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SlideShare : YouTube for PowerPoint

SlideShare is site for the sharing of PowerPoint presentations. It’s very similar to YouTube in features and design. Anyone who signs up for a free membership can upload PowerPoints, which get converted to a Flash slideshow format. This makes it easy to share the presentations, browsed and viewed on the SlideShare site,or can be easily embedded in a blog or webpage. This makes it a very quick and easy way to share presentations.

But even if you don’t have any presentations of your own to share, you might want to come here to look around and see what other people have done. There’s a lot to see, including many presentations related to libraries and to higher education. People tag their presentations, which makes it easy to find what you’re looking for, and some organizations are using this as a way to share all the presentations from an event or conference.

In fact, even if you don’t visit this site directly, you may run across presentations on SlideShare through Google and other search engines. When SlideShare converts a presentation, they turn all the text from the slides into a transcript, which is not only a convenience when you’re looking for something specific and don’t want to page through a whole presentation, it also makes all of this text visible and indexable to search engines.

Below is a presentation from a session I did for a NETSL conference in October, 2005, which I uploaded just as a test. I used this one specifically because it includes a lot of links to webpages, and I wanted to make sure those survived the transition, which they did. Of course, like most PowerPoints, this wasn’t written as a standalone presentation, but with the expectation that I’d be standing in front of it explaining everything. Paging through a PowerPoint isn’t the same experience as attending a presentation, but the best PowerPoints as a good outline of a topic, with well-chosen examples and links, and you’ll find some great ones on SlideShare.

(And I keep saying “PowerPoint” here because it’s the most popular presentation format, but there are other formats that are supported.)

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