Jenny Kanji, a veteran of the " ___Sites in ___ Minutes" presentation genre, and I, a newcomer to the format, had the pleasure of presenting 45 Sites in 45 Minutes at the recent California Joint Institute. The emphasis is on California regulation and politics, but you'll find a bit of an eclectic mix ranging from a podcast search engine to a dancing Bush.
I would never depend upon a live Internet connection for this kind of presentation. You could easily end up spending half of a precious minute loading the page! That's assuming that nothing goes wrong with the connection or the web site, in which case you're left with.....nothing. So some experimentation was in order. In the end, I spent a good part of my precious preparation time trying to figure out the best way to save and retrieve web pages.
Jenny uses CatchtheWeb, so I figured whatever is good enough for Jenny is good enough for me, and it worked great for Jenny. However, it's no longer available for download or support.
Of course, I considered saving screenshots in PowerPoint, but I wanted to be able to display and scroll down the entire page, not just the part that would fit on a PowerPoint slide. I played around with Adobe Acrobat, and thought that it might work in full-screen mode, but it didn't seem an elegant solution. I thought working within the browser, as CatchTheWeb does, would better simulate a real browsing experience.
So I did some more research, checking on various tools that I've seen recommended for this purpose and decided to try Net Snippets, a popular favorite. It was easy to use, and seemed to work in a very similar manner to CatchtheWeb. An additional advantage is the ability to upload your snippets to the Esnips web site.
This method wasn't without it's drawbacks. There were a couple of pages that simply couldn't be captured exactly as they appear on the web, either in Net Snippets or Adobe Acrobat, including the NPR Podcast Page, and the EPA's Window to My Environment, so the live connection did come in handy. But otherwise, it proved to be an ideal solution.
Many of the tools in this category are not strictly intended as presentation tools, but rather as ways to compile, save and present your research. After using Net Snippets, I'm still not convinced that it's a better way to go than Adobe Acrobat for collecting research results, but I'm going to continue to experiment with it. I'm a bit handicapped because I'm using the free version, and from what I hear, the professional version's ability to create a report with all your snippets, complete with a table of contents, is worth the price of admission. For more information see:
I'd be very interested in hearing what tools you use for web presentations and/or the compilation and reporting of research!