Real Estate has a love hate affair with documents. According to research performed by the WAV Group, The real estate industry has consumes about 1 Million trees per year in real estate transactions.
There are a pile of companies offering transaction management and storage solutions adapted to the needs of real estate agents and brokers. They are all fine products that can save hundreds of dollars a month in document storage fees while creating a better experience for the consumer in their transaction.
In a move that smacks Google Docs in the face, Microsoft entered the fray of online document sharing with their announced partnership between their docs.com product and Facebook. Here are some of the details.
- Microsoft is calling it Beta so you can only get on a list and wait to try it out. In the interim, you can view some sample documents that were shared.
- Docs.com plays nicely with all browsers (even Chrome for Mac as I experienced) but does not play nicely with Microsoft Word for Apple.
Here are some quotes from the announcement to fill you in on the details:
“Im so excited to announce today the launch of a new beta Facebook app from FUSE Labs called “Docs”, also available at our docs.com website. Built on Microsoft Office 2010, the Docs app enables Facebook users for the first time to create and share Microsoft Office documents directly with their Facebook friends, using the Office tools they already know.”
“This exploration exposes yet another facet of Ray Ozzies broad and long-held vision of social productivity. Although quite simple (and fun!), docs.com and its Facebook app bring together the best of ’software with the best of ’services. Documents can be created directly within the app, or can be uploaded from your PC. After starting work on a document alone, you might then choose a few others with whom to share it. Or you might instead share it with all your friends, or you might share it with the world. Documents can be viewed and edited directly within a web browser or, with a single click, you can edit them more richly and powerfully through the Microsoft Office software on your PC or Mac.”
….Well Kind of. I tried to download a document to my mac and got the following error
“Welcome to Docs for Facebook, a new beta service from Microsoft FUSE Labs. With Docs you can discover, create and share Microsoft Office documents with your Facebook friends – making it as easy to share documents, spreadsheets or presentations as it is to share photos or videos on Facebook today.”
“There are other services out there that let you create and collaborate on documents (like Google Docs or Acrobat Docs). And there are others that support sharing, discussing and discovering documents. But what makes Docs special is its the only service that supports the complete document lifecycle. That coupled with seamless integration of Microsoft Office 2010 and Facebook makes Docs the best possible document service for the Facebook environment(WAV Group imagines that Microsoft, who is an investor in Facebook, locked up a sweet long term exclusive relationship).
The Docs app for Facebook gives you a flexible social-productivity experience. You can decide who to share with…from privately creating, editing, and collaborating on docs, all the way to public sharing on the web. You can upload a document or start creating one directly online, have someone help you edit it, incorporate feedback, and then share it with the world. Docs can be viewed and edited directly within a web browser or, with a single click, you can edit them more richly and powerfully through the Microsoft Office software.
Lets take a moment to walk through a typical social document lifecycle. Creating a document is the first step–and it couldnt be easier. You can start the document on your desktop version of Microsoft Office, or you can go to Docs and start one in the cloud.
Once youve saved a document to docs.com, you can begin sharing by granting viewing and editing rights to your friends. By clicking on the ‘edit button beside ‘viewers when you have one of your docs open, you can choose to add one or multiple friends, let all your friends view the doc…or share your doc with all Facebook users. By clicking on the ‘edit button beside ‘editors, you can also add one or multiple friends…or let all your friends edit this doc.
Once youve shared a doc, your friends will discover it just like they discover photos or videos today. Friends who log into Facebook to see what youve been up to will see the docs youve shared. They can also see your docs integrated directly into your profile. You can also add a tab to your profile page that will let your friends see any documents that youve shared just with them…and docs youve share with everyone.
On Facebook, you can discuss a doc just as you would a status update or photo –so theres really nothing new to learn here. To start using Docs, just pop over to docs.com and upload or create a new doc. If you need a little more help, go to docs.com/about and watch the ‘Getting Started tutorial.
We think youll enjoy using Docs, but we need your help to make the beta service even better. Tell us about your experiences on our fan page at Facebook.com/docs or get your questions answered…and even report bugs–it is a beta after all–at getsatisfaction.com/docs.”