The slide show above (Click here or on the image above to view) is an example of the kind of tour I’m seeing more and more in upper-end marketing. This particular example is technically tour and a property site since it has it’s own URL. The important aspect of this kind of slide show tour is the image size and the fact that you don’t have to “do anything” to get the tour to display. Once you get to the site/tour it just runs itself. Of coarse great images play a big part in making this kind of tour knock-out marketing.

There are several technology trends that are making this form of tour practical:

  • Broadband penetration is high in US homes (FCC data shows US broadband connections surged 61% in 2006) so displaying large images quickly is not an issue anymore.
  • Peoples’ expectations are increasing – More and more people are sitting in their living room watching movies on 40″, 50″ and 60″ plasma displays so it takes more to impress them in a home tour.
  • Flash 9, which was introduced late in 2006 is now very high performance. It’s capable of displaying large and even full screen images fast. Although, the example above is not Flash based, it’s javascript powered.

So how do you create a slide show like the one above? There are a number of alternatives:

  • If you have your own site and are into hacking your own HTML you can get the basic javascript slide show code from a site like this one and adapt it to your site. Or you could use one of the free Flash slide shows like simpleviewer and adapt it to your site.
  • A little simpler alternative is you could use the Lightroom Web feature that takes care of all the details of building a slide show and uploading it to your site.
  • Or if you want someone else to do all the geeky stuff and host the tour is an inexpensive turn-key alternative. All you have to do is supply the photos and upload them and you get a large Flash slide show that is fast and automatic.

As I said at the beginning you see more and more of these type of tours. As the competition for eyeballs increases it’s going to take more to standout. Here are a few more more examples: