SlideServe is still in Beta, and I found few basic issues that they really need to fix soon. First; I signed up and activated the account through the email link. SlideServe wanted me to login again, as soon as I activated the account. I logged in and uploaded a profile image, and then tried uploading a presentation to my account. Upload process went smoothly, and I got up to a point where it said "Your Presentation is currently being processed and will be available to view in a few minutes". However, as soon the file uploading is completed I realized that my session has timed out, and I've been logged out automatically from the session. I logged in again, and went to "My Presentations" and shhhhh!. It's all gone!
I uploaded the file again, and went to "My Presentations" to see the file. This time it was there, but the strange thing is the first file I uploaded was appearing in the "Latest Presentations" section under a user name "guest1249" Hmmm... Something seems to be is very spooky there.
We can expect such teething issues as SlideServe still is in Beta. As per their domain Whois data, the domain was first registered only in April 2008; one month later I've posted the above mentioned blog post about Sharing Powerpoint shows on the internet. As per my estimation, there are about 465 members signed up with their service at the moment (as at 15th May 2009). That means they are still new in business, and have a long way to go.
SlideServe requires us to add the basic information about the file before it's uploaded to their servers. It would have been better if the user is allowed to browse the file and upload it, as soon as they click on "Upload" link. While the file is being uploaded to the server, the user should be able to add more information about the file, add tags, select channels and save it. This is the procedure that it takes on Youtube video sharing, and I thought that is very much more user friendly.
Another drawback I noticed is; SlideServe doesn't allow multiple file uploads. You can only upload one presentation at a time. Multiple upload is very crucial for someone who need to upload a series of presentations on a similar topic.
On the positive side; I see the site navigation and layouts are pretty cool. Apart from the small drawback during the upload process mentioned above; the rest of the site is easily navigable. Color theme is easy on eyes and it resembles a lot like Facebook and Wordpress, which is a good strategy to build the credibility of a website. (Make your look & feel similar to an already trusted site among your audiance; not necasarily a competitor). Altogether, the site looks much organized than it's main competitor SlideShare.net. I find it very difficult to navigate on SlideShare most of the time, because there are too much of information being stuffed into each and every page of the site. Comparatively, SlideServe has a pretty simple and easy on eyes layout with relatively less stuffed with excess information.
Below is the official "About us" details sent to me by a representative from SlideServe.com. Personally, I do not have any intention of shifting from SlideShare where I still feel pretty comfortable. However, we always like more options! Who knows; may be SlideServe will outplay SlideShare in couple of years, just like Google did to Yahoo, or like Facebook did to MySpace. No one ever thought that "we need a substitute for Yahho or MySpace". Good luck SlideServe!
P.S. This is NOT a paid review
SlideServe.com is the easiest way to upload and share your PowerPoint presentations publicly or privately with the world. You can embed/email the presentations to social networking sites, blogs and friends.
SlideServe gives you a place to share your PowerPoint presentations with the world. Through SlideServe your presentations reach a worldwide audience. It is free and you can share PowerPoint presentations and slideshows that include animations, transitions, audio, video and Flash. You can find lots of presentations with class, style and elegance in this presentation sharing community. There is an option to insert them into your blog or web sites and for viewing presentations in full screen mode without reducing the quality of presentations. In SlideServe, user can Write comments, Rate presentations, Add them to favorites and also Add presentation to your social bookmarks like Google, Delicious, Digg, Furl, Facebook Share, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Technorati, Live, Yahoo, Twitter, Ask and many more. All PowerFlashPoint users can upload and share their presentations directly to SlideServe. Maximum size of file is limited to 30MB and there is no file size restriction while uploading through PowerFlashPoint software. SlideServe currently supports .ppt, .pptx, .pps and .ppsx formats (PowerPoint XP, 2003 and 2007). Unlike some of the similar services, when you register with SlideServe you will get a free software client - a powerpoint add-in based on the powerful PowerFlashPoint (converter from http://www.digitalofficepro.com) engine, which allows users to seamlessly convert PowerPoint to Flash from within PowerPoint.