SlideShare Error Fail

Monday, 9 May 2016

I have to confess I really feel for the people who do support for LinkedIn’s SlideShare product. I don’t pretend to understand the circumstances that led to this error message, but I can only imagine what the support rep’s first thought must be after getting a case assigned to them by a user who encountered it.

An uninformative SlideShare error

I linked my LinkedIn account to SlideShare in order to upload and host my Product School deck. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much further than setting up the account as this error was the only thing communicated regarding why I was unsuccessful in my attempt to upload the deck. Realizing that the file might not conform to SlideShare’s upload requirements, I sanity-checked:

  • .pdf, .odp, .ppt/.pps/.pptx/.ppsx/.pot/.potx formats: Check
  • Less than 300 MB: Check
  • It’s not a direct video upload: Check

(I was trying to upload a PDF less than 10 MB in size)

Knowing that sometimes mysterious gremlins that prevent intended behavior can get bored and leave, I left it and tried again 2 days later. No change.

So… what now? There wasn’t any other support documentation that shed additional light into what the problem might be (not Uploading Content to SlideShare from Desktop, nor SlideShare File Taking A Long Time to Upload), which leaves contacting that poor support rep with no real worthwhile information to share.

A Humble Suggestion link intact

In the interests of not turning off users (especially first-time users like myself) and maintaining your co-workers’ sanity, I would hope that errors that are thrown are properly identified. If so, this would allow the ability to parse the error and ultimately deliver a useful message to the user (in end-user-friendly language). Giving the user the ability to self-diagnose and, ideally, self-resolve will only make things easier for everyone.