Just a few weeks after private file sharing service drop.io was opened up to the public, another file sharing service, called YouPublish has been announced. Since we like file sharing and we like drop.io, we were interested to see what this new service had to offer and what makes it different from drop.io.
YouPublish as a Marketplace
Like drop.io, YouPublish.com users can upload their files via the web and when done, they will have a unique URL to access their files. But this is pretty much where the similarities end.
Whereas drop.io is solely intended as a way for people to access information remotely and share it with others (or not share it), YouPublish wants to create a marketplace for the content that is uploaded, one in which the publisher makes a 50% commission on their sales.
They appear to be poised to become an easier, quicker "publish on demand" platform, similar to a "lite" version of POD provider, Lulu.com or as a competitor to Amazon's BookSurge.
YouPublish as a Content Portal
YouPublish calls itself a "content portal", where users can send a variety of files to the service and find content they are interested in. They also intend to become a social network. At the time of this writing, these features appear to be rather limited. Searching for other users at this time consists of getting a list of people by their sign up dates, with no ability to search by email, keywords or even the ability add others as friends. They promise to flesh out this feature in the coming weeks. Terms of Service Upon perusal of the TOS, YouPublish promises that the publishers of the content retain copyright but unlike drop.io, they don't promise they won't be snooping around on what you post to the service.
In their TOS they state that: "YouPublish reserves the right to decide what should be allowed on the site, to remove any document.."
Backed by the Publishing World
Interestingly enough, YouPublish doesn't appear to be backed by Silicon Valley money but rather by some pretty big names in the publishing world: Mark Victor Hansen (co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul), Roice Krueger (co-founder of Franklin Covey), and James Skinner (described as a "best-selling author and business thinker in Asia").
YouPublish appears to be the work of people who have a lot of expertise in traditional publishing and would like to get in on the digital content train. Currently, they are selling tickets to a "YouPublish University" where, for US$ 995 they promise individual guidance to potential publishers who want to use the service to sell their work on the site.
So, while YouPublish and drop.io appear to be very similar services, they're not: if you're looking for an easy way to distribute and make a buck or two off of your project, YouPublish would be an easy way to sell your work. Drop.Io is better suited for private file sharing between individuals who just need remote access to information.