I was preparing for a presentation I will be giving later this week in NYC, and I decided it would be a good opportunity to try out Bunkr, the social presentation service. The company launched the product in May to widespread acclaim, after being accelerated by Rouen-based TheFamily,
The for-fee service ($6/user/month) provides bare bones presentation capabilities, leaving out the complexities like complex builds and slides transitions that most people have rejected anyway. Since the app is HTML5-based there is no flash, so no issues playing a deck on iPad or having to install an application.
Here’s my account now that I have created a single presentation [Note that all images can be clicked for a larger view]:
Clicking on the presentation opens it in edit mode; alternatively, I could create a new one.
The user experience is intuitive (although it took me a while to find a way to change the color of text). At the left, you can see various pieces of content — quotes, images, and the like — that are available to be pulled into a deck. At the footer you can see the slides in this deck, and at the upper right, the editing region.
There are no ‘themes’ per se, but some theme-feeling options exist, such as creating a background for a slide, and selecting among a short list of fonts for text. The capabilities for creating sophisticated elements from squares and arrows, for example, are limited, so if I am going to use this moving forward I would have to create that imagery elsewhere, for example, building a table in Pages and pasting it.
However, the application provides a very interesting advance over other tools I have used. In the image above, at the lower left is an ‘+ Add content’ button, which when clicked brings up this tableau of various types of content that can be added to the context gallery.
This is a sneakily brilliant idea. It’s an extensible pallette of context types that can be easily created in the gallery, and then pulled into decks as needed. There are only six at present, but in the future I expect to see others, like charts, tables, drawings, and so on. But imagine that this could also include pulling more complex information from other applications, like an embedded chunk of my Workflowy information (see Small pieces, even more loosely joined), a Scrapple canvas, or a slider of multiple photos from Tumblr.
Here’s what a Quote looks like after being created:
The designers also created a bookmarklet, so that content can be captured while browsing the web. Here I have snagged a photo of Paul Volker:
They have also instrumented search of Flickr, Google images, and YouTube, and are planning to integrate Evernote, Dropbox, and all the other likely file sync-and-share candidates.
And lastly, the sharing side. I didn’t want to fork over the extra fee for a second account, but this image from Bunkr’s website shows how coworkers can use each others content. The user has clicked on his pal, Hans, and is pulling content from Han’s gallery. Very sweet.
Publishing is a breeze, and the resulting URL can be posted or shared with others. There is also a provision for embedding a deck on a webpage, which I have yet to try.
Here’s the published deck, with controls:
The Bottom Line
Bunkr is a well-designed, small and simple social presentation service that offers (almost) enough capabilities to displace larger and heavier-weight presentation mainstays, like Powerpoint and Keynote. The content gallery is a brilliant innovation, reminding me a bit of Tumblr’s typed blogging model.
I am going to try this for upcoming presentations, and see where it leads. I am looking forward to new types — especially tables and charts — but in the meantime I can create those elsewhere and import.
What I would like to see in presentation sharing is something over and above what Bunkr or others have provided. It’s a break with projectors: a movement away from the notion of displaying the presentation on a screen or a wall. Since most people have smart devices capable of browsing, and use them all the time, at home, at work, and at conferences and meetings, what I want to be able to do is direct people to stoweboyd.bunkr.com/smalltalk (not the current page created by the publish command: https://stoweboyd.bunkr.me/p/27531e23f3aef142f544bdad463509f4), and then control the presentation on everyone’s tablets, along with an (optional) build-in chat capability. Then we could do without the projector, and people could direct questions and commentary in the chat.
This would mean that people participating in the room with me and those perhaps watching or hearing the presentation remotely would have a very similar experience, and would be able to participate in a similar fashion.
I will be watching this innovative disruptor closely.