Slidecasting as a general way to synch web audio and visuals

Jay Feinberg articulated much better than I did in my previous post, what the implications of slidecasting are. He tried to post this as a comment, but turns out my commenting system was broken.

One comment about the web and audio: there is a standard, or, at least, emerging standard, way to connect together multiple segments of audio: the playlist (and the XSPF standard playlist format). And, a slideshow seems very similar to a playlist in the way that you have discreet elements stiched together to form a linear presentation.

From a music / arts perspective, I would imagine that the most interesting possibilities would be the most web-like, e.g., that any one slide could connect to any playlist of multiple audio tracks, any one audio track could connect with any presentation of multiple sides, or one audio track could just connect with one side.

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Dude, where’s your Facebook app?

This is the new line in parties. Its replacing “whats your Web2.0 startup?” At a recent party, everyone had a Facebook app, many had multple Facebook apps. Some were still working on theirs (the laggards!). This is the new land grab. If you want to be noticed, then hurry.

I had heard of this entrepreneur in the making, an ambitious woman planning an eBay of services. Recently I heard that she had changed tack and was working on a vampires and werevolves application for Facebook. I went to a conference to hear RockYou speak and learnt that their most popular application was “Horoscopes”. Another friend has launched several facebook applications with the latest being “Am I Virgin or not” application. He is thinking of several more along similar lines.

Its viral for viral’s sake. The point is not to create a cool, useful app and make it viral. The point is to create an app that is viral to begin with. The logic often seems to be – “once I get all the Facebook users using my viral game, I will use that to lure them to my website/other application“. And how will you make money? Who knows? As Paul Kedrosky puts it, Silicon Valley has never cared about revenue anyway :->

So what’s your Facebook app?

Designing Slidecasting: a new multimedia format for the web

When SlideShare launched it was a place to share PowerPoint on to the web. TechCrunch called it the “YouTube for PowerPoint”. And while it was not my choice of words, I did not disagree! Yesterday, we moved beyond that initial description. SlideShare is now a place to share and create a new multimedia format: Slidecasts!

Slidecasts are a mashup of slides with audio. As it was pointed out time and again, slides by themselves can feel bare. Our users wanted to add voice tracks, music etc.

We did not just want to add audio to slides. We wanted to create a multimedia format suited to both creation and consumption on the web. What does that mean? The main developer on the project Kapil and I debated this time and again. We were inspired by the philosophy of “small pieces loosely joined“. For video, the visual and audio stream are generally recorded together. For Slidecasting, we wanted the multimedia format to suit the nature of the web, where multiple streams (slides and audio) can be loosely or tightly coupled.

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The SlideShare karoake randomizer

Fun project of the week was to work on a karoake randomizer to help you use SlideShare to run a ppt karoake event. You enter a tag from slideshare. It grabs all creative-commons licensed slideshows for that tag. If the slideshows allow download of the original file, it shows that link. All you need are some volunteers for presenting!

The SlideShare Karoake Randomizer is the first tool that uses our just-released API. We are open sourcing it so that you can use it as you like. Its available on our new API site SlideShareToys. And the code is available through Google code hosting.

The SlideShare Karoake Randomizer will be used for the first time today at the Creative Commons Salon in San Francisco! If you are in SF, come by this evening to Shine and watch the pptkaroake in action. Or maybe volunteer to present to a random slideshow. I am told that a critical element of pptkaroake – beer will be available!

Guy Kawasaki, Hal Varian and Ross Mayfield are SlideShare advisors

All of them have been informally advising us for a while and I am thrilled that they are joining our board of advisors.

Jon and I met Ross at one the early BarCamps and find him a great mix of a pragmatic entrepreneur and deep thinker. He has been involved with us from before the launch (in fact, he was one of the first people we showed SlideShare to. He got the concept immediately). His advise has been invaluable.

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Ads, low-fat yogurt, ads and women’s bodies

There I got your attention, didn’t I? A post about a yogurt ad campaign on a friend’s blog caught my eye: Its almost an anti Dove’s real beauty campaign – the message being “forget it, men’s preferences will never change. So eat light yogurt”. Advertising campaign is from a Brazilian yogurt company. Interesting discussion follows. (yes, I did find some of the women in the advertising campaign very beautiful).

[via Ana].