Most people will be familiar with the big web conferencing providers, but there is an increasing number of smaller, simpler services that let you set up instant meetings with the minimum of fuss. The latest entrant to this market is slideshare with their new Zipcast offering.
This isn’t an in depth review, and in fairness the tool is so simple it probably doesn’t need it.
What did I like?
- It really is as simple as they say; from any presentation on slideshare (yours, or anyone else’s) simply click on the Zipcast link to log in and start your meeting
- There’s no requirement to install anything (assuming you have the Flash plug in)
- In the brief testing that I did this morning, there was no lag in updating the slides
- Video quality was acceptable
- The overall functionality is most of what you need for a simple presentation
- Guests can log in with their slideshare or Facebook account
What was I less sure about?
- The free version doesn’t provide audio (a conference call service is available with a premium plan). This is an understandable limitation, but if I was going to fire up Skype for audio, I could just share my presentation that way.
- As I have accounts with the bigger services, I would tend to use them when at my desktop. This kind of simple ad-hoc meeting is something I’m more likely to do on the move, but the problem is these days I may only have my iPad with me, and the lack of Flash means this is a no go
Despite having a couple of criticisms, I think this is a really promising start. It’s already a very usable solution, particularly if you already have presentations stored on slideshare.