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The best ways to share content in your Google Drive

G suite is my go-to for creating content, but you may have noticed it is more challenging to publicly share it. Google Drive lets you make a file publicly viewable (see this article for more details) and then each viewer must “Make a copy” to use it as shown below.

This option has its limitations. Sharing one document at a time is slow, and even if you share a folder, the user must still make a copy of each file to edit it. The good news is SharingTree and Teachers Pay Teachers have recently added the option to add shared files directly to your Google Drive. This article will cover the similarities and differences in these services.

SharingTree and TPT both request permission to access your Google Drive as shown below.

TPT is requesting to See and download all of your Google Drive files, and SharingTree asks to See, edit, create, and delete all of your Google Drive files. Both of these sound intrusive and need an explanation. Google requires a company that interacts with your Google Drive to request the highest level of access they will ever need. Both companies only use these privileges to add files directly to your Google Drive, but to accomplish this, they need to request this level of access. Hopefully, Google will improve its wording, but for now, take a deep breath and click the “Allow” button. If you are like me, you may want to use a Gmail account that only connects to services like these. Once the files are in this Google Drive account, you can easily share them with your regular Gmail account and breathe a little easier.

Publishing Content

Next, we will compare what files you can publish using SharingTree and TPT.

Currently, TPT only supports G Suite files (docs, sheets, forms, and slides) while SharingTree lets you publish ANYTHING in your Google Drive. Anything means all G Suite files but also Microsoft, PDF, Images and Video files. TPT does support a limited version of Folders (only G Suite and PDF files), and SharingTree enables you to build groups from your published content. The other difference is TPT requires published content to stay in your Google Drive while SharingTree does not.

Once you have selected the file from your Google Drive lets look at HOW these services allow it to be published.

Publishing Options

Both services support the standard FREE and for $ copyrighted content format. Also, SharingTree allows donations to any free content, and they support publishing using a Collaborative license that allows remixing and uploading using SharingTree as well as all Creative Commons licensing options for FREE content.

Lastly, let’s look at the payout rates on sales. TPT has two levels as shown below.

SharingTree has additional levels based on the number of published documents or shares but no fees. The initial tier payout rate for SharingTree is 75% vs 55% for TPT with lower transaction fees as well for publishers.

It is exciting to see platforms embrace Google Drive and eliminate the hassle of uploading and downloading files. We will update this article as more services provide Google Drive integration, and we would like to hear from you. SharingTree was started by two teachers who believe in the future of Google Drive, and our goal is to provide the best integration available. Try adding something today

  Author: Dave Fogliatti
  Published on:  07/08/2019


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