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There are commercial real estate firms that accept technology, as well as those who resist it. Then there are a few like Madison Marquette, who seem to view technology as the key to an infinite electronic playground.

The Washington, DC-based retail investor has an online magazine, a blog and a presence on Facebook, a social utility that connects people with those who work, study and live around them. Now it’s digitally spreading its name again with a presentation on SlideShare.

SlideShare, headquartered in San Francisco and New Delhi, India, is an online community that allows people and companies to share presentations and slideshows. Users upload PowerPoint, OpenOffice or PDF files, tag them and embed them in blogs or websites. They can also browse presentations created by other users, making the site a way to both share ideas and learn from other people, the company explained.

The transcripts of each presentation are indexed by Internet search engines and show up in search results, making it possible for someone broadly searching “commercial real estate” to stumble on the SlideShare a technophile at Madison Marquette created on a lark.

Kurt Ivey, SVP of corporate marketing and communications, says it’s all about sharing and connecting. “We embrace the various Web 2.0 technologies because they let us share information, insight and issues,” he saysa. Walter Bialas, vice president of market research at Madison Marquette, put together the SlideShare presentation to test the site’s potential. “We use YouTube for video, but wanted to explore other ways to share information,” Ivey continues. There are about 50 presentations on SlideShare tagged with the words “commercial real estate,” but Madison Marquette is one of the largest companies represented among them.

Madison Marquette oversees a portfolio of more than 20 million square feet of retail space nationwide. It manages regional malls, strip centers, upscale town centers and mixed-use lifestyle villages that combine retail, entertainment venues and restaurants.

Ivey likes SlideShare for its ease of use, from the perspective of both the person creating the presentation and the one watching it. SlideShare may become even easier for some to use. The company just announced the availability of a free Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 add-in that creates a SlideShare Ribbon tab within the Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 user Interface. Once installed, SlideShare users can access their presentations, search for other presentations and view community usage metrics, without ever leaving Microsoft Office.

“If you’re making a presentation, you can search SlideShare, download PowerPoint presentations for inspiration and re-upload your finished work, all without ever opening a browser,” says Rashmi Sinha, SlideShare’s CEO.

Sinha says the SlideShare ribbon “marks a new way of thinking about how desktop applications can work with cloud-based services, and how cloud-based services can better leverage desktop software.” He explains, “This hybrid approach provides a unique user experience, enabling the social web to integrate seamlessly into a familiar and broadly adopted software application. Before the availability of this add-in, SlideShare enabled PowerPoint presentations to be shared on the web; with this new feature, sharing can occur from the desktop itself.”Use this code to embed the slideshow—suggest using this as the third item on the page)

Retail Real Estate Market Overview by Madison Marquette

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