Slideshare now open to all!

Two days ago, we passed one of our major milestones: Slideshare is out of the invite-only phase. You can view, share slideshows without needing a login. You do need a login for uploading, but you can sign up anytime – you no longer need an invitation to the system.

We have geared up for this – servers have been added to the cluster. So, bring out those rusty old presentations and give them a new lease of life.

Several people have emailed us asking about Keynote imports. Thats something we are looking into. Audio is another thing that is we have heard a lot about – and we are considering.

In the meantime, I continue to be amazed by the types of content that keeps pouring into Slideshare. Here are some examples: a teacher who uploaded her lecture. The Dreamforce conference that shared 50 presentations. Ministers sharing sermons. Photographers sharing beautiful pictures. Cartoonists uploading cartoons that work in a slideshow format.

Two weeks of Slideshare

Its been just about two weeks of Slideshare and it would not be an exaggeration to say that my life has been changed forever. Tending to a new application is like having a baby. You enjoy all the things it does, worry about it if its quiet for a while and bore friends by talking about it too much. Most of all I have been enjoying the variety of content that pops up on Slideshare. Here is a French slideshow titled: Logistique Asiatique that I enjoyed recently.

User Research Friday in San Francisco on 27th October

Some of us are putting together an informal half-day conference focused on what’s new and innovative with user research methods. The idea is to find out what cool ideas and methods others have been trying out, and share what we have been upto ourselves. Its a free half-day conference. We chose a Friday afternoon to make it easy for you to come by. The location is Bolt & Peters office in downtown San Francisco. The setting will be informal (there will be food and drinks!). And this will be followed by a cocktail hour at 5.30 PM.

Talks are 20 minutes long and will cover a wide range of topics related to trends in User Research. Speakers include Wendy Castleman from Intuit, Ravit Lichtenberg from HP, Lane Becker from Adaptive Path and more. Go to the User Research Wiki if you want to learn more or want to sign up.

It should be a fun afternoon. Look forward to seeing you there!

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Looking for a few good developers to work on Slideshare

slideshare logoWe are looking for a few good hackers to work on Slideshare. You can find out more about the positions on the Slideshare blog. The Uzanto team is a tightly knit team of developers & designers in US (Mountain View & New Delhi). Slideshare is built with Ruby on Rails – Setup consists of Ruby, Rails, MySQL, lighttpd/mongrel, Pound, FreeBSD, and Debian. We are looking for Developers and a Sys Admin. We are looking for bright, enthusiastic people who get the web. We care less about your formal schooling – we care more about your being great at what you do, and being passionate about it. We are a small team and each team member is responsible for core parts of the application.

We just launched SlideShare last week and are blown away by the response! We have a lot planned ahead, so be prepared for a fun, wild ride. Apply if enjoy excitement! Interested? Email me at rashmi AT uzanto.com.

(If you know someone else who might fit into these roles, please forward the information).

BayCHI panel on Designing systems with emergent behavior

baychi logoThere is an exciting panel at BayCHI tomorrow (Tues, Oct 10th) with a discussion about the design of sites with emergent behavior. How does the process of design/design research change (or does not change) in the case of sites like Facebook, MySpace and Yahoo Answers where you are designing not just the interaction of the system with the individual users, but also how users will interact with each other, the group at large. Such social systems display behavior which is not something that was “designed” in the traditional sense of the word. What role does the designer play for such systems? How can you anticipate what consequences a relatively minor change on the individual level will have on the group as a whole? For example, Facebook’s recent decision to offer a feed of all your friend’s actions on your front page. And other related issues…

Panelists are Tim Brown from Ideo; Peter Merholz from Adaptive Path and Larry Cornett from Yahoo.

I will be moderating the panel and will make sure there is plenty of time for questions. So come by to PARC, Palo Alto at 7.30 PM. If you want to let the world know that you will be there (and find out who else will be there), then go to Upcoming. Note, BayCHI events are free to open to the public.

Slideshare our new social app is on Techcrunch!

So its finally out – the other project that we (at Uzanto) have been working on. And its starting its life with being Techcrunched!

The process of sharing slides is broken. It goes from my hard drive to yours via email. Or if I put it online, its in a clunky format like pdf or Powerpoint that you need to download.

Slideshare solves that problem. It webifies your slides – it makes the experience of viewing them, sharing them with individuals or groups smooth and seamless. You can upload your slides from Powerpoint or OpenOffice (Keynote users will have to save in Powerpoint format for the time being) and Slideshare will render them like this here. You can tag, comment and most of all embed your presentations into your blog or website like this one below.

(Slideshare is still invite only. Add yourself to the invite list or ping me if you would like to take a peek or try uploading your own slides).

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