Docstoc gets a redesign as it aims to be the de facto small business resource service

Docstoc gets a redesign as it aims to be the de facto small business resource service

Business document service Docstoc today launched a redesign of its website that it says marks the latest evolution in the company’s goal to be the “go-to resource to start and grow small businesses”. Along with the aesthetic changes, version 2.0 now includes semantic content discovery engine, topical pages, a rebuilt search engine, new profile pages, and file management.

It’s been six years since the company launched and to date, CEO Jason Nazar tells us that Docstoc has 38.5 million registered users, all interested in searching for help on how to manage a small business. There are more than 20 million documents on the site, of which 20,000 are original premium content resources, such as documents, videos, editorial, custom documents, packages, and business courses.

Here’s what the new Docstoc site looks like:

docstoc-newsite

Users will notice that the interface looks much cleaner now and the focus has been shifted towards an “application-like” experience where the company is placing an emphasis on helping you find content. Before, the site was filled with links and may have been overwhelming for some people.

Interesting to note: Nazar says that one of the things that Docstoc employees do when they first join the company is to tell everyone what kind of superhero they are. This is how he views running a small business — entrepreneurs are superheroes and need to have access to the best set of resources out there.

One of the newest features of the service is on the homepage with its semantic content discovery feature. Docstoc examined the types of queries that were being run in its search engine and came up with several options to better assist business owners with getting the information that they need. Think about it almost like a ad hoc Mad Libs where you have a statement and three blank spaces you need to fill in to make it a true one. Docstoc has provided a set list of options that its users most commonly have questions about.

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Based on this semantic content search, users will see topical pages being displayed that shows you documents to help solve your problem. On each page includes things like topic-specific editorial content, hand-picked documents that are most relevant to the topic, and a link to find the best vendor to assist you with your dilemma, powered through Docstoc’s acquisition of BestVendor.

Docstoc 2.0 has a much more personalized experience compared to its previous iteration. Nazar says that as soon as you log into your account, the system will offer you content specific to you, and that it won’t be the same for the next person.

This leads us to the profile pages part of the update. This is a brand new feature that gives a personal space on Docstoc for those users that are supporting the small business community. Eventually one would think that it could function akin to a social network whereby an entrepreneur having legal difficulties could befriend a small business attorney on Docstoc and trade relevant documents. The idea isn’t that far-fetched and Nazar tells us that one-third of the service’s registrations are coming from Facebook.

docstoc-profiles

Lastly, Docstoc has added a file management system that essentially gives users a “filing cabinet” of content that can be filled with relevant documents and content pertaining to things like human resource, finance, accounting, marketing, and more. Nazar says that it’s not a means to compete with the likes of Dropbox or Box. These folders are a way for entrepreneurs to have quick access to core documents that are essential to running a business.

All of the new features in version 2.0 are part of Docstoc’s core subscription. Users should see no price increases.

Photo credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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