Home Look Out PowerPoint – SlideRocket Rocks – 500 Beta Invites

Look Out PowerPoint – SlideRocket Rocks – 500 Beta Invites

This week has been good for SlideRocket, an online presentation application built on Adobe’s Flex platform. The app had an ultra successful public debut at the Under the Radar Conference, where it won 3 out of 4 possible awards, and they also announced a $2 million Series A investment from Hummer Winblad. This morning I got a demo of the application from founder Mitch Grasso and came away duly impressed. 500 lucky ReadWriteWeb users can get a spot in the private SlideRocket beta by clicking here.

I first met Grasso at the Adobe Max conference in September. While we were there, Adobe announced that it had acquired a Flex-based online word processor called Buzzword. At the time I gushed that Buzzword had me nearly ready to trade in Microsoft Word and wondered if the acquisition signaled a serious entry into the web office fray for Adobe. If they are serious about it, they may want to take a look at SlideRocket, which is easily one of the nicest online presentation creation applications on the web and just as polished as Buzzword (or PowerPoint, for that matter).

The SlideRocket editor in action.

SlideRocket has everything you’d expect from a presentation app — powerful slide and presentation authoring tools, pretty transitions and image and video manipulations and animations, charting and table creation, and the ability to import PowerPoint files (export is coming soon). It also has some features you wouldn’t necessarily expect in an online application, like the ability to import your own fonts, a plugin architecture that will allow third-parties to create their own transitions and effects, and an offline Adobe AIR-based player (a full AIR-based version of the editor is also planned).

But where SlideRocket really shines it in its approach to community, sharing, and collaboration. Already active in the application is the concept of an asset library, where you can pull in assets (images, video, etc.) from any source, as well as directly from the web. Right now, SlideRocket searches Flickr and Yahoo! Images from inside the app and can add images it finds to the user’s asset library.

Users can pull images from Flickr directly from within SlideRocket.

According to Grasso, the company plans to create a repository of assets from third party partners that users can draw from or purchase. SlideRocket intends their asset marketplace to include more than just stock photos and videos, but other types of data as well. What’s more interesting, that is that this data could potentially be dynamically updated. So, for example, if you create a chart using statistics from an outside source, for example a Google Docs spreadsheet, if the stats are updated later in the spreadsheet, the changes are made dynamically and automatically on whatever slide they are included.

SlideRocket also sports great collaboration and versioning features. All presentations and slides can be shared with permissions set by the user, and slides can be updated and have updates pushed live to any presentation they’re included in. So, for example, if marketing creates a presentation for the sales department and some key piece of collateral changes, the sales team can go in later and update the presentation and have it pushed directly to the marketing guys.

SlideRocket’s stats let you see who has been looking at your presentations and how long they’ve been viewing each slide.

On the community end, SlideRocket hopes to create an ecosystem around presentations where assets, templates, and plugins can be shared both globally, as well as privately within a single company.

SlideRocket intends to hold a public beta in the next couple of months and officially launch sometime in June, at which time the company will offer a free version as well as a couple of paid versions of the software. SlideRocket is already being used by the Weather Channel for some of their internal presentations.

Until the June launch, the best way to get into the private beta is via one of the 500 invites for ReadWriteWeb readers. Grasso told me that there are about 19,500 people on the waiting list to get in, and so far only about 2,200 have actually used the app. So your best bet is to snag one of these invites while you still can.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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