Classcaster: What’s the Catch?

At this year’s CALI Conference for Law School Computing├é┬« and as a result of John Mayer’s talks at SubTech 2006 and AALS I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about Classcaster. Most take the form of something like "I’ve tried Classcaster and it really seems to work great but what about…" and then I’m asked about things like "is it really free", "will it keep running", "does the telephone interface always work", "is this something CALI will continue to support", "is there a limit on disk space" and so forth. I’m going to answer these questions and more in this post and then spread it around so folks have something to reference.

The format will be a sort of mini FAQ. There is a support FAQ for Classcaster here, but it doesn’t clearly address some of these basic questions. Here goes.

  • Is Classcaster really free? Will it stay that way?
    • Yes, Classcaster is available as a free service to the faculty, librarians, and staff of over 200 CALI member schools. Classcaster has quickly become a core service of CALI and as such will remain free of charge to members for the foreseeable future.
  • Will Classcaster continue to be supported by CALI?
    • Yes. As I mentioned above Classcaster is key part of our plans for the future and is a central service provided by CALI to our members. As such we will continue to support Classcaster into the future.
  • Is there a limit on disk space a person or school can use on Classcaster?
    • No, at this time we are not limiting disk an author or school can use on Classcaster. We monitor disk space closely and the system is expandable enough that we can easily add disk space as it is needed. Podcasts, posts, and other documents stored on Classcaster will be available there into the future.
  • Does the telephone recording to podcasting feature really work consistently?
    • Yes. Most of John Mayer’s interviews with the faculty podcasters of the Legal Education Podcasting Project were recorded using the telephone recording and auto-podcasting features of Classcaster. For the most part the system performed well. Of course there is only one phone line at the moment, so you may get a busy signal, but you can just try again later. We are looking into expanding the number of available phone lines on the system.
  • I would really like all of the faculty at my school to use Classcaster. Will the system support all X faculty (where X is some number)?
    • Sure. The Classcaster blogging system should easily support several hundred bloggers and podcasters. As the system grows we will expand its storage and processing capabilities to make sure that it will provide your communities with access. The telephone to podcast part of the system has only one phone line at the moment, so you may get a busy signal, but you can just try again later. We are looking into expanding the number of available phone lines on the system.
  • Can I customize Classcaster’s look and feel, invite colleagues to contribute to the blog, and have more than one blog?
    • Yes, yes, and yes. All of these features are available. Please review the Classcaster FAQ for details.
  • Can I create a blog for our Library? Admissions Office? Career Services?
    • Yes. Folks from member schools are free to create blogs so long as the blogs are related to the function of the law school. Blogs of a personal nature are beyond the scope of Classcaster.
  • I’m not really interested in podcasting, but would like to have blog, may I use Classcaster?
    • Yes. We know not everyone is interested in podcasting, but may like to try blogging. By all means, try Classcaster.

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