Video from PowerPoint … and other interesting tools

29 Jun

I’ve been having interesting conversations with a number of folks lately around a basic premise:

Webinars suck.

They seem a useful way to disseminate information to a large audience at once. But the format isn’t terribly engaging – and as a friend always reminds people, on the Internet, porn your email is just one click away.

I’ve conducted webinars that seemed engaging – yet when I looked back at the dashboard later, I’d see that at any given moment (even during my best jokes!) a third of the audience or more had some other app at the front of their screen. (Yes, the webinar system spies on you.)

So what’s better? Well, I’m playing around with that, and I’ll share results when I know more.

But along the way, a couple interesting free/low-cost tools:
– Have a PowerPoint that you really need turned into an embeddable video? Yeah, the latest versions of PPT will do that for free – but if you’re using PowerPoint 2007 or earlier, try Brainshark. (Free to try; as little as $10 a month per prezo to get rid of the nagware and open up the full feature set.)

Here’s a sample (one that happens to emphasize how cheap digital technology has democratized content):

* And speaking of video, I’m especially intrigued at how people are using overlays to add hyperlinks to video content. It reminds me of the first days of (quotes imply irony here)  “hot links.” (Or, to date myself even more, HyperCard).

Video is on the verge of becoming a non-linear, ever-extensible story-telling form … and my obsession of the moment is Qwiki. Play with it and you’ll probably see why. (And your reactions are welcomed in the comments.)

 

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