Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Monday, August 6, 2007

Content Marketplace For Professional Documents Launches Online: Gazhoo Is Here

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A new user-generated content marketplace allows anyone with the appropriate know-how and assets to upload, describe, tag and publish for a price any professional document that may be of interest to the public at large.


This new online content delivery and distribution marketplace, makes it very easy and straightforward to manage the publication and sale of professional documents, including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Acrobat PDF files and PowerPoint presentations.

The cost to the user-publisher is basically zero, as Gazhoo - this is the name of the company - keeps a percentage of your sale price (30%) to pay for its own logistic expenses.

Key Features


Gazhoo, the new online professional documents marketplace, offers a set of very basic features, in line with what you would expect from such a service.

Registered users can easily browse and upload any document (.doc, xls, .pdf, .ppt), provide descriptive information, tags, synopsis for each and assign a price to it before it becomes available for others to buy.


Users can fully decide the price of the documents they want to put on sale choosing any amount between 0 and $100.

For those instead wanting to utilize Gazhoo as a resource in which to find valuable research papers, marketing data, forms and modules fo all kinds, or an inspirational PowerPoint show, have a simple and straightforward search engine, which allows fast and immediate retrieval of any professional document available on the Gazhoo Database.

The search engine is structured across four main content category areas:

  • Business Forms

  • Legal Forms

  • Market Research

  • Report Essays

Searching and finding documents is a breeze and selecting the ones you want to buy is as straightforward as it can be. An effective tag cloud further facilitates the identification of relevant documents by tags and keywords.

Interesting documents can be previewed in a Flash-based viewer giving you the option to properly evaluate any document before purchasing it.


Each user has also direct access to a MyGazhoo page, in which are listed all the documents you may have published as well as those downloaded and purchased.

In your MyGazhoo page you can also rate the documents you have already purchased, allowing others tin the marketplace to benefit from your own experience and feedback.

In order to provide Reviews and/or Ratings on Documents that you have purchased:

1. Go into MyGazhoo

2. Select the document you wish to post a Review and/or Rating to

3. From "My Downloads", click on the document title then post a review or rating. The rating function is located at the bottom of the Document description.

Gazhoo also provides integration with Facebook with a mini-application that allows you to upload your professional docs directly from Facebook. The application doesn't seem to work yet from my end but it may likely be a set of bugs that will be rapidly ironed out.


Gazhoo-distributed documents can be bought by using PayPal or any major credit card.



Gazhoo interface is very easy and straightforward to use. There is nothing to learn and each and every function is immediately evident to the end user.

Uploading a new document, putting a price on it, or searching and buying an existing one is absolutely effortless. Everything does work as expected inside an interface that is well conceived, simple and without distracting frills.

The navigation bar at the top of the Gazhoo web interface speaks clearly and loudly with no need for tooltips or additional help. In fact, the visual support information available in the learn more sections of the site is as useful as it is a model for many other new start-ups looking to showcase in a simple and intelligible way the functioning of their brand new service.

Command legibility, layout, and the overall information design has been done professionally, with great concern and attention to the reduction of distractive components and with elegance and style in the execution of the integrated guiding information.

Publishing Workflow

To publish a document in the Gazhoo content marketplace you need only to register, log in and upload the documents you want to make available.

As a first step Gazhoo does require you to declare that you have the full rights to the documents you are uploading before asking you to assign it to one (only) specific content category.

Of critical importance is obvioulsy your care in providing detailed reference information for each document as well as good tags and highly descriptive titles.

Gazhoo guides you only in the selection of the basic reference category, which at this time, is still limited to one.

Here below is the complete form you need to fill out each time you want to publish a document.

I have had problems in uploading a large PowerPoint file to my account, and stand curious to read more reports and comments on how the service is behaving with you.


Gazhoo is a fully web-based service and it requires no software to be installed or downloaded to your computer. Browsers supported are IE 6 and 7 and Firefox.


Gazhoo is completely free to use. Gazhoo charges 30% fee on the gross sales of your documents (e.g.: if you sell a document for $2.00, Gazhoo keeps .60 and you receive $1.40).


Gazhoo is a definitely an idea and a service whose time has come. Especially in the vertical niche areas, such as Legal and Business Forms, there is a great need to find resources that can easy and speed up your financial or legal work without forcing you to reinvent the wheel each time.

Similar services have recently sprung up online (Scribd, DocStoc) but are themselves looking for a stronger identity and footprint.

Especially for web publishers who increasingly work with virtual and distant collaborators, having the possibility to easily find and buy reference legal forms and papers to adapt and customize to your own specific needs is always a great boon.

But the good doesn't end here. There are scores of free-lance professionals and consultants who produce highly valuable and interesting research reports, and have generally no additional outlet for their work besides the client that originally commissioned it. For these and for the many students and researchers who produce tons of interesting professional documents that could be of value to someone else Gazhoo provides an interesting service.

As of now Gazhoo is yet too young and too little known to provide an encouraging showcase of the goods it could provide. As of now, its existing inventory is rather small and there is little content of value that can be found.

In this respect, it would be smart for Gazhoo to invest more time, money and resources in better seeding their archives with more valuable reference materials even if this had to cost them some money. Showcasing the value of a service that is supposed reliable and professional cannot be achieved by using your cousin test paper on online marketing 101 or a useless promotional pamphlet from some unknown company.

Widgeting Gazhoo core functionality and allowing individual publishers to showcase on their site or elsewhere the specific documents that I have on offer could also provide significant more exposure and traction to Gazhoo.

Integration with other social services and/or content marketplaces may also be highly beneficial, as potential users perceive a much increased value when a new service integrates and enhances one other service they already like and use.

Further areas of improvement include the ability to upload multiple documents at once, assign multiple categories to documents, a great number of supported file formats, RSS feed output for any Gazhoo publisher, category or persistent search and the option to perform quality file conversions between Word, PDF, plain text, HTML, PowerPoint, Excel, and possibly one or more audio formats.

Also strategically important for those who would seriously consider to publish, distribute and sell their professional documents online is the ability to closely track and monitor data relative to the type of visitors interested in them, their origin, language spoken, type of computer and operating system, and the kind of query they have performed on Google to find your document.

Other missing features include:

a) Embedding of Gazhoo archived documents on to web pages

b) Choice of copyright licenses

c) More powerful search functionalities

For now Gazhoo is just a promise. There is not enough content yet in its archives to be of relevant use to anyone, though for those of you wanting a simple and reliable way to start charging immediately for some unique documents you own, Gazhoo is already ready to serve you well.

Time and people like you will tell with their use and feedback whether this is a service that will thrive or if it is just a good idea that will never fly.

What do you think?

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Possible competitors in the same arena:



Originally written by for Master New Media and titled: "Content Marketplace For Professional Documents Launches: Gazhoo Is Here"

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posted by Robin Good on Monday, August 6 2007, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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