Thursday, April 28, 2011

Scribd & Scientology : accepting ads or not?

I am using Scribd to publish and share documents about our library services, my activities and some tools.
For our Ipad on Loan project I uploaded a manual to get access to our hospital network and applications from the "outside". It is called WOA (Werkplek Op Afstand | Workplace Off-campus). It's a citrix-solutions and gives our medical staff -even when not IN the hospital, but on-call from home- access to detailed, live stats of critital patients very quickly and smoothly.

How To Access your UMCG WOA on the iPad


I am pretty content with the Scribd service, and the usage stats are positive as well. ( >1000 views within 2 months).
But last week I received a complaint about an ad, visible next to the main page of this document. The ad is from the Scientology.org and ever since this was showing, we are having a discussion inside the library if this is acceptable ... to show library related info next to this questionable organisation.
Do we want to confront our readers/users with these kind of ads?
Should we trust our users to be clever enough to look passed this, or should we not even go this way?
Do we tell our users they can "manage" their own ads showing on webpages via the Google "Ads Preferences Manager"?

I am temped to keep using Scribd because of its unique free features, the nice embedding. Maybe we can get an API subscription and embed it in our corporate/library portal, but then we need to make sure those ads are gone.
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