Website features: slide show or Slide Share?

The importance of a non-profit’s website is a recurring theme among my posts.  And it’s on my mind because I am helping a non-profit to redesign its site with the help of its internal IT manager and the graphic designer with whom it has a strong relationship. 

Given trends on news websites and new applications, there are new ways for non-profits to tell a compelling story, without a big investment.  Besides increasing the content on the site, of course we’re thinking about including:

  • Images of clients (or images that look like clients) that draw people in visually and emotionally…
  • Blogs are important that tell the powerful day-to-day story of how staff in the agency make a difference…
  • News and events that provide byte-sized previews of announcements that may be of interest to the user… and
  • Wish lists that help translate the agency’s needs into tangible, right-now opportunities to share and give

Setting aside posting of videos and podcasts for a moment, we’ve been thinking about including a slide show feature.  And today I’m musing about posting Powerpoint slide presentations as an alternative (photos can be placed into a PPT template and show as full screen by setting the photo as the background image).

Slide shows usually appear as thumbnails of still photos that advance using basic programming like java-script.  Most news sites now include slide show features.

Slide Share is a specific application that’s gaining quite a bit of ground in the social networking crowd.  It’s basically a web-based application that allows you to upload Powerpoint or other files of up to 100 MB, for free.  LinkedIn offers it as a free application.   I’ve got an example posted on my LinkedIn profile (go to the profile, and then click on the yellow button at the bottom to see the full profile.  The Slide Share post is below all of the junk about my background and the Word Press app (a ka blog excerpts).

Advantages of slide shows

  • They take less commitment (of time and interest) than clicking on a video post.  Video can take a long time to load depending on connection speed and cause your computer to hang up.  You can’t always tell how long they are until you’ve started playing them, which may discourage some people from clicking on them at all.
  • Some people just like pictures.  Great pictures really can tell a thousand words.  Not sure if they’re superior to video, just different.

Advantages of Slide Share

  • Business audiences (and, increasingly, students) have a comfort level with Powerpoint.  I can imagine non-profits posting a 10-slide presentation on the business advantages of sponsorship.
  • Powerpoint delivers information in text rather than verbal form.  Text may be better than audio at reinforcing key messages, delivering lists (like sponsors), and listing website links.

So what do you think?  Slide shows, Slide Share, both or neither?

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