Congratulations to my friends Rashmi and Jonathan on officially launching SlideShare and being immediately covered by TechCrunch and others. I have been an early Beta user of SlideShare and was especially intrigued by the ease of use of the service. It allows you to upload PowerPoint presentations, tag and share them with other users, either on the SlideShare site or via your own Website or Blog. In true Web 2.0 fashion Jonathan decided to release early (and hopefully often) so the current functionality provides just the basic features, while I bet that we will see many enhancements based on user feedback over the coming months.
I uploaded my slide deck on “Enhancing the Usability of SAP Applications Using a Rich Client” four days ago and it is right now the most popular deck with 120 views… yeah, my 5 minutes of fame have finally arrived And even better now you can view the slides right here as well…
I think an important decision was to use the Amazon S3 service to handle the storage of the actual content. The instant availability of high bandwidth and storage via web services really changes the game for every company in the Web 2.0 field. Remember your typical Web 2.0 announcements which got covered on TechCrunch or Digged? You try to reach the site/content and it is slow or not available at all due to the spike in demand. With services like S3 this is no longer the case and it gives a start-up the same scalability like Amazon.
I have a couple of enhancement ideas for SlideShare as well…
1) Be able to view/browse slideshows on SlideShare without logging in. Only uploading should require a user account (similar to Flickr)
2) Be able to upload slides with audio and/or add audio to slides using SlideShare
3) Handle animations in the Powerpoint slides
4) There are some font issues which you can see on my slides (e.g. 4 and 5)
5) A lot of people commented that slides cannot be set private to specific user groups. I am personally not very interested in that feature since my slides are used for evangelizing technology and I want to reach as many people as possible.
I have also some related ideas which I am refining right now. But thats something I want to first discuss with Jon over a glass of beer.
Keep up the good work!