What if you could create content as quick as you write a tweet? That is what startup Webdoc wants to know and it has created a tool where building a micro website or digital flyer is a relatively smooth and pain free project.
Webdoc is not revolutionary, but it is an interesting step in do-it-yourself publishing. It gives users a frame that they can do just about anything in and then embed that frame anywhere on the Web. For instance, if you want to create a flyer for your band, add an audio clip and YouTube video and canvas the Internet, a Webdoc may be just the thing you are looking for.
Giving a user the ability to create almost anything and put it almost anywhere is a lot like how YouTube took off with the ability to permeate the Web through an embed code. Webdoc, unlike other DIY publishing tools, follows that model and gives it a distinction from blogs like WordPress or Blogger, software like Microsoft Publisher or one-off media sharing tools like Tumblr.
Diversity and simplicity are key features for Webdoc. The template makes it easy to create or import slideshows, embed audio or video from anywhere with an embed code, add polls, write text in bubbles or boxes, add Twitter searches or timelines and more. You can frame entire websites within a WebDoc and still have room to splice in video to create a commentary.
Webdoc was crated by a team of developers in Switzerland using HTML5. The service is hosted with Amazon Web Services. As such, the page latency of a base-level embedded Webdoc is very low. Latency can increase the more embedded objects are placed within a Webdoc as it pulls in content from varying sources across the Web.
One of the interesting promises of the service is that it you can embed a Webdoc within a Webdoc. In some rudimentary playing with the service, I could not get that feature to work (my thought was to embed a Webdoc within a Webdoc within yet another). I was able to get the embed of the site URL of my first Webdoc into another, but the actual embed code would not render a full version within a new post (see below for my feeble attempts).
Webdoc cannot support scripts, hence certain types of embeds (like Storify) do not work with the iframe. The above Webdoc tries to grab content from several different sources, including YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Google Maps along with Webdoc’s own slideshow creator.
The use-case for Webdoc is very wide. It can be used to create interactive resumes that can be embedded into blogs or personal sites, digital flyers for advertisements or announcements (like a band promotion), as a work of art or as a mashup of different kinds of content. The service needs some tweaking to be a little more intuitive, but the vision of easy content is almost fully realized.