A few days ago, the Podcasting Kit for SharePoint was released on CodePlex (our open source project hosting web site). And, for colleges, it’s an opportunity to move into a multimedia, web 2.0 world in a more controlled way.
Up until now, many of the ways that people have used podcasting, and many other web 2.0 technologies, has led to a fragmentation of information – with podcasts being hosted on lots of different sites, and made available through different routes. This has led to some colleges losing control over their own resources & intellectual property, or not being able to control who has access to resources. Not everybody wants to publish all of their materials straight onto the Internet for anybody else to download/distribute!
The Podcasting Kit for SharePoint is a solution which allows you to retain control over information, and still make it widely available to those who have the right to it. By basing your podcasting system on SharePoint, you link it to your college’s user management through Active Directory – which means that you’re not creating yet another data store/identity list, and users can be given access to resources according to their role etc
You can provide a facility for all of the college staff (and students?) to distribute audio and video podcasts, and directly integrate that into the rest of your ICT infrastructure painlessly. Most colleges in the UK are use Moodle for their VLE, and by deploying Moodle on SharePoint, you not only have single identity and access management, you can also integrate solutions such as these within the same environment.
The features of the Podcasting Kit for SharePoint are:
- Simple RSS feed based on a defined podcast series
- Simple RSS feed based on a person
- Dynamic RSS feed based on search results
This release is the beta, which we don’t recommend deploying it to production systems, and the full release is in September.
You can find out more, and download the kit from CodePlex. There’s also a short presentation which runs through the kit, available as a download.
We’ve been using it within Microsoft for the last 9 months, and it has demonstrated (1) how robust it is and (2) how much it improves communication between a community of 150,000+ people! I use the RSS feature on my mobile phone to keep up to date with any new podcasts published with the “education” tag.
And because it’s all on CodePlex, the community is already working on other projects to enhance it – like a very smart-looking mobile phone client to enhance the user experience.