Slide Casting

In the last 5 years or so there has been a big move to lighter weight web-apps.  This has been tremendously empowering to end users who can combine them in interesting ways to solve problems.  While this often does not please the IT department due to circumventing established security, it does provide significant additional capability and flexibility for knowledge workers to gain access to functionality.

Teleconferencing used to be provided by large corporate accounts.  Now anyone can obtain a free service on their own.  Videocasting and web-conferencing is starting to go the same way.  Services like Livestream and Ustream allow anyone to broadcast a video stream free to an audience.  The pay version of those sites even allow you to white label, control access, and embed the broadcast into your own web pages.

There are plenty of webcasting solutions that will push slides: MS LiveMeeting, GotoMeeting are two of the low end ones.  There are also many higher end providers.  They often require downloads to make them work and many have additional complications like scheduling, passwords, etc…  Why can’t we get light-weight slide pushing?  Why do we have to go into a full web conference just to push a few slides (or photos) in real time to a colleague, a prospect, or even a friend?

Why can’t a simple meeting invite contain a link to a hosted page where my slides will appear as I push them through some lightweight client powerpoint plug-in?  Services like SlideShare allow us to post a presentation file and even attach pre-recorded audio, but they cannot simply push a slide to another person or set of people live so that everyone gets the same slide at the same time.

So, it seems for now we have two choices

  1. Continue to hope everyone received the file (.ppt or other), has the right software to open it, and stays on the same slide as the presenter
  2. Pay for and use heavy webcasting services

The only reason I can image why this capability is not yet ubiquitous is that PowerPoint is so standard and perhaps people do not consider it a hassle to continuously tell everyone what slide they are on (or just let them figure it out for themselves based on the audio).

What do you think?  Is this an open space for some innovation?  Does anyone else feel like this would be useful?

4 responses to “Slide Casting

  1. Amen Swan!

    I’ve found that Skype’s screen sharing can function really well for this…but that’s about it. There is a total dearth out there for live screencasting. So frustrating, I agree!

  2. I definitely agree, I’ve been wanting this for years. (Several times we built our own version of this!) Slideshare has great community acceptance, I wonder if they’d want to build such a capability? The bandwidth requirements for synchronizing are minimal if you’ve already uploaded/downloaded the content.

  3. Agree completely – I was searching for just such an animal when I cam upon your post. I’d not previously considered livestream – but it looks like it might be usable for this purpose? I’m interested in finding something I can embed in a web page as a simple slide display window, alongside chat/discussion.

  4. I like BrightTALK for live webcasts. It’s free as an attendee and many great subjects. The attendees can ask questions (not with audio, but type the question into a window). The audio is one-way presenter(s) to attendees.

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