Social media for expats: Document sharing

Social media for expats: Document sharing

Moving abroad forces you to do more activities online. No longer can you practice your presentation in front of your friend or have your sibling drop off their term paper for you to edit.

Fortunately, social media provides plenty of outlets for you to share all of your documents:

DropBox is one of many file sharing services available online. The site allows users to upload files of any type and easily share them with others. You can share anything, from photos to presentations.

If you want to share a video with a few family members but aren’t comfortable uploading it to Facebook, DropBox is exactly what you need. It’s also a big help for freelancers who need to send image or video files to clients or book chapters to an editor.

With DropBox, you can send a unique URL to anyone who can then download files, or you can require users to log in before they access them. And if you want to share all a lot of files, Dropbox can also share an entire folder.

Free accounts start at 2GB but you can pay to upgrade to up to 1TB. Free users can get more space by sharing the service with a friend, talking about it on Twitter, or through other promotional methods.

There are plenty of file sharing sites available for free. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of use before you sign up and avoid sites which are frequently used for illegal file sharing.

 Google Reader
Google Reader is an aggregator which allows users to subscribe to syndicated feeds. These are feeds which websites produce and you can subscribe to. Essentially, the new post on a blog or article from an online newspaper will appear in your reader automatically.

No need for bookmarks or opening multiple sites at a time, all of the content you want to read will come to you. The site makes it really easy to keep up with your friends’ blogs, news from back home, and updates to expat websites.

Google Reader allows you to "Plus 1" items and email them directly from the site. Many websites will include a sharebar to allow you to easily share articles through other social networking sites. The share features are great if you enjoy sharing news and information with your friends all over the world.

Evernote is notetaking and archiving software, which can serve as your notebook, Rolodex, and recipe book all in one. Users create notes which can include text, voice note, PDFs, and websites. If you have a tablet, you can use it to organise handwritten notes as well. Notebooks can be shared with other users while individual notes can easily be emailed or shared on various social networking sites.

The site is great for brainstorming on collaborative projects as well as archiving data in a very easy to access format.

If your friends and family are constantly bugging you for your recipes, user Evernote to store them and then you can easily share them or even give people access to your entire recipe book.

Perhaps you and your family used to discuss articles from the local paper during dinner. Scan the article, post a note in Evernote, and allow the family to have an online discussion instead. Or use Evernote to store all of the notes you’re keeping for that book you’re going to write.

 Google Docs
Now called Google Drive, the site is rapidly stealing market share from Microsoft Office, and for good reason. For starters, it’s free. Google Docs allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and even drawings. The system is collaborative, so you can share your document with anyone and allow them to edit.

Multiple people can even work on a document at the same time. Drive now allows you to store documents created in other programs and supports the following file types: DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, ODT, ODS, PDF, PAGES, AI, PSD, TIFF, DXF, SVG, EPS, PS, TTF, OTF, XPS, ZIP, and RAR.

If you give a lot of presentations (or used to), SlideShare can be a great place to showcase them. The site allows users to upload PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote or OpenOffice presentations and share them publicly or just with other users.

With a free account, you have unlimited storage space, but you can only upload files up to 100MB. The offer a variety of paid accounts, however.

SlideShare can be a great way to showcase your work to potential clients or employers. Upload your presentation to the site privately and let a few people read over it for you, then make it public. Include links to your presentations on other social media sites to promote yourself.

SlideShare recently introduced a new feature where you can actually give live presentations, with audio or video. Now, you can give a presentation anywhere in the world, at any time.

Do you use any document sharing service? What do you use it for?

Molly  Quell


Molly Quell

I'm an American expat living in the Netherlands, working as a social media consultant and writer. When I’m not working, I cook, bake, play softball, and hang out with my...

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