Pat KinselIn August, we released tagging and search to improve the basic discoverability of people, pages, and documents. Thank you everyone for your positive feedback and suggestions. I’m happy to announce that we’ve taken another step forward.

Full Text Search & Social Document Ranking

In August, we released the ability to search for People, Pages and Tags. Today, we’re releasing full text document search with social document ranking.

Searching docs.com for “Economics” will now reveal not only all documents tagged with the term, but all docs containing “economics” as well. This will return a much more comprehensive set of results and will help you find the documents you’re looking for.

Full text search is very comprehensive and may return a large number of results. To address this problem, we rank documents not only by their relevance to your search term, but also by several social criteria; for example, your relationship to the author and the number of Likes each document has received. This social ranking will help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

While working on full text search, we’ve made a few other improvements to the overall search experience. We’ve re-designed the search results page, moving authors and tags to the right column so that documents are center stage. We’ve improved the performance of the search suggestions. And, we now only show you people, page and tag results if you’re able to see at least one document for each.

We’re currently rolling out full text search. If it isn’t available to you immediately, it will be available by the end of the day.

Support for PDF files

We want to help you share rich and meaningful content with your friends.

Starting today, you may now upload PDF files directly to docs.com to share with your Facebook friends.

Docs.com strives first and foremost to be a tremendous social experience. The ability to seamlessly create a document, invite your Facebook friends to view or edit, and receive feedback and comments is extremely powerful. As you may know, Office 2010 allows you to save your work to PDF. Given this great enhancement to Office, we think it only makes sense for Docs.com to allow you to share your PDF files with your friends to capture their feedback and comments. And, like the Office docs you can already share, we believe the social interaction that docs.com enables will enrich your PDF files.

Over the past several months, we’ve built a Silverlight viewer that will allow you to read PDF files directly within docs.com. Although we’re in the early stages, with improvements on the horizon, we hope you’ll like the performance and fidelity of the in-browser PDF viewing experience.  For a browser-based viewer, it renders documents beautifully. Here is an example.

As always, please let us know if you experience any problems. If you do not have Silverlight installed, you may do so here. Or, if you choose not to install Silverlight, you can download and view any PDF on your PC or Mac.

User-generated templates

Sometimes you don’t want your friends to edit your doc. You want them to copy it and create their own.

Now, in the new ‘advanced options’ section of the sharing control you may specify if “Viewers can use the doc as a template.” If you select this option, your friends can make their own copy with a single click.

This has been a highly requested feature and we’re excited to see how you’ll apply it.

Bulk Silverlight document uploader

It’s now significantly easier to share several documents at once. Simply drag and drop them onto the new Silverlight uploader.

*This functionality is only supported with Silverlight 4.0 and higher.

As always, we greatly appreciate your feedback and will continue to respond to your suggestions.

Ultimately, we are more productive when we work and share with others. Hopefully these new features make it easier for you to create and discover docs with your Facebook friends…

- Pat Kinsel [docs]