'Basic Webcasting' Program

 The Basic Webcasting  Program 

For all those interested in participating in the Academy,
please begin by taking a look at the First Step materials.  

Step 1 - Orientation & Registration

  • Read the Participation Policies and Internship Procedures in their entirety
  • Register (making sure to include enough profile information to let us know why you'd like to participate and that you're not a spambot) 

Step 2 - Audio Introduction
  • Post an introduction audio using the appropriate audio specifications.

Step 3 - Recording a conversation
  • Record  both ends of a telephony call or web conference
Step 4 - Live Streaming of a conversation
  • Stream a conversation so that non-participants can listen in

Step 5 - Interncasts

  • Schedule, stream, edit, & publish 3 interncasts

Step 6 -  Graduation Materials
  • Create a Webcaster Portfolio (including webcaster setup)
  • Stream & publish your own gradcast 

Upon successful completion of the basic program requirements, interns will receive a 'Webcaster Badge' and an Academy Certificate of Webcasting Proficiency. They can then apply to join any Worldbridges community as a webcaster and/or put their webcasting skills to use anywhere else of interest.



Welcome to The Webcast Academy. This community is part of the Worldbridges Network and its mission is to:

  • provide training for potential Worldbridges webcasters
  • produce open content guides and resources for all  those interested in producing and publishing live, interactive webcasts

All of the materials on this site are open to the public and released with a Creative Commons  license.  Anyone can make use of them and learn how to webcast on their own without registering or becoming involved in the community.

If you would like to more actively participate in the community, you can read more about our Participation Policies  and Procedures, Badges & Certification.  If you would like to earn a 'webcaster badge, and/or webcast on the Worldbridges network, you can begin the Basic Webcasting Program here


Participation Policies

Participation Policies

  • The Webcast Academy is a 'hands on, open content, collaborative community'.   Information is shared freely and a helping hand is provided as much as possible, but everyone is responsible for their own learning .  Participants are expected to take initiative and make some effort to seek answers on their own before asking for help.  
  • While The Webcast Academy's primary mission is to provide training for potential Worldbridges Webcasters, participation is open all those who agree to abide by community policies and procedures. We reserve the right to reject or terminate access to any member and/or remove any published content that violates these policies. 
  • The Webcast Academy does not charge any fees, but we do ask that interns 'pay it forward' in some way by helping future Academy participants and sharing what you learn here with others.  
  •  Webcasting has many variables and can present complex, frustrating challenges. Those that have built the Academy thusfar have done their best to share lessons learned, but the Academy is a very imperfect place. Materials you see and advice you receive may not be entirely accurate or up-to-date. Please keep in mind that all the resources here and all the help you might receive are offered freely. If you encounter 'imperfections', do not simply complain or expect others to fix it - attempt to be part of the solution. 
  • As part of Worldbridges, we strive to build a diverse, inclusive community. As such,  Webcast Academy  members  represent a number of different cultures and backgrounds. Academy participants are asked to show sensitivity toward and tolerance of different  values and norms and civility should be maintained at all times.
  • Those whose webcasting interests involve commercial, religious, or political activities are welcome to participate as long as these interests are made transparent and do not violate any other policies. Spam-like activities will not be tolerated. 
  • Any personal conflicts that arise out of Academy participation should be dealt with outside of the community.  Academy participants agree not to defame, harass, abuse, threaten or defraud other members of the community. Any such incidents should be reported to the management team.
  • In situations where profanity, sexual content, or descriptions of graphic violence are used, those uses should be clearly noted at the beginning of  any archived media and in its metadata.  In cases where such content is likely to occur during a live webcast, the introduction should note this fact. 
  • Webcasts and any other community content shall not promote any illegal activity, including but not limited to the violation of copyright law. 
  • By participating in the community, Webcast Academy members acknowledge that their contributions may be recorded and distributed by the community. This includes the member's text contributions to chats and forums, voice conversations or other audio, video, shared images or screen captures, and content in any other media supplied by the participant. No remuneration for these contributions shall be provided by The Webcast Academy or Worldbridges.  All materials produced at the Academy are released with at Creative Commons Attribution, Sharealike, Non-commercial (or less restrictive) license.
  • Webcast Academy participants are responsible for the content of their own contributions to the community and its shows. Any expressed opinions, viewpoints, endorsements, or recommendations are solely those of the contributor. Webcast Academy does not assume any liability for content produced by its members
  • As a Worldbridges community, all Worldbridges Terms of Use apply to participation in The Webcast Academy

