There are very few things that compel me to use PowerPoint. I have scolded PPT, stomped on it, lifted my doggie leg and peed on it for years… the only reason in the last 12 months I have quietly stifled my contempt is that it is the vehicle where I can post presentations on Slideshare— which I like to call the YouTube of Presentations.
When it first came out, it was pretty much a dead ringer for YouTube, though in nice pastel green tones. You upload a Big Fat Media Blob Content (video file of various flavors, hulking powerpoint file), and it converts it to svelte flash format, creating a place on the web to publish your works, and… providing the cut and paste code so you can embed it into other web sites.
Since then, Slideshare has added features typical of social networking sites- tags, contacts, messaging, groups, etc. I know at one time Beth Kanter had a great post describing these social connection features of slideshare.
And then they added the ability to link a presentation file to an audio file, with an interface for synchronizing audio to a presentation- a slidecast is truly a self contained presentation, and the almost perfect record of a preso. It is actually the same functionality that previously was sold as a mega $$$ software by Macromedia as “Breeze” and here it is, free on a web site. Amazing.
I’m thinking that rather than recording the live presentation, it is going to be preferable to go back after the show, and record the sound track. It is 1000 times the value of sending “just the powerpoint” which on their own, have little information value w/o the speaker (unless it is the 0.01% of the population that faithfully enters content in the notes field).
But there are even more reasons why I heart slideshare. They listen, and respond almost immediately to feedback. I grow accustomed to sites where you enter a feedback into some web form, get some automated response of “thanks for your message, we will be taking action, blah blah blah…” and you never hear from them again.
The Slideshare folks have a different tack- they respond, personally, and then make the fix. Service like that is not without value and certainly bears some spotligting.
So this morning, when I added a new Slideshare, I noticed that despite my preference setting that all my uploads should be set with Creative Commons Licenses of “By Attribution” I noticed this new one, and at least the 5 before that, were all set to “All Rights Reserved”– and I had to edit each one to set it right.
So I fired a short request into the sometimes black holes of feedback forms:
My profile has creative commons license default set to “By Attribution” but every new slideshare I create ends up as “All Rights Reserved
And in 3 hours I got a human response. And it was someone who took the time to write something personal:
Big fan of your work. ;->
I am entering this into our bug tracking system. We’ll get it fixed for the next release. THANKS for letting us know!
This is not the first time Slideshare folks have done this. I cannot say enough how refreshing it is to get human treatment out there in the Big Wild Teaming Web.
So I love Slideshare enough to tolerate using Evil Bloatware– yes, I know I can use Keynote and export as PDF, and I may do so… but really, it is not PowerPoint itself that creates bad powerpoints…