I was an avid user of SlideShare and happily uploaded slides until they made some changes making it difficult for anyone to find content. SlideShare took it upon themselves a couple of years ago and remove the ability to create events and grouping of slides. They also have serious issues with returning valid search results for simple queries into slides that were even recently uploaded. Take a look at the video first to see how they are restricting the user from getting the most out of SlideShare.

To focus on improving the core functionality of SlideShare — uploading and sharing content — we have decided to phase out the groups and events features. Even though we know discontinuing these features may inconvenience some of you in the short term, we believe that this move will improve your experience in sharing, uploading and viewing content on our site.

As I hopefully showed clearly in the video, this removal of events and reliance on SlideShare to curate content is not working and is failing to allow the site to flourish. Other companies like VivaStream and Lanyrd have tried to capture this with their own flaws. I would think with LinkedIn purchasing SlideShare back in 2012 the idea of self curation and organization of slide content would be at the forefront. They also did not have the sense to leave the past events and grouping while restricting creation of new ones on SlideShare with the large amount of references pointing to them across the web.

As for the searching mechanism on SlideShare, it leaves much to be desired. It seems that keywords are often ignored as well as slide titles. If the uploader leaves the transcript (a great feature) you will have better luck. However I do not see a way to see the slide transcript when doing searches.

While I still share my slides to the site I am seeing that self promotion and sharing is the only easy way to have the content found on SlideShare. What have your experiences been? Do you only use the site to embed content? have you investigated sites like SpeakerDeck and ReelApp? Let me know in the comments.

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