Slidedocs and Blogshares: new formats for new needs

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Doug Kessler

25. 02. 2014 | 3 min read

Slidedocs and Blogshares: new formats for new needs

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Isn’t it always the way. You wait ages for a new communication format and two come along at once. Kind of.

This week saw the launch of two big announcements by two very big marketing trend-setters (and -spotters): Nancy Duarte and Jay Baer.

Say hello to Slidedocs

Nancy just launched a big initiative with a book attached called Slidedocs. In it, she evangelises in her if-not-inimitable-at-least-very-hard-to-imitate style a new kind of medium. The ‘Slidedoc’ is the bastard love-child of the presentation (which Nancy wrote the book(s) on) and document (which is going the way of the… dare I say it, ‘book’). They look like this:

slidedocs nancy duarte

Nice huh?

I’ve seen these called ‘Slideuments’ by Garr Reynolds in his excellent Presentation Zen book. But he was using it disparagingly – as examples of presentations that should never have been presentations. And it’s a way uglier word.

My take on Slidedocs: Yep. Definitely.

We all use them all the time, as Nancy points out. But most of us don’t tend to use them well. We let them fall between the two stools instead of treating them as a viable medium. She corrects this in her sensible, beautiful, clearly-written, well-structured Slidedoc, available free on her site.

I admit I’ll have a hard time adding this new kluge-word into my vocabulary. I can’t just let every new coinage in the door, hanging out with my precious jargon, metaphors and clichés. I only just got around to saying webinar’ without blushing and doing that ‘quotey-finger-in-the-air’ thing.

But, yes, we should accept that there is a place between a public presentation and a Word doc. And it’s not a dirty, embarrassing place, it’s an okay place. It can even be a beautiful place.

The point here is a general one: make the format suit the message and the purpose.

Introducing BlogShares

Next up: Jay “The Man” Baer (there are lot of Bob “The Bear” Browns out there. There’s only one Jay “The Man” Baer).

Jay’s coinage is the BlogShare and his post about it is here, including three examples.  One of them is our very own Crap deck (thanks Jay).

Jay says we’ve all just invented a new kind of blogging and it’s SlideShare. I’ll quote the guy instead of paraphrasing him:
“The new type of presentation is essentially a written blog post or manifesto, delivered word-for-word in slides. Historically, the words on slides are thematic guideposts that the speaker then uses as a springboard. But in these new blog/slide format… the language on the slides is a linear narrative – almost like a flip book of words.”
They look like these (examples are from Jay’s post: his Youtility BlogShare, our Crap deck, Tamsen Webster’s ‘Content Marketing is a Lie’ and Gary Veynerchuck’s ‘How to tell Your Story in 2014’):


My take on BlogShares? Yep. Definitely.

It’s exactly how we’ve been using the medium over the last few years, with Crap, The Other C Word, The Search for Meaning in B2B and Five Beyonds (among others).

We’ve always felt (well, recently concluded) that SlideShare is a medium not a channel.  It’s not where decks go to die (or die again in the case of most decks).

We just didn’t have the foresight to name the sucker.

What’s in a name?

We always called Nancy’s Slidedocs “eBooks”. And Jay’s BlogShares, ‘SlideShares’.

But the name’s not the important thing. It’s that a new medium and a new format has evolved to inhabit new niches in our ever evolving comms ecosystem.

Or, if you will, our Communisphere. Our CommuSystem. Our Commcosystem. Our Communico-sphere-stem.

Nope. I suck at this.

One of the trends we pulled out in the aforementioned Five Beyonds is ‘Beyond Gutenberg’: the idea that we’re all finally letting go of the print paradigm as we get to grips with screen-based communications (Screen-ications? Screentions? I’ll stop now.).

That feels like what Nancy and Jay have spotted and stuck a flag in.

More formats will emerge. Act fast and you can name them.

But, unless you’ve got a Duarte-esque or Baerish Klout score, don’t expect it to catch on.


Published in:

  • B2B Content Marketing

  • b2b-marketing

  • content

  • content-marketing

  • digital-marketing

  • Thought Leadership

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  1. Candyce Edelen

    March 3rd, 2014

    Doug, I love the concepts. Thanks for sharing. And I’m glad McCarthyism is long dead, or you’d be pulled in front of a Congressional committee for those names you came up with. 😉

    I really like Nancy’s approach, and I’d have to agree, I’ve always called that an “e-book.” But that can be misleading, because some people call full length books delivered electronically “e-books” too.

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