I just realized this afternoon that Slideshare is, for all intents and purposes, dead.
I suppose that should tell me something, that a platform that was so critical to my professional and career growth from 2007-2014 manages to dry up and blow away, and I didn’t even notice. I loved Slideshare back in the day. At first, it was a strictly utilitarian tool for me – I needed to share my PowerPoints with hundreds of students each semester under my terms, in a time where the LMS was just Horrid and Unusable, and I was committed to using Web 2.0 and social media tools for learning.
And then something glorious happened. The Presentation Zen/Slideology movement took off, and Slideshare became a great place to learn, share my work and network with other people. It was a lot of fun for slideware junkies like myself.
But from 2015-today, I hadn’t really had much need for it. The Wild West digital infrastructure I’d built for myself had decayed in the years since I left teaching. Wikispaces, Flickr, PBWorks, Slideshare and a dozen other sites all just sort of…decayed. And I had been too busy to notice.
Not to mention that Social Media has largely become a sewer. Twitter, which was so important to me for so many years (I joined in 2007), is almost unusable today. Facebook? Don’t even get me started. Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc. All fairly quiet, except for the noise of self-promotion these days. Instagram is really the only service that keeps my attention anymore.
Other people I respect have had things to say about this recently.
- M.G. Siegler: “My mindset about these networks these days is almost the opposite. In no way should you share the “real” you in these places. I’m not saying you should quit them — though for some people, that’s undoubtedly healthy — but instead you should use them with the full understanding of what they are: tools. You should go in knowing what you’re trying to get out of them. Maybe it’s news. Maybe it’s jokes. Maybe it’s promotion. Etc. But again, the one thing I don’t think you should be looking to do there is to put your actual life on display. There are just too many downsides to this.”
- Anil Dash recently shared why and how he decided to unfollow everyone on Twitter. I’ve done a dramatic unfollowing on Twitter and started relying much more heavily on Lists. But, I’ll admit – I’ve been sorely tempted to start over with a new, professionally focused account and delete my original one.
- Warren Ellis has been talking a lot about his changing approach to social media on his Orbital Operations newsletter the last 6 months or so. Warren was once Internet Jesus, seemingly everywhere online. Now, he keeps things much quieter, dipping in only when he needs to for work/promotional purposes.
So it struck me today: it’s time to start over. What got me here won’t get me there. What do I most enjoy these days? Newsletters, podcasts, artisanal blogging. Quieter, more intimate, more fulfilling. So, I’ll stretch and try some new things. Other channels, even long-standing ones, will likely be let go. It’s past time really.
Looking forward to what’s next.