Slideshare plugins for wordpress!

We’ve been working on our own wordpress plugin, but apparently not fast enough! Today I found out that Koen and Microsklave have both released wordpress plugins for embedding slideshare slideshows into a wordpress blog.
To be clear, there is currently no problem embedding into a wordpress blog: these plugins simply make the syntax a little prettier (by accepting a permalink rather than an embed code as input). The cool thing will be if one of these (either our plugin or theirs, we don’t care which) was deployed on That way millions of users will be able to embed slideshows.
We’re a bit embarrassed that the internet beat us to this task, but we’re also psyched that people are passionate enough about slideshare to write code like this. Thanks guys!

Surviving the digg effect for social sites

Slideshare got it’s first real digging yesterday. The results are very visible, since slideshare is a social system that tracks page views publicly.
As of this moment, Cats, a collection of funny cat photos put together by EGK, has had 59641 views. It has been up for three days, and has had almost 3 times as much traffic as it’s closest competitor, Frases Navidenas.
This is clearly due to the fact that cats got dugg. I had no idea that diggers were into cat photos, but apparently they are!
I’m happy to report that our servers had no trouble at all handling the traffic. We’re glad for the traffic and exposure to the digg audience.
However, it’s interesting the distorting effects that one link can have on a social system like slideshare. Four weeks of our loyal users watching the driving in bolivia slideshow have been undone by a swarm of traffic from digg.
Digg is becoming powerful enough not only to drive lots of traffic to sites, but to drive up the rank of particular pieces of content within a given site. I wonder now whether the most popular videos on youtube are popular because of being dugg? With so many sites ranking stories, videos, or other content on the basis of views, digg leaves it’s mark on the web every day by directing a river of traffic towards select pieces of content. Freaky!

Delhi PHP hackers

Lots of Delhi php hackers at barcampdelhi2 were interested in kapil’s talk about making the switch to Ruby (from PHP).
After completing the first iteration of slideshare, we estimated that it would have taken twice as long in PHP: and all of the developers on the project were experienced PHP guys who were new to ruby!
Good PHP developers seem to learn ruby and rails extremely quickly, so the payoff from switching is pretty immediate.

Slideshare in businessweek!

Slideshare was reviewed in businessweek yesterday. You need a membership to view the site, so here’s a snapshot for those that don’t have a subscription.
Have I Got A PowerPoint For You
In the beginning, there was MP3 sharing. Then came friend sharing (MySpace), photo sharing (Flickr), and video sharing (YouTube). Now it has come to this: PowerPoint slide sharing. offers a place to upload, view, and search for PowerPoint presentations. And since opening up its beta site in October, it has received tens of thousands of files.
The site’s “decks,” as the slide shows are called, are diverse: conference presentations, classroom lessons (“Let’s Learn Colors!” from a middle-school Spanish class), and PowerPoint satire (Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address famously summarized in bullet points, created in 2000 by Peter Norvig, Google’s research director).
Site co-founder Jonathan Boutelle came up with the service while organizing a conference. It will hardly grab as many eyeballs as YouTube, but corporate firewalls won’t block the likes of “Let’s Learn Colors.”
By Jena McGregor (Business Week)

Scalable Web Architectures with Ruby and Amazon S3

I’m at barcamp bangalore 2 right now. What a crowd! Everyone has a wireless startup they’re working on with their friends: the tech entrepreneur scene is definitely heating up in India.
I gave a talk this morning about scalable web architectures. I focused on what we learned from building slideshare, including aspects specific to scaling Ruby on Rails. I also talked about Amazon S3, which I can’t say enough good things about. People thought that my slide on google ad words / Amazon cash flow was pretty funny.
Anyway, here’s the slides, plus a video snippet from the beginning of the presentation. Feel free to comment on individual slides on slideshare, and I’ll try to answer questions!

(video brought to you by Arun Ramarathnam )