The busy bees at Drop.io just took the wraps off Present.io, a free service for running private, real-time presentations on the Web.
What's Drop.io? Just one of our all-time favorite file-sharing services. Present.io mixes this no-setup, no-software file sharing with screen sharing, effectively letting invited participants view PowerPoint decks, images, audio, documents, and even video. And speaking of video, here's one that shows Present.io in action:
If this seems vaguely familiar, you might be recalling the Conference.io service that was unveiled last month. That's designed more for online chat and collaboration; Present.io gives you the tools to show stuff as opposed to talk about it.
Unfortunately, I found the tools rather confusing, at least initially. Drop.io really needs to offer a step-by-step getting-started guide for presenters (and a significantly less cluttered interface), as it's not immediately evident what you're supposed to do after creating a "drop" (shouldn't it be called a "present"?).
Of course, if you're willing to battle the learning curve, you should find this a very handy service -- especially considering the price. (Like all Drop.io goodies, this one's free.)
That said, there are countless other ways to host your presentations online, including SlideRocket, Spresent, and even Google Presentations. Granted, not all of them have Present.io's multimedia and chat savvy, but they're a little more straightforward if all you want to do is invite others to watch your slideshow.