Procedures, Badges & Certification



Membership in the Webcast Academy community is open all those who are at least 13 years of age and agree to abide by the community policies.   Membership is defined as anyone registered at WebcastAcademy.net  Before registering, please read  Policies Page so you can have a better understanding for the culture of this community. 

Becoming a member allows you to:

  • post comments without being moderated, 
  • subscribe to newsletters, 
  • and (if interested) take the first step toward becoming an intern.  
When registering, please include enough information in your profile to show us that you're not a spambot or someone with malicious intent. You don't have to use your real name, but if you are interested in becoming an intern, we do want to know something about you, and why you're interested in webcasting.  


An 'intern' is defined as someone who has begun the process of learning how to produce live, interactive webcasts and is willing to work collaboratively with others in the community.  Interns can begin at any time and take as long as they need to complete all the steps involved.  In the past, the Webcast Academy scheduled six week sessions that were designated by Class numbers (i.e. the Class of 1.1 or the Class of 2.3). Although we are currently experimenting with 'rolling admissions' and sessions of variable lenght,  interns are still assigned a class number based on when they begin their internships. If you first participated in a previous session and are rejoining a new session, there is no need to re-register.  Simply use your existing account, post a new audio introduction and pickup where you left off. 


A Webcast Academy 'Guide' is someone who has gone through some or all of the intern steps and has offered to provide synchronous and asynchronous assistance to new interns for a certain period of time.  A variety of collaborative tools may be used, including group skype chats, the Academy Forums, screencapture tools and desktop sharing programs.  Live sessions (sometimes called live labs) can be requested by interns or scheduled by guides and occur at anytime that is convenient for those involved. While guides and the entire community are willing to help as much as possible, interns should first make some effort to find answers on their own by checking the Academy FAQ, Forums, Book of Webcasting, & Screencasts. 


  When posting questions in the forums, skype chat, or elsewhere, please provide as much information as possible . Posting or linking to screenshots and/or screencasts of your problem or questions makes troubleshooting much easier. Visit the Collaborative Tools Used page for more information about how to use these tools most effectively.


Because the Webcast Academy is a global community,  we use GMT as the general time reference.   When posting details about live events, please include GMT time and a link to the Timeanddate.com Fixed Time .

Certification Process & Graduation Requirements

Basic Program
   In order to receive certification from the Webcast Academy as a 'live, interactive webcaster', interns will need to:

  • complete their internship assignments and participate collaboratively in the Academy community. Interns who enter the Academy with all necessary skills are asked to collaborate by providing assistance to novice webcasters
  • produce, edit and publish 3 interncasts
    • shows need to include some kind of interaction with a live audience and should be at least 15 minutes in length
    • audio should meet Worldbridges specifications, be of 'listenable audio quality',  and include proper ID3 tags
    •  published nodes should include some kind of show notes and chat log
  • complete a webcaster portfolio page
  • create at least one 'webcaster setup' page
  • stream their own 'gradcast' .  Each gradcast will be different, but the general goal is to demonstrate your webcasting ability, reflect on the process of becoming a webcaster, share lessons learned, and discuss your future webcasting goals and plans.
    Graduationcasts should include
    • a properly posted event listing beforehand
    • an overview of their 'webcasting journey' (original motivations, personal & technical challenges, etc.) 
    • a brief overview of their webcasting setup and any special challenges they faced using their hardware
    • short descriptions of their 3 featured interncasts
    • a discussion of their future webcasting plans and goals

      Gradcasts posts should be published on the Webcast Academy site within a week of webcast and include a link to the intern's webcaster portfolio, the chat log from the webcast, and properly encoded audio (with ID3 tags).

