Note: it appears to be independent of one's OS, and now that I have discovered it I will probably begin to use it in my research presentations. My research group primarily uses Macs, whereas I am a die-hard Windows fan, and so we've already run into some compatibility difficulties when we try to use each other's computers to practice presentations. This tool could avoid that problem.
I'm also a huge fan of free software. I suppose they pay for this stuff through a combination of advertising, people who do want to pay for niftier accounts, and outside funding, but I'm not involved in any of that - I even use (free) AdBlock Plus for the express purpose of blocking ads. It's lovely.
Coming back to SlideShare, here are some facts about SlideShare for those of you who, like me, had never heard of the program prior to this class:
"SlideShare is the world's largest community for sharing presentations."SlideShare is a business media site for sharing presentations, documents and pdfs. SlideShare features a vibrant professional community that regularly comments, favorites and downloads content. Content also spreads virally through blogs and social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter. Individuals & organizations upload documents to SlideShare to share ideas, connect with others, and generate leads for their businesses. Anyone can view presentations & documents on topics that interest them. The site is growing rapidly with over 25 million monthly visitors."
Another interesting fact: The company has two main offices, one in San Francisco and one in New Delhi. Just goes to show that these Indian engineers really are spreading worldwide.
For kicks and giggles, here is a presentation I made with Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 for my optics class earlier this semester and have consequently embedded in this blog using SlideShare:
How to embed: Once you upload your presentation to SlideShare (create an account and click "upload"), html code for embedding is in a small box on the right. Click in the box, press Ctrl+A and then Ctrl+C to select and copy all the code. When you come back to your blog, if you are using a Google blog like this one, click on the "Edit HTML" link and paste the code in the appropriate place.
It's quite exciting to embed html! Ooh! And it even automatically links to other presentations having to do with the same topic! Brilliant. The only concern I have with this software is that I had some animations on the original PowerPoint which do not appear to be showing up in the embedding. Trust me, it's better with the animations.
Have fun with your own presentations! And remember, if you save your presentations on SlideShare, there's really no reason to wonder if you've accidentally left your flash drive at home. Convenient, eh?