Docstoc, the professional document network, has launched a pair of new features that help transition the site from primarily a document sharing platform to a personal document archive as well. The features, dubbed MyDocs and Sync, allow users to quickly upload their files to the web, where they can be quickly accessed from any computer that supports the ubiquitous Flash plugin.
MyDocs is essentially a dashboard for users’ documents, not unlike an online version of Windows’ My Documents folder. Users can skim through their files as thumbnails, search by keyword, sort each document into online folders, and modify each doc’s privacy settings. Most impressive is MyDoc’s Preview feature, which allows users to rapidly skim through full versions of their documents using Docstoc’s Flash-based Document viewer. In Preview mode, Docstoc displays a list of thumbnails down a sidebar and presents the document itself as part of the main window, allowing users to quickly browse through their documents. In practice this worked surprisingly well – documents opened within a few seconds (oftentimes faster than they would on the desktop), making MyDocs a viable alternative to the traditional My Documents Folder.
As part of today’s release Docstoc is also launching a new Sync client, which is available for Windows and Mac. The client runs in the background, automatically detecting changes in files in designated folders on the desktop machine and uploading them to MyDocs. Docstoc CEO Jason Nazar says that Sync isn’t meant as a replacement from the many backup sites already on the web. Instead, it’s meant to help keep Docstoc’s MyDocs section populated with the most up-to-date documents, so users can quickly browse their files from any computer on the web.
As part of Sync, Docstoc is also including a “My Public Documents” folder, which further streamlines the site’s document upload process. To upload a document, users need only drag their files into the special folder, and sync will automatically upload the doc to the user’s linked Docstoc profile.
Docstoc made its debut at TechCrunch40 and launched in October 2007. Since then, the site has grown to 200,000 registered users and sees around 2 million visitors monthly. Docstoc’s primary competitor is Scribd, a document sharing community with a similar Flash-based file viewer.