After session leaders verify successful completion of all  tasks, interns will be awarded their  Webcaster Badge and Certificate of Proficiency.   They can then apply for a Worldbridges Webcasting License and become eligible to become a 'producer'  at any of the Worldbridges webcasting communities.   They will also receive 'webcaster' permissions and additional hosting space at The Webcast Academy.

Step 1 - Orientation & Audio Introdution

These are the first tasks to complete if you would like to become a Webcast Academy Intern.

Task: Read the the pages linked to above, register with the site, and provide basic profile information

Collaborative Tools Used

Webcast Academy participants use a variety of tools to help uscollaborate. Whenever possible, free tools are used in order to make collaboration methods as replicable as possible.   We often experiement with new products and services, but the tools described below will likely be replaced by others over time.

Group Skype Chat - Each session will have a 'Class of x.x' skype chat with all session participants and and several session guides who will be providing assistance. The 'Webcast Academy Megachat' is a larger chat open to anyone who has participated in the Academy.   The purpose of both of these chats is to make last minute announcement of webcasts and get real time assistance with assorted webcasting challenges.  While friendly banter is part of the fun of skype group chatting, too much of it will cause some people to tune out.  After a few lines of non-webcasting related chat, please start another group chat with just those involved.  Similarly, please do NOT use the skype chats for posting links unless they are part of a larger conversation.  Use the Diigo (described below) to post links. To be added to a group chat, request so during an academy webcast or skype 'webcastacademy' and leave a voice message requesting to be added to one or both chats.
Once you're in the chat, make sure to bookmark the chat in your skype program and do not 'leave'.  If you do so, you will need ot be re-added.
Skype 3.x users, watch this screencast to see the basics of skype group chatting.
Skype 4.x users, watch this screencast

Social Bookmarking - below is information about what we've used in the past.  During planning sessions for the Class of 4.1, we will be discussing social bookmarking options.
Diigo Webcast Academy Group  Diigo is a social bookmarking site that we use to collect bookmarks.  Support material here.  Any time you come across a webcasting related website that you think would be of interest to the community, please post it here. Please do not use this for posting links to blogs, personal sites,  search pages, or other Diigo groups.

Desktop Sharing  -  This allows for live viewing of remote desktops and can be very helpful in troubleshotting webcasting challenges.  The most common tools currently used are Mikogo, Yugma, & Vyew.

Screencasting  -  Tools that allow you to record a video of your desktop.  Useful for asynchrounously providing details of webcasting challenges and solutions.  Options include:
Social Networking - currently, we don't do a lot with external social networking services, but there are always possibilities.

Step 2 - Posting an Audio Introduction

  •  Once your account has been activated, you will have 6MB of space allotted to your account. This should be enough to complete the first couple of tasks.
    Your first task is to publish a short audio introduction (4 minutes maximum) using the Webcast Academy Audio Specifications.
      Screencast Guide is here: http://www.webcastacademy.net/screencast/posting-audio-introduction
      Information about Audio Specifications here .
    It is VERY important that you meet all audio specification details including filename, bitrate, and sample rate.
    If you have any questions, you can post them in the 'Audio Issues Forum'.
  • Once you have published your audio introduction, one of the guides will take look and offer feedback about audio specifications. Once they've done so, you can proceed to Step 3 - Recording both ends of a telephony call

Task: Post a 1-2 minute audio introduction that meets the Webcast Academy Audio Specifications.


Step 3 - Recording a conversation

There are a variety of way to capture both ends of a telephony call or online conversation.  Some of these allow people to listen in live, others do not. 

 Simple Conversation Recording Programs
  Webcasters cannot use this method to stream a conversation so non-participants to listen live, but is the easiest way to simply record a conversation so that it can be published online afterward.  The Simple Conversation Recording Programs  page has a list of programs that can be used to record Skype calls.  There are also several  telephony programs listed other than skype that support call recording. 


 Web Conferencing Services

   The Conferencing Services Page lists are a variety of  conferencing services that allow webcasters to record online conversations.  These can be web-based, telephone based, or a combination thereof.  

