Friday, October 13, 2017

Help Save SlideShare! Bring Back Reupload

SideShare, the popular slideshow hosting service, has 38 million registered users and gets 70 million unique visitors a month. If you are one of those users or visitors, you can help save SlideShare from itself by bringing back REUPLOAD, an essential feature that has recently been removed.

What is Reupload and Why is It So Important?

Reupload is (or was) a feature that allowed users to repost a revised version of a slideshow without changing its URL. Now that it is gone, the only way to revise a slideshow is to delete the original version and repost a new version with an new URL. Why does that matter?
  1. Short-term error correction: We are all human. (Well, at least I am). We make mistakes. After you have posted your slideshow, you, or one of your readers, notices a typo, a wrong number in a calculation, or a broken link. You want to fix it, but meanwhile, you or your readers have bookmarked the original version, or Tweeted the link, or posted it on Facebook. When anyone follows those links or bookmarks, they will be taken to the original version with the error, not your corrected version. If you deleted the original when you made the correction, they won't find anything.
  2. Long-term revisions: Sometimes I publish a slideshow on a topic of lasting interest, say, the economics of a soda tax. I posted this version of my soda tax slideshow in 2010. Last year, soda taxes were back in the news, so I posted this revised version. At the same time, I added the little yellow box on the front page of the original so that anyone who had the old link could find the new version. This week, I wanted to update it again to include the news of the failure of Chicago's soda tax, but with reupload gone, I can no longer steer anyone who finds one of the old versions to the newest version.
  3. Classroom use: College professors and high school teachers use slideshows in their classrooms all the time. They include links to the slideshows in the printed or on-line curriculum materials they give to their students. What if the creator of the slideshow fixes an error or makes an update? Doesn't the teacher want them to find the latest version, not the old one? Without reupload, this won't happen.
What you can do

When I first contacted SlideShare about reupload, I got this non-responsive response:
Hi Ed,
Thank you for your email and I am sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. We're always looking for ways to improve the SlideShare experience for our members. This sometimes means removing features that aren’t heavily used to invest in others that offer greater value.  Please know we continuously evaluate how features and products are used, and make adjustments accordingly to focus our resources on providing the most value to our members. As a result, we have removed the ability to re-upload documents to SlideShare.
As a workaround, you can upload a new file to SlideShare and delete the current one. Please be aware that this means we will not be able to transfer any views/likes/URL's to the new presentation.   Again, I apologize for the inconvenience and we greatly appreciate your feedback. We have documented the issue in order to track additional reports of the problem and for consideration to be addressed in a future release.
If there's anything else I can help you with, please don't hesitate to let me know. All the best,
Allison LCS Support Specialist - Mobile
This was a boilerplate response that other users have also gotten. It has been posted and reposted several times on discussion boards. I reopened the case and pointed out to "Allison" that it is nonsense. Reupload is not a feature that is "not heavily used." It is an essential feature that people use all the time. It offers great value.

"Allison" sent back this new reply that gave me a tiny bit of hope:

Thanks for your feedback about removing the re-upload feature and I wish I was personally able to do something myself however, please know I've sent your concern to our product team for consideration. Taking member feedback into account, we're always looking for ways to improve the SlideShare experience. When many of our members ask for the same improvement, we try our best to get it done. Though immediate action may not be possible, your feedback will be incorporated into our ongoing discussions about the direction of our design and development.


Again I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. If you need anything else, please let me know and I will gladly assist. 
So, if one of us complains, nothing happens, but if a lot of us complain, something might happen. Let's see if "Allison" is right. Let's send lots of requests to bring back reupload and see if they bring it back.

How to send a request to bring back reupload

SlideShare makes it pretty easy to ask for help. Here is how you do it:
  1.  Go to the SlideShare home page: https://www.slideshare.net/
  2. Scroll down to the very bottom and click on "Support" 
  3. Type "Reupload" in the search box at the top of the main support page
  4. Next, you will get a page that says, "Sorry, we couldn't find any information about 'Reupload' (unless, by the time you do this, they have added some information).
  5. Go to the bottom of that page and click on the "Contact us" link
  6. That will take you to a page where you can send a message to SlideShare help. Ask them to bring back reupload, and tell them why you care.
Thanks! If we all work together, we can save SlideShare from self-destruction!

