NOW PRESENTING

A free program called Flypaper is a fast and easy way to post slide shows to the Web. The results look much the same as any presentation created with Microsoft’s PowerPoint, which is certainly not free. After you make your Flypaper presentation, story board, lesson book, etc., you can click to chooseFlypaper to post the finished product to MySpace, YouTube, Facebook or your own site.

The tutorial part of Flypaper takes you through creating a presentation with any of 20 models. It took about five minutes to learn how to manipulate these shows and add text. You can even make question-and-answer presentations, online resumes and revolving product guides. There are over 100 more models on Flypaper.net, but you need Windows XP or Vista to use them.

You can move through a presentation by clicking a “next” button or using the arrow keys. If you select movie mode, the presentation advances on its own. Within each screen, you can use animation to make it appear that not only the pages but also the characters within them are moving.

There’s a remarkable amount of power here, and our only complaint was that the tutorial section initially taught us how to make just a single page. After we had a little chat with Flypaper’s brain trust, we learned that you have to drag a “next” button onto each page or put text on the screen telling viewers to use their arrow keys.

A nice feature to turn to for problems like this is what the company calls its “User Community.” This is a forum with tips and tricks posted by Flypaper users. Every program’s Web site should have a forum like this.

The question that naturally comes up is how can you make any money on programs you give away fro free? How do you pay the rent, the staff, the light bill? The answer is you charge users who want you to create a presentation for them.

NOTE: Flypaper was created by Pat Sullivan, who is famous in the software business for having created ACT! For many years it was a best seller for managing contacts for salespeople and groups. In those ever-present surveys of important people in any business, he is always listed with the likes of Bill Gates and other heavy hitters.

 

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