Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Top Docs on Scribd in 2010: Prop 8, P ≠ NP, GOP Pledge

Document-sharing site Scribd has compiled its own year-end list for 2010, ranking its user-uploaded docs by the number of times they were shared, commented on, liked, starred and embedded.

In the No. 1 spot was the California District Court ruling on gay-marriage voter initiative Proposition 8. Uploaded by shortly after the ruling came out in August, the document was Scribd’s most viral ever. The start-up provided a timeline showing how it was spread (image embedded; click to enlarge).

We should note that Scribd did not provide a list of docs ranked by number of views. CEO Trip Adler said such a list would be dominated by random items that have good search engine optimization, like a scan of an Indian phone book that has long been one of Scribd’s most-viewed documents of all time. Scribd, which now has 60 million monthly uniques, attributes much of its growth to its improvement of social sharing features.

The No. 2 most-shared doc on Scribd in 2010 was the surprising claim of proof of the computer science problem P ≠ NP from earlier this year. Uploaded by Vinay Deolalikar of HP Research Labs in August, the paper seemed to show that a class of computationally intensive problems could not be solved using simple algorithms.

In the third spot was the Republican political platform “GOP Pledge to America,” uploaded in September by CBS News. The draft lays out policy principles on the economy, healthcare and national security.

I find it interesting that Scribd’s most social documents are more often notable for newsworthiness than timelessness. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments earlier this month appealing the Prop 8 decision that was posted on Scribd. And as for P ≠ NP, while many computer scientists believe the claim in the paper on Scribd is correct, the proof itself is not seen as conclusive.

The rest of Scribd’s 2010 social docs list is a similar mix of newsworthy documents and research, as well as a little levity, including a list of 25 macaroni-and-cheese recipes.

  1. California Prop 8 Ruling (Good As You)
  2. PNP 12 pt (Angelica Lim)
  3. GOP Pledge to America (CBS News)
  4. Scribd in HTML5 (Scribd)
  5. A Statement to the Viewers of Countdown (Brian Stelter)
  6. Marijuana Is Safer (Chelsea Green)
  7. Cognitive Biases–A Visual Study Guide (Efern211)
  8. Using Facebook to Move Your Business Forward (Facebook)
  9. 25 Mac & Cheese Recipes (Gooseberry Patch)
  10. Influence and Passivity in Social Media (Hewlett-Packard)

25 Mac & Cheese Recipes by Gooseberry Patch