 Advanced Recording Methods
  These methods will let you capture and record all ends of a telephony call and/or all sounds on your computer in a way that allows you to stream that audio out to services like Shoutcast, Ustream, & Livestream so that others can listen live.  These methods involve a number of variables including Operation System and hardware specifications.  They can be the most challenging for webcasters to figure out, but provide more flexibiltiy and streaming options.


The Two computer method

VAC & USB mic Method (Windows)

Audio Hijack & USB Mic Method (Mac)

External Links

    Record and publish a 3-5 minute conversation with at least one other person. You can use whichever method you prefer, but in order to take the next step
,  you will need to use one of the web conferencing or Advanced Recording methods.

Once you'vep posted the conversation recording and it has been reviewed, you will be granted 'intern' permissions which will provide you with additional upload space. You can then move on to Step#4 - Live Streaming of a conversation


Conferencing Services

Web Conferencing Services

Web based  hosting:

  • BlogTalkRadio - allows participants to call in to a North American phone # or use a web based 'click to talk' feature.  
  • Talkshoe - provides a chat interface and automatically records conversations. Can usually telephony to call in to a North American phone number. Long distance rates might apply. Now supports mobile based call-in webcastign
  • WizIQ - web based 'virtual classroom' platform that allows multiple participants, presentation sharing,  and whiteboard. 


  • FreeConferenceCall.com - the service we have sometimes used to include teleconferencing in our webcasts, now includes an optional recording option.
  • Freeconference.com - another free teleconerencing service, reservations required for free version

Recording a Conversation with VAC & USB mic

Recording A Conversation - VAC & USB mic Method

What you'll need



  • Telephony Program - we use Skype for demonstration purposes, but Oovoo, Gizmo, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Jajah, & others will work as well.
  • Audio Bridging Tool - Virtual Audio Cables is the 'magic ingredient' of this method - a funky little program that alllows you to capture audio from your microphone and soundcard at the same time
  • Audio Recorder & Editor - there are others out there, but we primarily use Audacity - it's open source and works quite well.

Capturing both ends of a conversation
The major challenge of producing a live interactive webcast is capturing both ends of a telephony call in a way that it can be streamed. If all you want to do is record both ends of a call without streaming it, there a number of programs that can be used (see this page for more info). To do so in a way that allows the audio to be streamed live, it is necessary to use an audio bridging tool like Virtual Audio Cables along with the hardware described above. There are other ways to do this, additional hardware and/or software is usually required.

Setting up your microphone and headset
  • If using a USB Desktop mic, plug it in to any USB port. Plug any headset into your standard speaker jack.
  • If using a USB headset (with separate jacks for mic and earpiece), plug it into any USB port, remove the earphone jack and plug it into the standard speaker jack as shown below.

Configuring your computer so you can capture both ends of a telephony call.
Parts of this will vary from computer to computer and it is possible that webcasters will need to go through some trial and error to get this working. The most common places to alter settings are your Windows Volume Control, Sound & Audio Device Settings, & your Telephony audio settings.
  • By default, most computers are set up to record from your microphone. This needs to be changed. Using Windows Volume Mixer, set the Recording Control Properties of your soundcard to 'stereo mix' , 'What U Hear', or 'Wave Out Mix'. With some sounds cards you will select his item, with others you will make sure it's unmuted'.
  • In Sound & Audio Device settings, select your sound card as the recording device in the 'Audio' and 'Voice' tabs.

  • Open Audacity. In Edit/Preferences/Audio I/O , select your sound card as your recording device.

  • Open the Audio settings of your telephony program. In Skype, it's under Tools/Options/Audio Settings. For microphone, select your USB microphone.

  • Install Virtual Audio Cables (the trial version will work for experimentation purposes, but to produce actual webcasts, you will need to get  the full version (US$30). Go to Virtual Audio Cable in your start menu and click 'Audio Repeater'. In the 'wave in' section, select your USB mic. In 'wave out', select your sound card. For total buffer, select 100. You can experiment with the other settings, but it shouldn't be necessary to change any of them. Press 'Start'. Open the Audio settings of your telephony program. In Skype, it's under Tools/Options/Audio Settings. For microphone, select your USB microphone.

