Re: people willing to alpha test a plugin for buddypress
The plugin works mostly off the post and media library architecture. The database interaction is principally adding entries to wp_postmeta. It saves the post as a slideshow post by a boolean _jqss_is_showing, and, if desired you can add a special slideshow image with a meta field called jqss_image to contain the URL of the image. If you are lazy like me, you can just insert an image in the body of a post, and the plugin will sniff that out (hopefully) and use it as the slideshow image.
It saves widget options in wp_options. Pretty standard stuff I would guess.
My intention was that the widget would appear on the main page of the site, where the admin would select pages from the main blog to feature. I am working on a few CSS themes to make the presentation a little snazzier. A regular blog could use it in any sidebar. I guess that I could hook it into TinyMCE so you could put a slideshow of posts in a post, but that might get ugly if the person accidentally slideshow-selected the post that had the slideshow in it.