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Side-by-side: SlideRocket and 280 Slides

December 9, 2010

SlideRocket

280 Slides

Most college teachers create presentations, and they usually follow a slide show metaphor (see the post earlier this week for variations). Of course, PowerPoint is the most popular tool, but there are several web-based alternatives that free a teacher from having to bring a USB flash drive to the classroom or conference center. They also create a web page that students or meeting attendees can easily access.

Some of the web applications belong to online productivity suites, like Google Docs and Zoho, but there are also a few very interesting stand-alone products. What follows is a concise side-by-side comparison of the key characteristics of two such tools.

SlideRocket 280 Slides
Status Started in Jan.’06,
went public Oct.’08
Beta – started Jun.’08
formed by 3 recent USC grads
Account required Yes, free or pay Not until you save
Help/Documentation Help menu, videos, PDFs No menu, only website FAQs
Import-Export From PowerPoint
$$ – to PPT or Executable
To/from PowerPoint ’07
Text formatting
Font, size, color, align, indent,
effect, spacing, rotate, flip
Font, size, color, align, indent
Presenter notes
Yes Yes
Builds / Transitions
Yes / yes No / no
Media Image, Video, Shape,
Flash, Chart, Table, etc.
Image, Video, Shape
Slide themes/layouts
Yes / yes Yes / yes
Public URL / Embed code
Yes / yes – simple example Yes / yes – simple example
For-pay features More space, polling, audio narration, comments, etc. None
iPad friendliness App, no (Flash-based)
Player, yes
Only partly – no text entry
Sample worked w/altered URL

In general, the two programs are very similar. SlideRocket has much more functionality – and that makes it a bit more difficult. For power users, $24 per month pays for a bunch of useful features, but some of them (like exporting to PowerPoint) should be free.

People with simple needs will prefer 280 slides. Among other things, it has a neat little embedded web image search. Some documentation would be nice – a few screencasts, maybe. Keep an eye on this one. I would not be surprised to see an iPad app, and they have to add for-pay features if the company plans to make any money.

Update: SlideRocket presentations DO run on an iPad. The original comparison chart was wrong and has been corrected.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2010 10:49 am

    Sliderocket is absolutely ipad friendly. That’s is what our html5 player is all about.

  2. Chris Clark permalink*
    December 9, 2010 1:05 pm

    The player is indeed friendly! I apologize for the error and have corrected it. The editor is still incompatible.

  3. December 17, 2010 5:31 am

    I noted you see Ipad compatibility as needed feature for online slideshow. Take a look at http://www.SlideGo.com too. It may look similar to a presentation sharing site. But actually the site makes use of Powerpoint as an e-learning authoring tool, and it reproduces slides accurately in HTML5, be it text, media, animations, hyperlinks, actions… Try some samples on the site on your Ipad, like the one titled Infiltration, you would think it’s a video.

    OK so it’s not an online editor and still need Powerpoint, but very soon I will make the HTML5 output editable.

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