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Scribd started out as a place to share class notes, fledgling short stories or a political manifesto —or pretty much any PDF document you might want to share online. Recently, its taken a new direction.

Scribd has launched an eBook subscription service that’s best described as a ‘Netflix for books’. A monthly subscription offers unlimited novels, non-fiction and user generated content through a browser or smartphone app for just $8.99.

The CEO of Scribd, Trip Adler, recently inked a deal with Harper Collins US, allowing them to distribute their books as part of a subscription model, in addition to the books that were already in Scribd’s library for sale, giving Scribd the content they needed to build a huge online library.

Is this biggest change in the publishing industry since the Kindle arrived?


I’ve got a serious problem: I’m addicted to music. It’s unusual for me to not be listening to music, especially when I’m working. The stereo is always on when I drive. Headphones are on when I walk the dog or go the gym. I’ve been in and fronted multiple musical groups, from alternative indie to heavy metal. I own hundreds of CDs, but made the transition to going all-digital over my university career, when I valued portability over all else.

These days, I’ve got multiple devices, each with a finite amount of hard drive space. I’ve got an iPod Classic that can hold everything, but my iPhone and iPads are both much more limited. My Android devices have even less room to spare. Rdio recently saved the day. We reviewed Rdio in 2011, but a lot has changed since then. Read on to find out what still makes Rdio worth the subscription today. (more…)

If you’re a designer — or an aspiring designer, or perhaps just someone who loves seeing beautiful pixel art — you’ve surely heard of Dribbble. The “Twitter for designers”, of a sort, Dribbble is the place to showcase shots of your latest design creations. It’s hardly a new site, and we actually reviewed it originally 3 years ago.

I’ve been playing around as designer for the past few months, especially after I was drafted on Dribbble. Then I wondered about going Pro, because, you know, the badge fits my color palette and I thought: “What if our readers ponder the same thing?”. So we’ll be looking through the pros and cons of going Pro on Dribble and by the end of the article I’ll be drafting one of our readers. That’s today’s game.


The world is different now. If you’re reading this article, you’re already connected with people around the world online, and our own writing team hails from a number of different countries. Now you don’t need to leave your country to work and shop beyond your border.

There’s tons of essential apps that help us all work online and be more productive in today’s interconnected world, but there’s one service that, more than any other, makes global work and commerce actually work: PayPal. The payment juggernaut owned by eBay is the handiest way to transfer money overseas without all the bureaucracy of dealing with banks.

If you sell stuff online, you’ll likely get paid via PayPal, so why not use PayPal to pay for all of your online services? There’s one problem: everyone doesn’t accept PayPal payments. Let’s look at the most popular services that don’t work with PayPal, and the alternates you can use with PayPal instead.


Paying for content online continues to be a contentious issue. Online publications need to make money to keep servers running and writers fed, but readers are so used to getting news online for free, it’s hard to fund journalism online. From the New York Times to sites like AppStorm, we all have to find ways to make money while still providing value for our readers.

Back in the day, many of us would have purchased a paper subscription, and then would have had to deal with getting rid of hundreds of pounds of paper each year. Then, along came the internet, and we swapped a paper subscription for a net connection and free news sites. Publishers were more than happy to oblige, making money from ads online and print subscriptions.

The ad equation worked out fine for some online-only publications, but for larger organizations, there was no way to, say, pay to send journalists to Afghanistan on ads alone. The past year has seen more sites start to work behind a paywall, making it necessary to buy a subscription to read articles. Most, including the New York Times, give you a certain number of free articles, but then you’ll have to pay to keep reading.

That’s why we’re wondering: have you ever paid for a news site? Have you bought an online newspaper subscription, or perhaps paid for an indie tech blog membership?

Web app users are a notoriously frugal bunch. Google, Facebook, and other web app behemoths have gotten us used to all web apps being free. It’s not just apps, either: news sites and more are struggling to make their businesses work after giving away their content for ad-driven pageviews. Many people seem amazed that downloaded apps, books, music, and more can actually cost, since they’re so used to the internet being full of free content and tools.

Free’s not bad; we’ve all benefited from free apps and services, and AppStorm itself is built on a number of free tools. Often, though, quality is worth paying for. Here’s some of the best reasons to pay for apps that you rely on.


Just like apps on all other platforms, web apps come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and prices. Many if not most web apps have a free basic version available, while some like Pinboard cost a one-time signup fee. Most web apps are built on a subscription model, though, so if you want more than the basic version offers, you’ll have to pay a monthly or annual fee.

For business apps, these monthly expenses can be easily justified if the apps help your team stay productive and work together. However, for individuals, the monthly subscription fees can quickly add up. Even if premium web apps are cheaper initially than their desktop counterparts, over time they can be more expensive. Plus, many people see adverse to paying for anything online: news, music, or apps. The iOS App Store has proven that many of us are glad to pay for high quality apps on our mobile devices, but does this carry over to web apps?

That’s why I’m curious: do you pay for any web apps? I personally pay for a Dropbox Pro subscription, and purchased a Pinboard account last December. I also currently have a Simplenote Pro account, and am currently deciding whether or not I should keep it. What about you? What web apps do you pay for, and what would you be willing to pay for if you’ve never paid for a web app? Would you be more likely to pay for an app once, or do subscriptions seem better for you?

The web has put traditional journalism into a tailspin, and newspapers of all sizes are scrambling to find a way to monetize their content. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and more have created paywalls that require readers to pay to read all of their content each month, either online or in apps on various mobile platforms. Increasingly, though, publishers are turning to mobile apps as the only way to sell digital copies of their articles, cutting the web out of the equation.

Is this the future of digital media? Will we have to purchase specific devices to read the content we want? Or is there hope yet for monetized content on the internet?


You can never have enough music, right? Doesn’t it seem like your bank account’s been drained before your hunger for more tunes has been satisfied? Do you wish there were exciting new services that let you pay the price of, say, a CD per month, and gave you access to as much music as your ears could handle? Then this article’s for you.

Today we’ve put together a battle royale between two of the newest contenders in the unlimited streaming music space. Rdio vs. MOG. Let’s see how these two new kids stack up. Let the battle begin!


Subscriptions and recurring payments are a low-cost way for you to accept credit card and bank account payments for website subscriptions, newsletter fees, club dues or recurring donations, and thanks to studious payment gateway providers and web 2.0 companies, it’s never been so easy to get such a system fully integrated with your website in just a few easy steps.

Recurring billing apps come in two flavors; simple, ready to go web apps and complex self-hosted apps. We’ve gathered 15 fantastic web apps to tackle your subscription billing needs.