Brainshark just went live with version 16 of their recorded presentation authoring/viewing software (also called Brainshark). I use Brainshark when I create on-demand lead generation recordings for my clients, so I'm more than a little interested in their new features.
Many of the new features are only of interest or understandable to current users of the technology. They changed some authoring functionality to make it easier to create and manage presentation components, but you wouldn't know why something like "drag and drop slide placement" is a good thing unless you had already worked with the previous interface.
Other features are interesting even if you haven't played with the software yet. One of Brainshark's key strengths has been its ability to track and report on audience behavior. They have boosted the built-in analysis capabilities with additional reports in this release that summarize large amounts of data across many presentations and show you very detailed behavior patterns for an individual presentation. For instance, you can see how many people you lose by asking them to register to view a presentation, then how many people have stopped watching on different slides and how long people spend on different slides. This is a great tool for optimizing your material to meet your audience's observed interests.
Surveys now allow you to ask "pick one" or "pick all that apply" kinds of questions. And for the statisticians out there who know how order of presentation can affect answer behavior, Brainshark can randomize the order of the presented answer choices for each viewing of the question.
You can place restrictions on how your audience is allowed to view the slides in your presentation as well. Choices include letting them jump to any slide, forcing them to watch straight through from beginning to end, or letting them jump backwards to review things they have seen, but not jump forward to skip content. That's pretty fancy!
There are a number of enhancements for users who work with the optional Rapid Learning module, including functionality such as organizing sets of courses into a structured curriculum with prerequisites and completion criteria. And Salesforce.com users get some new integration features for working with that platform.
If you create presentations for non-English speakers, you can force the viewer menu options and controls to appear in any of 9 other languages. It will also pick up a language setting automatically based on the viewer's browser language setting.
My clients will also benefit from some new features that let me place your individual branding on each presentation.
You can see many examples of recordings produced with Brainshark on the Webinar Success website. I don't even force you to register to watch them, so you can check out the information secure in the knowledge that you aren't being automatically added to a contact list!