Update: Matleena Laasko,a freelance trainer in Finland, is, like myself, a heavy user of SlideShare. She has written an extensive post lamenting the loss of reload and also other features, like the ability to download in ppt and failure of links to work when viewing on line. Her original post is in Finnish, but here is a link to a Google Translate version, which, despite the usual limitations, is good enough to give the general idea.


Further update (10/23): Here are more responses from SlideShare:

With regard to reupload:
"I understand your frustration and we did look at the usage of this feature compared to the usage of other SlideShare features and found that it wasn't as heavily used and we have currently removed the feature due to the support cost.

However, we realize that this is a useful feature for some power users and we are actively working on making foundational improvements to our platform, which will make building and supporting a feature such as re-upload much easier in the near future.

Again I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."
So, it looks like a lot of casual users don't bother to update and reupload their posts, but it maybe is sinking in that those of us who are "power users" find it important. So far so good.

With regard to the inability to download ppt versions of the slides:

Thanks for reaching out about not being able to download the original ppt file. What you've encountered is a known issue and I'm very sorry for the inconvenience. Our engineering team is working on it but there's no estimate as to how long that might take. We'll do our best to keep you posted.
Since they used to allow downloads of ppts, it shouldn't take their engineering team all that much effort to put this ability back, you would think.

So, some progress, but I think it is worth keeping the pressure on. Anyone who has not yet sent their comments to SlideShare should still do so, rather than just being satisfied with these answers. We don't want this just to become a stalling tactic.

 




29 comments:

  1. Hi Ed, I'm a librarian working for the technical university library of Madrid, Spain [https://www.slideshare.net/biblioupm]. A few days ago, we discovered that the Slideshare reupload option had disappeared and are desperate. We usually upload and share our content via Slideshare to all our social media networks specifically because we can make modifications without changing the URL... we no longer know what to do, our entire social media strategy has been impacted. We've contacted LinkedIn and have still not received a reply. We'll post it with you when we do. Thanks for the details you´ve shared. Ignacio.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ignacio. I share your frustration, and I'm sure many others do, as well.

      Please, if you miss Reupload, join the conversation, share your story here.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. It's really a bad decision of Slideshare/LinkedIn to remove the re-upload feature. So there is no chance to keep the own presentation up-to-date (without losing the url link). I don't understand LinkedIn's excuse "We're always looking for ways to improve the SlideShare experience for our members."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I hope you have contacted SlideShare directly. Every contact helps.

      Delete
    2. Of course. I've already contacted LinkedIn.

      Delete
  4. Thank you, Ed, for bringing attention to this important issue. I sent out a handful of tweets yesterday linking to your blog post here.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for this. My to-do list this morning had been to replace a defunct link in two presentations and reupload them and it took me a while to soak in the fact that reupload had been removed as an "improvement" (wow!)

    My entire content dissemination approach depended heavily on my ability to maintain updated documents and presentations on Slideshare and use those urls with the confidence that they will always point to the updated work. This is a major, major setback. As suggested by you, I have written to them, and I hope they see how important this feature is....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for you comments, and your help!

      Delete
    2. Just to add, I got back a response, which included the text:

      (I quote) When many of our members ask for the same improvement, we try our best to get it done. However, due to the large number of suggestions we receive, we usually don't provide a timeline.(end quote)

      Additionally, it included two lines:

      (I quote)
      In the future, you can send suggestions to us by clicking any "Feedback" link on the right side of your homepage. This will send your comments directly to the appropriate team.

      You can also keep up with the latest product news and enhancements on our official blog, http://blog.linkedin.com, and check https://members.linkedin.com/we-heard-you for additional feature updates and fixes. It's our way of keeping you informed on all the exciting work we're doing behind the scenes.
      (end quote)

      I visited the pages they referred to, and the "we heard you" page states it was last updated in December 2015....

      Delete
  6. Hi Ed

    I too have experienced the same problem with a report, I really cannot understand why they have removed this basic but essential feature. I also got a boilerplate response. It now means that I will have 3 copies of the same report (with minor changes) uploaded with 2 set to private so that I can view stats. I have used SlideShare for many years and regularly use the re-upload feature, just can't see what the reasoning is behind removing it, so frustrating!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. I've started using hashtag #SaveSlideShare on Twitter, please help spread news about this problem on social media. I'm afraid a lot of people are just frustrated and give up without trying to do anything.

