I recently found myself wondering about the use of PowerPoint (or similar) presentations on the Web, and in particular in the context of academic conferences and e-learning projects.  At the VideoForum show in London, I had an opportunity to play with E-Lectern, an interesting system that (potentially) combines streaming video, slides and two-way text.  Apparently it hasn’t been used all that much in higher education, but a number of NHS programmes in the UK are using the system.

On my laptop, I have a copy of Keynote, Apple’s “non-powerpoint” application. It’s part of the iWork package well integrated with the rest of the Mac applications (e.g. iPhoto and the iLife suite).  It has a useful but not-well-advertised feature where presentations can be customised and exported as QuickTime videos.  (This is suitable for upload to YouTube and similar sites, too).  This is a surprisingly straightforward to add some good visuals to a Web project.  But any return path has to be separate (quite a few universities and conferences will webcast their seminars or conferences and use IRC (or similar) to take questions: Global Voices, Berkman (Harvard) and Vloggercon are examples), which has advantages and disadvantages.

Remembering, of course, that simply converting one file and throwing it on the Web is bad karma; some would even say it is evil, lazy, slothful and sinful!  Hmmb.

Know of any other good ways of doing this?  Would love to hear it.  I’m especially interested right now, as part of my research assistant job involves organising consultation meetings within the university, and attracting staff and students to the online versions/adaptations of what is dealt with at the ‘real world’ presentations is a challenge.  Especially given that we are talking about a very mixed user community (so anything like ‘oh, just put it in SecondLife’ won’t be taken seriously).