Slideshare is another one of those things that I'd heard of but had no further knowledge of. I've seen it described as doing for powerpoints what YouTube does for videos and although I agree that powerpoints can be very useful I don't spend that much time actively seeking them out.
I was very disappointed by the lack of search functionality in Slideshare and after about 5 minutes of trying to find an interesting, recent and relevant presentation on various library issues (open access, institutional repositories, 23 things) I changed my strategy and decided to look for presentations on the Ancient Greeks instead?
Why the Ancient Greeks?, I hear you ask. Well my friends, I am doing a MOOC and so far I am really enjoying it and have learnt a lot. Admittedly I am only in week 1 of the course but the lectures (delivered by video) are very engaging and I have successfully passed the multiple choice quiz that went with the learning for this week. If I have enough time I will create my own presentation about it and upload it to Slideshare but for now I leave you with an existing presentation:
I think that Slideshare probably is a very useful educational resource if you want to share your own presentations with colleagues, or if colleagues send you the link to presentations they have uploaded but the search facility is so basic it is infuriating. Because Slideshare is so popular and so heavily used it is very hard to find presentations on specific topics because it returns so many results which can then only be filtered by relevance (hmm), date of upload or file type. I searched for "University of Southampton" and got thousands of results, most of them seemingly irrelevant, whereas I was expecting to see material obviously relating to this specific university at the top of the list. Maybe Slideshare needs a discovery layer? Or maybe it's just me.