  • If all is working properly, after you press start, you should hear an echo when speaking. You are now capturing all audio on your machine - your voice, voices of others in the telephony call, audio played from media players, program noises, etc. (Note: you might want to disable notification noises in Skype and other IM programs)

  • Call someone (you can call skype lady at 'echo123'). Press record in Audacity, and you should see that you are recording audio when you speak and when the other person speaks. If so, you're ready to complete the Step 3 task (recording a conversation). If not, let the troubleshooting begin.

Two Computer Method

The Two Computer Method - Windows

The only requirement for the interaction computer is that it allows you to connect to a telephony call or web conference. A headset should be used to optimze audio quality, but it does not need to be a USB microphone.  The Streaming computer connects to the same telephony call or conference with microphone or audio input muted. Volume properties should be set to record 'stereo mix', 'what u hear', or 'wave out mix' - not 'microphone.  The streaming computer then connects to a streaming service (e.g. Ustream, Shoutcast, or Livestream).  It may be necessary to mute the volume on external speakers or headsets on the streaming computer in order to avoid echo.

Simple Conversation Recording Programs

Recording both ends of a telephony call is necessary in order to stream and record a live, interactive webcast. This is usually the trickiest part of webcasting as most systems are not set up to record your voice and those on the other end of the call.

If you want to record a telephony call without streaming, you can use a number of skype 'extras',  3rd party recording programs, or telephony programs that support recording.  Please note, this will not be adequate to stream both ends of a telephony call.  It will only allow you to record the conversation and record it later.

  Telephony Programs that support recording:  Gizmo , ooVoo (premium version)

  Other Programs & Guides




Fee based




Step 4 - Live Streaming of a Conversation

Live streaming involves capturing the audio from a conversation and transmitting it in a way that other people who are not in the call or web conference can listen live. 

Different operating systems require different tools and methods. 

Task: Create your own account on Ustream.tv or another similar streaming service. Stream and record a short conversation.  Start with at least one other person in the conversation and bring in a third at some poitn. Make sure you have at least one live listener who can offer feedback on audio quality. Post the edited recording (create/audio) along with any reflections on your first streaming experience. 

Streaming tools for Icecast

Live Streaming using Windows

How to stream a Live Interactive Webcast from a Windows PC's
(Mac users, check out Alec's Guide and Mac Screencasts here)

What you'll need

Internet Connection
In order to webcast, you need a stable internet connection that provides at least 100kbs upload bandwidth (which means dial-up connections will probably not work). If you plan to have more than one or two people in a skype call or plan to use video, you will probably need a bit more than that. You can test your bandwidth at Speedtest.net , AuditMyPC.com ,or speakeasy.net . You can install NetMeter on your computer to measure and collect real time data on your upload and download speeds.


  • Soundcard - you will need a soundcard that has 'stereo mix', 'What U Hear', or 'Wave out mix' as a recording option. If using the 'Two Computer Method', then this is required only on the streaming machine.
    Many recent Dell computers do not come with this option, but you can find information about a work around here.
  • Computer Specs - There are no other fixed minimum hardware requirements, but webcasting with anything less than 512kb RAM or the equivalent of a Pentium 4 would probably be pretty difficult.


Live Interactive Streaming
Once you've succeeded in capturing all audio on your computer, there are several ways to stream this audio so others can hear.
  • Commercial Streaming Services - sites like live365.com and Streamguys.com allow users to stream from their servers for a monthly fee (US$10+/month)
  • Free streaming Services - an ever-increasing number of sites like Ustream.tv, Mogulus, Yahoo Live, BlogTV, Justin.tv, Livevideo.com, and Kyte.tv allow users to stream for free. Most of these are video based, but can be used to stream audio only.
  • Worldbridges Shoutcast & Icecast Streams - after participating in the Webcast Academy, 'interns' can apply for webcasting permission from any streaming community that is part of the network. In order to stream to a shoutcast or icecast server, you need to install a streaming program on your local computer. Examples include Simplecast , SamBroadcaster, Oddcast, & Winamp.
Streaming with Ustream

