SlideShare launches today -- the YouTube of Powerpoint. While Powerpoint destroys thought, so does TV. And misgivings aside, slides can be an art form in and of itself. They are objects you spin stories around. Like this:
It is easy to embed a presentation and player within a site, blog or wiki. This one is of my Keynote at Networld/Interop, a good companion to the video. I've been playing with the Alpha and really have to applaud Rashmi (you may know her from Dcamp), Jonathan and the gang at Uzanto.
You upload your Powerpoint (PPT and PPS formats) or OpenOffice (ODP format) slides into My Slidespace with a familiar title, description and tags. The flash player is fast and intuitive.
Slides are findable by search (the content of the presentation is indexed), Latest, Popular, Featured, Profiles and Tags (Latest, Popular this week and Popular all time). Here is an RSS feed of the latest.
What's also fascinating is their servers are backed by Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service). The other week when Socialtext 2.0 launched with a large-file webcast, we got Techcrunched and were worried about the load on our servers. After a little scrambling in IRC, Pete Kaminski leveraged S3, and problem solved. In this case, SlideShare has web serviced their scalability. An interesting model to watch, and good thing if this thing is a sudden hit.