Like many academics, I spend more time than I would like using PowerPoint to create conference presentations. For the last year I have been trying to make this activity more productive by publishing the results on SlideShare. Rather than just plonking a multi-megabyte PPT file up on a Web site, SlideShare lets you embed presentations in blog posts, makes them more discoverable by showing links to similar work, and allows other users to comment on individual slides and collaborate in communities.
Now SlideShare has taken this a step further by creating a PowerPoint toolbar that lets you publish and download slides from within the application itself. I will be fascinated to see how far this increases collaboration between PowerPoint users — but will have to wait for a MacOS version to try it out for myself. I will also be interested to see whether SlideShare supports collaboration by extending their rating system and allowing users to include additional metadata alongside each slide — including content licences such as Creative Commons.
In a sterling example of eating their own dog food, SlideShare have explained the new functionality in this presentation: