The inspiration for TweetMySlides originally came from a tweet by Stewart Brand:
"Slide deck as Tweet thread!"
I liked the idea of using Twitter to share a presentation, but the mechanics of taking screenshots of each slide, then uploading each one to Twitter and making sure each reply was properly linked to the previous one seemed like more hassle than it was worth.
So I started thinking about how the process could be automated to make life easier, and decided it would make for an interesting side-project. The technologies involved were also a good match for the work we're doing on a SaaS app called Plumage.
TweetMySlides works as either a standalone website or as an integrated add-in for PowerPoint (desktop or Office 365).
In standalone mode the user chooses a PowerPoint file to upload, whereas as an add-in, it uses the currently opened presentation.
Once the presentation is uploaded to the backend API, the server splits it into individual slides then generates images for each one, as well as extracting any text and notes. A response containing this information is then returned to the client, which uses it to show a list of each slide image and the associated text.
The user can then edit the text for any slide, and choose to use the text extracted from the slide, or the slides notes, or just start from scratch. They can also choose text to add to the start or end of each tweet (such as the number of the slide / total number of slides, or a #hashtag).
Once they're happy, they submit their changes. The next step is to authorize the app to have access to their Twitter account, so it can create tweets on their behalf.
After they've authorized the app with Twitter, the server then generates a tweet for each slide, using the image and the text. Each tweet is a reply to the previous, which means they show up as a linked ' thread' inside of Twitter.
When that's finished, the resulting tweets are previewed to the user so they can then view them on Twitter in turn, and share the link with their audience, or they can choose to start again if they wish.
You can see an example here: https://twitter.com/niceplumage/status/942758121004466176
Ed is originally from New Zealand, but has lived in London for the last 11 years. He has over 17 years experience in technology and has worked in a variety of fields including e-commerce, games development, museum interactives, and web development for clients including Microsoft and the Royal Bank of Scotland.