A couple months back I wrote about an interesting(weird?) feature of Scribd that asked me to upload a file in order to let me download another. I wasn’t the only one who found this ridiculous (read comments) and obviously it didn’t go down well with some of us. I happened to run into that feature (which I had almost forgot) again while trying to download one of the featured documents from the site. Here’s what I got after clicking the download link
Oh, so instead of a boring textual message we now have a graphic trying to convince us that in the benefit of community we should upload more presentations. I like most other users(presummably) on the internet didn’t let this deviate it from the goal I started with and clicked “Maybe Later” but folks at Scribd were equally adamant in not letting anyone download something from their servers without getting anything in return (who needs Attention, Engagement etc?) so I got this
Right, So if I am not uploading a file I might as well follow(or subscribe) to some people which Scribd feels match my needs(or their’s ?). For a second I can understand the upload presentations prompt, but prompting users to SUBSCRIBE to other users when all they really want is to download a goddamn presentation ?
O Scribd, what were you thinking ?
Apparently there’s another graphic that one gets to see while attempting to download a presentation
Thankfully unlike last time Scribd has not only made it optional(maybe later) to upload a presentation before getting to download, they also tell you that you won’t be prompted to upload once you’ve uploaded two presentations or more.
(Footer of those upload prompts)
As mentioned in last post I don’t think that forcing users like this works well. Not only does it irritates users it also leads(or might lead) to people submitting random garbage just to get around the needless hurdles like these.
What do you think about these prompts?
Is there a win-win solution for such situations (for both site owners and users) ?