A few days ago, the Podcasting Kit for SharePoint was released on CodePlex (our open source project hosting web site). And, for universities, 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 universities 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 university’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 university staff (and students?) to distribute audio and video podcasts, and directly integrate that into the rest of your ICT infrastructure painlessly. (Building on top of the free SharePoint Learning Kit, you can see how the tools are starting to be available to build a clever VLE & portal through SharePoint)
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.