Microsoft is working on a new platform for publishing your documents and sharing them with a wider audience. Docs.com is now available in beta for people to try. Sign in with your Microsoft account and start publishing.
- Publish Office documents and PDFs to Docs.com or publish a Sway or Office Mix to share with your audience.
- Create collections to easily share multiple publications.
- Publish curated collections of links to websites and resources.
- Embed documents and collections in a blog post or web site. My examples below are a curated collection of UserVoice sites run by Microsoft and a Sway about Office 365 Groups.
Docs differs from sharing with OneDrive and and OneDrive for Business. Docs.com is more about presenting documents and collections of work, rather than collaborating on and editing documents. Where in OneDrive you would share a document and invite people to read or edit it, Docs invites you to read, share and discuss it and if you so wish, allow your audience to download.
There’s no indication at this stage as to whether we’ll be able to log in with our Office 365 account in the future and create publications using organizational content. But I’m hoping it Docs.com will move in that direction, as did Office Mix and Sway.
I see Docs.com as an attractive and functional way to bring together the content you want to publish, using the full featured experiences of Office Online, OneDrive, Sway and Office Mix. A published Office Mix will still behave like a Mix, with all the interactive elements and gathering all those useful statistics about how your audience interacted with your content. A Sway will still sway and present using all the interactive, dynamic elements you embed.
We can already embed Sways directly from the Sway service. But the advantage of publishing and embedding them from Docs.com is that you can bring your audience to the discussions about the Sway, when they click on the title above the embed code. You’ll also direct them to your whole Docs.com portal because your name is hyperlinked to it.
Discussions in Sway are driven from the Disqus social platform, being used more and more by bloggers and news sites. Disqus and Microsoft are working together so that when you add a comment on a published work, you’re logged into Disqus using your Microsoft account. Those of us who use Disqus already would like to log in using our existing account. It’s not possible right now, but this may change once Docs.com is moved out of Beta.
I have purposely left the text formatted using the embed code generated by Docs.com. When you embed it into your own blog posts and websites, you can apply the styles that best fit your theme and branding.
As always, the best way to learn is to try it yourself. If you’ve viewed part of my video or only read a portion and hurried off to create your own Docs.com publishing portal, you probably wont’ have read this last sentence. Good. Hands on experience beats demos “hands-down”.
Once you’ve created your portal, feel free to add a link in the comments. I look forward to seeing what you publish.