Archive for June, 2008

280 Slides Gets Smarter About Links (With Help From oEmbed)

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

You’ve probably heard about Firefox 3’s new Awesome Bar feature.  280 Slides has an “awesome bar” of its own.  One of the ways to get your media into 280 Slides is to enter the URL.  Before today, this only worked on images. Now, if you enter the URL of your favorite YouTube movie, we’ll add the actual movie right to your slide. Like this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AdFA6WWJ7E

Enter a URL to add media to 280 Slides

It’s not just for YouTube though, we’ve implemented a new protocol called oEmbed. Any link that comes from a site that supports oEmbed will behave the same way in 280 Slides. Here’s just a few of the examples of things that you can paste directly into 280 Slides:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/1404/saturday-night-live-snl-digital-short-natalie-raps
http://pownce.com/leahculver/notes/2438705/
http://flickr.com/photos/mihirvaze/2249590463/
http://www.viddler.com/explore/cdevroe/videos/424/
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8372603330420559198
http://www.amazon.com/Myths-Innovation-Scott-Berkun/dp/0596527055

And there’s quite a few more.  The list of oEmbed supporters is still relatively small, but as it continues to grow, we’ll get smarter and smarter!  Of course, we still support direct image links, as well as direct flash links (as best we can), meaning, if you want, you can even embed your favorite flash game right into your slide.  


So, go ahead and try it out.  Just enter a URL and see what happens.  If you wind up trying one we don’t support yet, send us a note, or leave a comment here.  If you’re a web developer, consider adding oEmbed support to your site (and send us a note when you do).  It’s easy to implement, and the benefits are obvious.

Update: I should have also mentioned that Deepak over at oohembed.com is providing a great proxy service by implementing oEmbed support for several sites that don’t have offer it on their own.  We’re using it in 280 Slides, and I hope they keep adding new sites!

Go Fullscreen with Plainview

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

One of the great ways to give your presentation is by downloading it as a PowerPoint file and using Microsoft’s free PowerPoint viewer. But you can actually use our built-in present mode and still go fullscreen! All you have to do is use a cool little application called Plainview. With Plainview, you can present in fullscreen and even use a remote control. Plainview has a bunch of other useful features, so the next time you want to give your presentation on a Mac, try out it out, it’s free!

View presentations in fullscreen with Plainview.

On Ramp: Launching 280 Slides

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Last week, after about five months of hard work, we launched the public beta of our first application, 280 Slides, which lets you create presentations quickly and easily right in the browser.

280 Slides is designed to really look and feel like the desktop based applications people are used to. We paid attention to the little things, like cmd-z to undo (or ctrl-z for Windows users), copy and paste that works on everything from pictures to shapes and slides (instead of just text), and snappy performance for complex tasks like rotating and resizing (and everything else).

It’s not just about recreating the desktop in the browser though. Being on the web allows us to build in great features that are difficult to do in desktop applications. For example, your presentations are stored “in the cloud” so you can access them from any computer connected to the Internet. We’re also able to take advantage of great services like Flickr and YouTube, putting the media of the web right at your fingertips, just a quick search away. Best of all, when you’re done creating, you can share your presentation using SlideShare, e-mail, or directly through our viewer.

Of course, sometimes you may not have the Internet with you, and you shouldn’t have to take any chances. That’s why we made it really easy to download a copy of your presentation as a PowerPoint file that works with the most popular desktop presentation software there is. We took extra care in making sure that your presentations looked as good when exported as they do in 280 Slides.

Launch day wasn’t without its surprises (like, losing our Internet connection 30 minutes after TechCrunch posted our launch announcement), but perhaps the biggest surprise for us was how quickly people picked up on a key piece of our technology, Objective-J. We talked a little bit about Objective-J in an interview with Ajaxian, but you can expect a lot more to come in the future.

In the last week since launch, we’ve fixed dozens of bugs, and responded to thousands of e-mails and feature requests. Rest assured, we’re working hard on improving 280 Slides. We’ve got a lot of things in the works (yes, importing is one of them), but we’re always interested in hearing what our users want most, so let us know!

280 Slides (beta) is live!

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

We’re proud to announce the public beta of our first product, 280 Slides:

http://280slides.com/

Check back soon for more details. We’re busy making sure everything works!