Just as YouTube is a video sharing website, SlideShare is a service that allows the sharing of presentations that were created using PowerPoint, Keynote (for the Mac), Open Office, and even PDF slideshows. The idea behind Slideshare is similar to YouTube. You upload your presentations and they are then converted for presentation on a web page. The presentations can then be viewed at a specific page on Slideshare.net or you can use code that is provided to embed the presentation on your own web site. You can even embed the slideshow in a Course Management tool such as Blackboard.
SlideShare also has a great feature for adding audio to your presentation called Slidecasting. Let’s say you gave a presentation publicly and audio was captured. You could take the audio file and synchronize it with the slides to create a Slidecast. The slideshow would play automatically with synchronized audio, providing a presentation that was just like the live event.
Keep in mind that you do lose any animated transitions that you used in your presentation, however the original slideshow can be downloaded by a visitor with all the transitions and animations in tact. You can upload up to a 100MB presentation, so it’s a great way to keep from using up space on a web server or course management system. There are also privacy settings that allow you to share a “private” web address for your presentation. It won’t show up on a list anywhere and the web address is virtually un-guessable.
Overall, SlideShare is a pretty valuable service. Features are being added regularly like support for PowerPoint 2007, the ability to incorporate YouTube videos into presentations, and the ability to view presentations easily on a mobile phone.