Friday, September 25, 2009

Document Cloud: Back-up in the Cloud

In a twist on the idea of massive data sets - the idea that the data supporting research is as valuable as the conclusions and should be made available as part of research findings - a new start-up is taking the idea to news gathering. DocumentCloud already has the participation of numerous large media companies that will enable these companies to 'deposit' the back-ground material and primary research supporting their investigative and news gathering. Funded initially by grants, DocumentCloud expects to create a revenue model over the next two years as they expand. From their website:
DocumentCloud will be software, a Web site, and a set of open standards that will make original source documents easy to find, share, read and collaborate on, anywhere on the Web. Users will be able to search for documents by date, topic, person, location, etc. and will be able to do "document dives," collaboratively examining large sets of documents. Organizations will be able to do all this while keeping the documents--and readers--on their own sites. Think of it as a card catalog for primary source documents.
Enabling access to this material will, the company says, make it easier for researchers, journalists or bloggers to do research, investigate and report on a wide range of material. And you may be saying to yourself 'I can do this at Scribd, so what's different?' The answer is you can deposit your documents in Scribd and other similar sites and list your documents with DocumentCloud; however, DocumentCloud will be scrupulous in allowing submissions to their listings. From their site:

How will you guarantee authenticity? How will you fight copyright infringement? How will you keep the collection free from spam and inappropriate material?

It will be of the utmost importance to us that the collection remain of the highest integrity, so we're planning to limit the right to list documents, at least initially, to individuals and organizations involved in original reporting. Contributors will agree to a set of guidelines, and will have to vouch for the authenticity of the documents they upload.

More information on their website.

1 comment:

Brian said...

That is, "We'll restrict access and limit volume until we figure out if there is actually a business model that will make us all rich."

Okay, I'm a bit jaded by press releases masquerading as business plans.