slideshare: a youtube for powerpoints

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 (, 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.

26. October 2006 by Jill

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