Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Can You Count on Prezi?

I have "liked" Prezi on Facebook, so I get their updates and noticed that throughout the weekend there were sporadic issues with the site and it was down for most of yesterday. I clicked on the comments and many were along the lines of "I have to give a presentation in 2 hours - hurry and fix it!" and there were more than a few "I will never forgive you for this, Prezi!" comments too. Not even those who pay for Prezi could access their content. Being down for most of a weekday in the middle of a semester is a pretty big deal. I don't expect any site to be 100% reliable, but Prezi is a site that many people count on to house content that they may need for time sensitive presentations. I think it needs to be pretty close to 100% reliable.

So, I encourage anyone who is using Prezi for important, time sensitive content to download it frequently so you have a back up copy available off line. You may want to download it each time you exit Prezi so that you at least have the last version to make into a PowerPoint if necessary, since you cannot edit a Prezi that has been downloaded. At least being able to look at the old version will help in rebuilding. You may want to save all of your images in one folder so you can easily access them again if you have to rebuild in PowerPoint.

I've been questioning whether Prezi is "worth it" and have actually removed it from the agenda of the digital content group this semester and put more focus on how to design effective PowerPoints. Prezi is cool, but many faculty who I talk to about it end up not using it, or they use it in a way that doesn't take advantage of the strengths and uniqueness of it and they could have used PowerPoint without the learning curve.

This situation is on top of a recent Prezi issue I experienced: last week I learned 10 minutes before a Prezi training that the site completely changed. I mean completely, with no warning. Two days later I finally got an email saying Prezi changed - a little late! I could have gone back to the old interface, but none of the people I was training (who had just created new accounts) could, so it didn't matter. I've had issues in the past with me and my trainees being in different versions too and when I submitted a question about that to the Prezi community help site, the response was that eventually everyone will be on the same version (not helpful!). I admit that the redesign is good, but my training was awkward because I didn't have time to explore properly. I guess I should give myself an hour before every Prezi training to prep, in case it's different. Should it have to be that way?

What do you think about these issues with Prezi? Has your perspective changed? Am I overreacting? Is this just the way of the cloud?

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