UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Experiments With Zentation

Posted by Brian Kelly on 30 Jul 2007

I recently came across a reference to the Zentation service, which describes itself as the place “where video and PowerPoint meet on the Web“. This seems to be a relatively new service, which was featured in a Techcrunch article on 28th July 2007.

As the Techcrunch article describes “Using Zentation is simple. Users upload their video to Google Video, log into Zentation and copy and paste the URL of the Google video, then upload a PowerPoint file. The final step involves using the “ZenSync” tool to provide precise start timings for each graphic in the presentation“.

I’ve tried this with a recording of Michael Webb’s talk on “Developing a Web 2.0 Strategy” at the IWMW 2006 event. We has videod this talk and my colleague Marieke Guy uploaded it recently to Google Video. It was very easy to upload the PowerPoint slides to Zentation and then to sync the video with the corresponding slides, as illustrated.

Zentation service

What I find particularly interesting with this application is that it separates the streaming of the video (provided by Google Videos) from the synchronisation with the PowerPoint slides. It should also be noted that, as with many of these services, the interface can be embedded within Web pages.

I’m not the only person to be impressed with initial experimentation – a post published last week entitled “More than one way to share your presentations” on the blog summarises a talk given to a meeting of the National Congress on Science Education on the basics of online communication which concluded that “Zentation appears to be the best tool“.

I’ll be experimenting further with Zentation for the videos of the plenary talks at the recent IWMW 2007 event.

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5 Responses to “Experiments With Zentation”

  1. Alastair Dunning said

    I think the JISC funded Redress project was trying the same kind of technology (i.e. mixing video and powerpoint) It would be interesting to compare the two approaches.

  2. Thanks Alastair. I’ve had a look at one of the presentations.

    It strikes me as being quite clunky (it’s a Java application) and it also doesn’t seem to provide the ability embed the presentation on other Web pages, blogs, etc.

    But it is useful to make such comparisons.

  3. Ganesh said

    Hi Brian

    We have developed Toufee, an online flash video maker application that is easy to use. Toufee lets you create flash presentations very quickly. Please do have a look. You are free to do a review of our application.


  4. luar said

    I invite you to try Vcasmo it provides much better features than zentation

  5. Hi Luar – thanks for the link. Vcasmo looks interesting – I’ll give it a try.

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