Podcasting at University – Hopefully just a technical detail




… but maybe it can avoid your problems later. Just to forward a lesson learned using this way. The time we started our podcast „Bildung im Dialog“  we hoped but not knew really this project survives more than 5 Episodes. Nobody knows starting such a small – student driven – no budged project which ways it will take. OK. Our first Episode has been published at the 01. 06.2006! Now we entered the Episode number 41. In the main our episodes are about 20 Mb. We took out those special Episodes like the POEDES Series and the videos of Theater plays here. Just for avoiding misunderstandings – here the local ict department allows the best possible service you can imagine and i am sure that we will find a local solution for the upcoming problem I want to point out now:


Yesterday we reached the disc limit. Boom. I personally expected the last 8 or nine episodes to get the mainly loved root@ mail. 

So just as our lesson learned: Plan to have as much as possible storage where you can put your files on it – independent if you are planning in small steps and sizes or not. 

Ok. Where is the Problem – you may think?! One Strategy could be just deleting the old files and archive them anywhere else. This may be a solution. Recognize your win and loose. First the wins: For the first attempt the problem seems to be solved. But there is one point not well discussed but definitively observed: Our oldest episodes seem to be those with the most access. How to explain this phenomena? It’s the well discussed theory of the „long tail“.  Exactly the sum of the peak episodes is over the two years in factor 5 to those we could call usual listeners. Maybe this are recipients who reach this podcast driven by interest, tags in search engines, recommendations or just following a link somebody pointed out before. As soon as we started our podcast challange – we also started a wiki documenting the episodes, their topics and the interviewees as good as the small time budged allowed. We did so because we had in mind, that there were a lot of people going from topic to podcast and then perhaps they are in the choice to stay and catch up the feed o just to download this. Are there other strategies? Another thought was to shift to an external or own server. In fact everybody in the scene may know: This is digital suicide. We had this in the change from the web server. Even with a soft link and your listener would not recognize: What you loose is more than 10 handful listeners. You loose a whole bunch of reputation. Take some tools, like technorati or Clustr Maps.   

Now an open question to all tekkies out in the blogosphere: Am I right, changing just all files to an external server will double all posts as renewed in the feed? So that all recipients will get all messages as unread and all aggregators will offer those as downladable? The switch from „www“ to „userpages“ did this effect. Any idea how to handle this without provocationg 500 MB *  300 Users Data traffic plus the anger of the recipients and the loose of image? Every suggestion or hint of solution is welcome.

Update: The solution of our ict department was to give us more 100 mb. This stopped the count down. Thats the good news. IMH The consequences are (in german language announced at the BiDBlog) to keep all participating students involved. Currently working hard on also sustainable solutions. Thank you all, who lent me an ear or brought up a bunch of ideas about this problem.  

Bis denne

Andreas Auwaerter

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