Government // Mobile & Wireless
Commentary
10/5/2010
06:24 PM
Jake Widman
Jake Widman
Commentary
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SlideRocket Adds Collaboration, Analytics Features

The online presentation tool lets co-workers comment on and reuse each others' slides, and a new dashboard makes it easier to see who's looked at which slides.

The online presentation tool lets co-workers comment on and reuse each others' slides, and a new dashboard makes it easier to see who's looked at which slides.In its most basic form, SlideRocket -- available on its own or as a Google App -- is an online alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote. You can use the software to create and save presentations that you can deliver just like a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation. But SlideRocket goes several steps further in leveraging the fact that it's a cloud service. "PowerPoint was built 25 years ago," says CEO Chuck Dietrich. "It wasn't built for the current collaborative working environment, or for new delivery mediums."

For example, SlideRocket has always let you create a library of your and your colleagues' presentations. With all the slides stored in the cloud that way, you and your group can re-use slides from one presentation in another one, just by dragging them in. The connections among the re-used slides are maintained, so an update to one automatically updates all the others. "You're always up to date, on message, and on brand," says Dietrich.

The latest update to the software lets viewers -- whether colleagues or customers -- "post" comments to a presentation as they're viewing it. The presentation author can then collect those comments and either revise the presentation to make it more effective or answer any questions directly.

Further feedback is available from polls and forms that can now be included in a presentation. The responses are available instantly, so the presenter can modify the presentation on the fly to match the audience's needs or expectations. You can also use the tools to create a branching on-demand presentation, in which the viewer's responses determines what other slides they see.

A new dashboard presents a view of who has looked at which presentations and how much time they spent on each slide. Presenters can see the totals in aggregate to see what the best-performing parts of a presentation are overall, or they can drill down to a particular viewer, to see what that person is especially interested in.

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The SlideRocket dashboard displays who's looked at a presentation and how much time they spent with each slide.

A version of SlideRocket with no analytics or commenting features is available for free. The paid version, at $24/user/month, includes those features and lets you remove the SlideRocket branding, so viewers only see your company's information.

There aren't many applications that come along that I'm happy to call groundbreaking, but this is one. SlideRocket reimagines what a presentation program can do and drags the field into the 21st century.

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