DOCSTOC, the free document sharing service, has rolled out a new branded embeddable document viewer that can help to improve the usability of PDF-laden investor relations websites.
While several other document sharing services let companies convert their PDF and Office-format reports into more engaging online documents, Docstoc is the first to let all users customize the look and feel of the Flash-based embeddable viewer, according to Techcrunch.
Considering that investor relations vendors are billing companies thousands of dollars to convert PDF reports into Flash and image-based documents that have fewer features and lower usability than Docstoc’s free viewer, I think Docstoc is an obvious option for IR departments.
To show you what the branded Docstoc viewer can look like, I created one for IR Web Report in about 1 minute. I am using it below for an embeddable version of UBS AG’s 2009 Annual Review, which the company posted on its investor relations website today in PDF only.
From a compliance perspective, Docstoc’s format can help companies meet the Securities and Exchange Commission’s usability requirements for annual reports and proxy statements.
Importantly, Docstoc’s documents are searchable and analysts and investors can copy text from the documents for reuse in their own reports. Flash and image-based document conversion packages from vendors like Broadridge, Computershare, Thomson Reuters, Shareholder.com and many others, do not support easy text extraction.
And since the Docstoc viewer can be embedded on any website, financial blogger/analysts can grab complete company branded reports to use as collateral for their articles, much as I have done above with UBS’s 2009 review. The ready availability of embeds for company information may help to attract more coverage by online finance writers and bloggers.
Like other document sharing services, including Scribd, issuu, and SlideShare, converting PDFs and Office documents in Docstoc is extremely easy. At the simplest level, you open an account and upload your documents from your computer. The conversions typically are ready for embedding in a few minutes.
It is important, however, to understand how embeddable documents interact with search engines and the impact this can have on your website’s traffic and visibility. Document sharing services also offer advanced features that you should consider using.
To learn more, visit Docstoc’s website.