      Delete
    2. Just tweeted "Now have to upload 32 presentations & change embed code 32 places on website MONTHLY since @SlideShare removed 'RE-UPLOAD' #SaveSlideShare"

      Delete
  7. The decision by LinkedIn to remove the ability to re-upload presentations has got to be the stupidest decision I've come across, particularly since the idea is to stay "Linked In" to content you've uploaded, even if you make changes to it. How this decision "improves the SlideShare experience for Members" is beyond me. I shall be complaining about this until they fix it. Stupid, stupid, stupid idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, keep it up! I absolutely don't understand this. Same with loss of ability to download the slides in ppt format. If it is "Slide" "Share" what sense is there in it if your can't share the slides?

      My paranoid side wonders if there is some conscious plan to destroy SlideShare, but that makes no sense. If they aren't making money from it, it would be cheaper just to shut it down or sell it to someone who wants to run it than to gradually make it useless.

      Delete
  8. Hi again I am Anonymous October 23, 2017 at 3:38 AM above :)
    Just received this response from Slideshare.

    "I understand your frustration and we did look at the usage of this feature compared to the usage of other SlideShare features and found that it wasn't as heavily used and we have currently removed the feature due to the support cost.

    However, we realize that this is a useful feature for some power users and we are actively working on making foundational improvements to our platform, which will make building and supporting a feature such as re-upload much easier in the near future.

    Again I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. o frustrated! We have 8 clients that have 2 presentations each that are updated monthly. So now I will have to upload 32 new presentations as well as update the embed code on our website in 32 places EVERY MONTH. This is beyond unbelievable!! I too sent an email to support, but will probably get the same response. Will keep an eye on this blog for updates and news.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I share your frustration. But keep banging away at them, they have got to come around sooner or later. Thanks for your support!

      Delete
  11. Thank you for this initiative, I will be happy to support it and share it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great, we need all the help we can get on this

      Delete
  12. Another response:

    I'm sorry for not having a quick answer about your issue. I've forwarded your message to another group for additional review and advice. We'll be in contact with you as quickly as possible but your issue may require additional research, which may extend your wait time.

    You can always check the status of your case on LinkedIn:

    1. Click the Me icon (your profile photo) at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
    2. Select Help Center from the dropdown.
    3. On the Help page, click your profile photo in the top right, and then select View your cases from the dropdown to see the status of any cases you've submitted.

    Thanks for your patience

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for posting this. At least we've got them thinking. Let's make sure they don't think they've satisfied us by just promising to think about this issue.

      Delete
    2. Just now, game of cat and mouse.... This is in reponse to me asking why there has been no reponse on Twitter since last year,

      Hi Carol,

      Thank you for your patience while I got a response. There should be a pinned post to direct member to the @LinkedInEditors account.

      Again, taking member feedback about the removal of the re-upload option into account, we're always looking for ways to improve the LinkedIn experience. When many of our members ask for the same improvement, we try our best to get it done. Though immediate action may not be possible, your feedback will be incorporated into our ongoing discussions about the direction of our design and development.

      Delete
  13. I also had this issue and wrote them and got the "foundational improvements" line. I keep master decks up that I update all the time, and now I will have to sadly refer people to the Dropbox links to see the most current versions; I will at least update the descriptions accordingly. The site lost a lot of value for me when it discontinued email alerts when your friends posted updates (it's how I discovered a lot of great content, and how a lot of my initial views came in). This is beyond brain-dead though. It does make me wonder if there should be a push to an alternative that better cares for its users. Hell, some of us could probably create such an alternative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've gotten the same response from people on Twitter. What do you think is the best alternative platform to SlideShare?

      Delete
  14. I'm probably going to move all my presentations to Speaker Deck. I've done a quick test, and it allows re-uploading of edited content. The one minor downside is you have to convert your presentations to PDF format. The nice thing is there's no advertising. It seems to provide all the basic facilities I need.

    I'm afraid Slideshare seem to have lost their direction and no longer understand their customers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll check out Speaker Deck, not familiar with it. You comment about pdf is highly ironic--second behind removal of the reupload feature, there are many complaints about SlideShare's removal of the long-standing ability to download slideshows in ppt format. Now, although you can upload them as ppts, they can be downloaded only as pdfs. That is a big problem for producers of teaching materials, both academic and company training, since many authors like to encourage their clients to customize and update slideshows as they use them.

      So, go figure: Just as SlideShare is at risk of losing users to Speaker Deck, it gets rid of one of the very features that previously made SlideShare a more attractive platform.

      Delete