Merging and Emerging

Lulu, the pioneering self-publishing site, has entered into an alliance with Scribd (news from ReadWriteWeb via Brantley’s Read20 list). This is interesting because they are two of the coolest companies experimenting with user-generated publishing, and their collaboration covers potential weaknesses on each side (Lulu has a better distribution model with a successful track record in actually selling content, Scribd has the more innovative and interesting content platform: Scribd, in case you havent seen it, is aiming to be a YouTube for PDF documents). They both have a strong user-generated content focus and I wonder if they will potentially exhaust the space which lies beneath the attention-span of conventional publishers. I suspect that something quite promising could emerge from this alliance.

Whether or not anything important does emerge depends really on the initiative and the ambitions of the many users who are already dabbling with Scribd and Lulu. That potential to unlock new audience-generated innovation is the attractive and unpredictable part of the ‘alliance’.