February 3rd, 2010
Black Tonic: The tonic for what ails shared online presentations and Web conferencing
Sometime, somwhere, you’ve tried to share a presentation with someone else. You know you have. And every time you have, you’ve wound up tearing your hair out, haven’t you? It’s okay. You’re among friends. You can be honest.
I know. You’ve tried that Web conferencing stuff. You’ve tried emailing them a PDF. You’ve tried simply calling them to review a hard copy. But it never ever works the way you expect that it should. If only there were a better way….
Well, now there is. Portland-based Black Tonic.
How could it be better, you ask? Well, how about the ability to completely control your presentation, without plugins and without mucking around? Just a Web browser and someone on the other end and you’re good to go.
Well, and a presentation. I mean, it won’t do that part for you. Yet.
[Black Tonic] allows users to create and manage presentations that are delivered online through a secure URL. Using a proprietary HTML broadcasting technology, Black Tonic presenters can modify the presentation material on-the-fly and choose in real-time what the audience sees on the presentation web page.
I mean, I can’t even write any more about the service because it’s just so simple and straightforward. And it works like you expect it to work. You put the presentation up, you send your viewers a URL, and you go. And then you change it midstream if you want. Or advance the slides however you want. Or go back. Or whatever. And they see what you see. Instantaneously.
Oh. I guess I actually could write some more.
But don’t just take my word for it. Listen to what Marshall Kirkpatrick and Jared Smith of ReadWriteWeb have to say about Black Tonic:
We’ve found very few shortcomings in our testing of the app so far and ReadWriteWeb’s own designer Jared Smith enjoyed using it a lot. “It demonstrates an awesome use of standard technologies and real-time technologies,” he says. Existing powerpoint decks will need to be exported as images and uploaded one at a time, but the company says it’s working on changing that.
Long story short, if you’re sharing presentations with clients or coworkers, you should give Black Tonic a shot. I mean, you get a free trial. What have you got to lose? And if you decide to continue, it’s only $15 a month. Which is cheaper than the Hair Club membership you had to buy after tearing your hair out last time.