About 20 percent of all U.S. heads-of-household have never sent an e-mail, and about 20 million households, or 18 percent, are without Internet access, according to a study released earlier this week.

Similar percentages of respondents also indicated that they had never looked up a Web site or information on the Internet, the survey found.

Age and education were significant factors cited in the study, which was conducted by researcher Parks Associates. Half of those who have never used e-mail are older than 65 and 56 percent had no formal education … Read more

Hooray! Yahoo Mail ditches tagline ads

Those annoying ads the Yahoo Mail has been appending to the bottom of e-mail messages soon will be a thing of the past.

Yahoo stopped adding the ads a few days ago, the company said on its Yahoo Mail blog on Friday.

Sounds good to me. Because the ads would be appended after each message, a back-and-forth exchange could lead to an accumulation of the pesky text lines like gradual accretions of soap scum.

I also never cared for Yahoo's text intruding into the content of my letter, which is much more presumptuous than a one-time display ad showing … Read more

'Wuthering Heights,' Wikipedia in 5-minute chunks

DailyLit, which offers entire books over e-mail and RSS in daily serialized chunks every day, is now offering information from Wikipedia on various topics.

The free service would be perfect for people who are short on time and don't mind digesting literature and information in 5 minutes at a time on their handheld.

The Wikipedia-based topics DailyLit is creating "tours" of major world religions (22 installments--compared with the 260 installments for Moby Dick), "Wine 101," presidents of the United States, "Best Picture" Oscar winners, famous poets, famous women in history, Greek mythology, famous … Read more