UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

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Posted by Brian Kelly on 9 Nov 2006

I’ve recently been evaluating the Slideshare service. Andy Powell has recently commented on Slideshare, pointing out its ease-of-use, community-based approach and trusting the users (in contrast with digital repository services developed in the UK). Andy’s comments have been picked up by Stephen Downes, who has added some of his slides to Slideshare.

I’ve also been uploading a number of my slides. I’ve also embedded some of the slides into pages on my Web site (as has Lorcan Dempsey, another of my former colleagues).

So what are the benefits of this? Is it just the latest Web 2.0 fad, or does it have the provide to provide real benefits?

As an prolific PowerPoint presenter (having given about 250 presentations in my ten years at UKOLN) I am very interested in exploring if it do anything useful for me. My thoughts so far (after a couple of weeks of using Slideshare):

  • It’s good for finding slides on the same topic as yours. It can help my find new & interesting stuff – but I can also find myself sometimes surprised by the simple approach by companies from whom I’d expect a more sophisticated understanding (NOTE after pointing out the flaws in this presentation, I subsequently discovered that the presentation had been removed – BK, 28022007). To be fair, though, in this case I don’t have the context of how this slide was used or the target audience.
  • The comments feature seems to have real potential. I’ve already started to receive a few comments, and I’ve notice how this feature can also be used as a teaching aid.
  • It’s good to get greater exposure to my slides. As Paul Miller has said, get the data out to where the users are; don’t wait for the users to come to you.
  • The statistics feature is also useful.
  • As I described recently Slideshare can be used to quickly upload slides for use on-the-fly at events (in my case, when chairing a session at a Wiki workshop I had 2 minutes before the start of a talk to upload the speaker’s slides, to enable a remote user to view the slides while listening to the speaker over Skype. No time for FTPing and VPNing – but no problem in clicking the upload button and stating the URL when my introduction to the speaker was over).

As mentioned, I have also embedded the slides on pages on my Web site. I’m not convinced that I’ll want to do this on a regular basis, but it does demonstrate the potential – and perhaps those who may have reservations about being seen to make use of a third party service might appreciate this feature.

Perhaps the most important benefit of services such as Slideshare for those involved in Web development work is to gain a better understanding of the positive (and negative) aspects of such services, and to feed this into local development work. So I’d recommend use of Slideshare by anyone involved in developing institutional repositories – if you are going to develop similar services in-house, you’ll need to be able to compete with such services, otherwise you may find your users have no interest i using your service.

Anyone else using Slideshare – or have any thoughts on its strengths and weaknesses?

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5 Responses to “ – a repository for slides”

  1. Mal Booth said

    Yes, I was similarly interested but not sure how I could use it until recently. A group of local archivists and librarians from small local and school archives asked me to give a non-technical talk about digitisation recently and using slideshare and were a very easy way to share it all and provide me with a useful back up in case the CD and laptop failed. You can find it all at

  2. […] of the first posts to this blogs, back in November 2006, describes my initial experiments with the Slideshare repository for […]

  3. […] Is this reaction over-the-top? Perhaps when Slideshare announce this joke they’ll also say that the extra advertising revenue which the additional views generated will be donated to a worthy cause – which would make me appear somewhat of a curmudgeon. And if I have got this wrong I’d be happy to apologise – after all I have in the past admitted to being a fan of the Slideshare service. […]

  4. […] by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 13 April 2009 You know what it’s like. You’ve been together for some time. And you get on well together. And then something goes wrong. So you start looking for something […]

  5. […] Slideshare-gate Brian Kelly va escriure (i esborrar tot seguit): “Ja saps com va. Un conviu durant cert temps. I vos dugueu ben bé. Aleshores alguna cosa va malament. I comences a cercar quelcom nou.” […]

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