I found something new: a YouTube for powerpoints. Look, I can embed the slides from a talk I gave, oh years ago, into this blog post, and you can page through it really quickly without downloading anything. Oh and yes, when the first page of this is clickable, it gains meaning…

So that’s kind of cool, right? If you go to their site (Slideshare.net), you’ll see there are lots and lots of slideshows already there. Search for “Web 2.0”, for instance.

I don’t believe that using slides for a talk is evil – yes, bulleted lists on a screen is not great communication, but there are a lot of other uses for slides. However, how much use is a slideshow without the speaker? Does looking at the slideshow above actually give you anything without my words to accompany it? If it does, what does that do to the notion of a talk as communication – is my talk on this now a simple product? If we all start sharing our slides like this, will we have to write them with a reading audience in mind instead of a present audience who can be directly addressed?

I discovered this on Nancy White’s blog on her Australian October, where she’s posting about the talks she’s been giving.

3 thoughts on “slideshare: a youtube for powerpoints

  1. Joel

    I knew I should have embedded a presentation in my post, I’m almost tempted to edit it and add yours…. very good!
    Now they should have a way of allowing you to add a commentary, and set the speed of the presentation. Maybe they do actually!

  2. torill

    I don’t like to give out or publish slides. They are meant to be reminders and an emphasis of what I say at the lecture. If I have links or notes that are particularly important, I have a blog I use for that, all gathered in one place, easier to find and less hazzle when I am done preparing. Giving out the slidea might give a false feeling of knowing what I talked about, rather than a useful collection of keywords. However: if you have better routines for making your slides into summaries, or the slides contain important examples which otherwise are impossible to find, then yes, sharing slides can be very useful. It’s just another tool, you know.

  3. Jill

    Joel, thanks for visiting! I was amused yesterday when I technoratied slideshare and found your post with the same title as mine 🙂 Not surprising really, Slideshow obviously copied not only the general idea but even in places the layout of the site from YouTube…

    Torill, I agree with you. I think that talk I gave for Kulturnett last week is the first slideshow I’ve willingly given out, and that was mostly because the slides contained screenshots of sites with URLs and I figured that was a quick way of sharing the URLs. Come to think of it, Slideshare is NOT a very good way of sharing URLs in a slide because you’d have to type them in yourself. Yuck.

    Also, I regularly (mostly?) don’t use slides at all, I use a blog post summary and click out from there. That’s a nicely shareable format too, where it’s also clear you’re not getting hte whole talk but a summary.

    I don’t think I’ll be using Slideshow a whole lot, but it’s an interesting development – and for those occasions where I *do* want to share a slideshow – as I did last week – it’s a convenient way of doing it.

    Except I’d rather that powerpoint and keynote and open office let you save your show as an embeddable flash/shockwave thing that you could put on your OWN server. I know about social sharing
    being nice and all but as Joel wrote yesterday, the user agreement doesn’t make it entirely clear whether Shareslide has some kind of control over the ownership of your slides if you upload them. Though you can assign them a creative commons licence, so I guess probably not.

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