For those cynical (or frightened) about the emergence of social networks and ubiquitous digital content, take a look at slideshare, a very cool beta website that perfectly captures the value and potential of the Web 2.0 universe. The construct of the site is simple – it’s a huge storehouse of slide presentations and photos. You can view and download at your leisure. The site allows you to join groups focusing on specific themes of topics (e.g. Brand Thinktank), view featured and most popular presentations, provide commentary and questions, search via tag…all the bells and whistles that have become common on many progressive websites.

This site symbolizes everything that is good about the Web. For professionals like me – and presumably every college student in the world – this site provides an unbelievable resource for ideas and content. And it’s all totally free for the taking (there is a quick log-in process.) And as befits the collective talent of the millions of folks online, there is plenty of fantastic material on the site. Somebody could quickly and easily build a superb presentation that would literally be the product of a virtual global team. Is all the information accurate? Not necessarily. And are all the presentations relevant or polished. Certainly not. But with a little digging you can find more than you’ll ever need to impress the clients or boss.

The fact that this site exists and is totally free is amazing enough. But it’s one of thousands of similar sites that provide value and content. All of these are testament to the incredible power and potential of the Web in the era of social networks. Happy digging.