SlideShare: an evolving social system

We’ve been slowly adding more and more social features to slideshare over the last few months. You can now add slideshare members as friends, leave comments on their profile (we call that a “Ping”), or send private messages.
It’s been cool to see how all of this plays out. Here’s a nice article describing how Brian Kelly has been using slideshare to find like-minded slideshare members in his field. Excerpt below!
A few days ago I received an email alert which informed me that a number of the presentations had been added as a Favourite by a Slideshare user.
From his profile I discover that srains has a blog, Rolling Rains, which explores ‘the adoption of Universal Design (Design-for-All; Human-Centered Design) by the tourism industry’.
From the other slide show he has added to his list of favourites, I have found presentations which are of interest to me (including one on Two Trainers Trade Twenty Technology Training Tips and one on standards used on Oxfam Australia’s Web site).
Revisiting my uploaded slides I discover that the most popular of my presentations is Web 2.0: What Is It, How Can I Use It, How Can I Deploy It? with 666 views in two months, with 6 users including it in their list of favourite slideshows (jensjeppe,, noticiasmias2002, gerarddummer, erywin and MCL).
I can then follow their list of other favourites and the slides which they may have uploaded. And guess what: people who are interested in my slides on Web 2.0 are also interested in other slides on the same subject. So this ‘social network’ provides a form of resource discovery for me

5 thoughts on “SlideShare: an evolving social system

  1. Xavier Casanova February 14, 2007 / 12:36 pm

    John – just passing by. Got alerted via slideshare that you added my PPT as favorite, saw your profile, saw your blog – now I know Uzanto better I guess. Anyway, just a quick Hi.

  2. Xavier Casanova February 14, 2007 / 12:37 pm

    One more thing: got this error after submiting my comment:
    not well-formed (invalid token) at line 33, column 233, byte 2065 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.8.3/i386-freebsd/XML/ line 187 at /usr/www/users/sinha/jonathanboutelle/mt/plugins/ line 140.”

  3. Jon February 14, 2007 / 1:30 pm

    Yes, user comments cause bizarre error messages to appear. It’s on my blog todo-list!
    Thanks for stopping by! I really liked your presentation, Wambo looks pretty cool. How does it transfer files faster than other IM systems? That would seem like it would be mostly limited by user upload speeds.

  4. Brian Kelly February 15, 2007 / 6:19 am

    Hi Jon
    Thanks for citing my posting.
    I’ve raised a couple of points about Slideshare on my blog, and one person has responded, pointing out possible accessibility problems with Slideshare (it doesn’t seem to work if you don’t have a mouse). We’d be interested in your thoughts on this – in particular, are accessibility barriers likely to rule out of of Slidehare in public sector organisations such as universities?
    Brian Kelly

  5. Jon February 15, 2007 / 8:01 am

    I think the slideshare accessibility story is pretty good. The reason is that we embed the transcript of the presentation in the page that shows the slideshow. So someone using a screenreader should be able to consume all the text from the presentation really easily.
    If they had to navigate the flash embed, you are right, it would be a potential accessibility issue (although Adobe has partial solutions for this, we haven’t investigated them). But you can navigate to the slideview page without a mouse, and the transcript is embedded into the html on that page.
    Ironically enough, the reason we embed the transcript was not originally for accessibility reasons: it was for google! Just goes to show that SEO and accessibility go hand in hand, more often than not.

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