Whichever method you use to stream, you'll need to set 'recording device' or 'audio in' to your soundcard. Most of these tools provide a way to automatically record or 'archive' what is being streamed. Webcasters may want to use Audacity to record as well because it provides a higher quality source recording and also provides a more accurate way to measure audio levels during a webcast. Below are step-by-step instructions for using Simplecast and Ustream.tv to stream.  These basic methods apply to similar tools as well.

Simplecast is a commerical program available from SpacialAudio.com. that can be used to stream to a shoutcast or icecast server. There is a free trial version that does not expire.

  • Open Simplecast. Click 'Start'. Then, click 'Config' and on the 'General Options' page, select your sound card under 'Capture Sound from Device'. Click OK.


  • You should now see volume meter movement on the right side of the main Simplecast Window.


  • Click 'Encoders'. Click the '+' sign to add an encoder and choose either 'mp3 and mp3Pro' or 'Legacy mp3'.


  • In the 'Converter' tab, select a format. Higher bitrates (kb/s) will result in higher quality audio with less stream delay, but may cause problems for those with relatively slow internet connections.


  • In the 'Server Details' tab, choose the appropriate server type, and enter the access information for the server you're using.


  • In the 'Stream Archive' tab, check 'save stream to file' and browse to find the directory in which you'd like to save the recording.

  • When you're ready to stream, RIGHT click the encoder and click 'start'. You should now be streaming. To check the stream, go to the 'listening' page for that stream (i.e. WebcastAcademy.net/live ) and click one of the media player icons. You should be able to hear what is being streamed (with a 20~60 second delay).

  • First you will need to register at Ustream.tv

  • Then click 'Broadcast Now' or if you've created a show, click 'My Shows' and then 'Broadcast Now'.

  • Either way, the Broadcaster window should pop up. Click 'allow' when the Adobe Flash Settings window appears.

  • Uncheck 'video broadcast' unless you plan to stream video. Select your soundcard where it says 'Audio Source'. Maximize audio quality unless you notice bandwidth problems. Check your Ustream Volume setting to make sure it isn't peaking too much (volume meter will show red if so). There are additional settings and tools you can use toward the bottom of the window (Advanced settings, create poll, cohost, etc.).

  • When you're ready to start streaming, click 'Start Broadcast'. If you'd like to create a Ustream recording as well, click 'Start Recording'

  • To check your stream, go to your Ustream listen page (i.e. Ustream.tv/webcastacademy) or anywhere you've embeded the Ustream player and click the play button. You'll get some echo when listening, but should be able to hear what is being stream with very little delay.

Step 5 - Interncasts

You now have all the technical tools and skills you need to stream live, interactive webcasts.  Now comes the real challenge and real fun - producing interesting webcasts.  To that end, interns need to produce, edit and publish 3 'interncasts'

  • the webcast should be posted ahead of time on the Webcast Academy Calendar
  • shows can be about any topic and should include some kind of interaction with a co-host, guest, or live audience
  • there's no firm time requierment, but between 10-60 minutes would be an appropriate range to aim for
  • audio recordings should meet Worldbridges specifications, be of 'listenable audio quality',  and include proper ID3 tags
  • published nodes should include some kind of show notes and/or chat log


Task: Schedule, produce, edit, & publish three 'interncasts. 




When you have completed your interncasts, you can move to Step 6 - Graduation Materials


Step 6 - Graduation Materials

   In order to 'graduate' and recieve a very cool ' webcaster badge' from the Webcast Academy, interns  need to:

  • complete the previous steps, including producing three 'interncasts'
  • complete a webcaster portfolio page
  • create at least one 'webcaster setup' page
  • stream their own 'gradcast' .  Each gradcast will be different, but the general goal is to demonstrate your webcasting ability, reflect on the process of becoming a webcaster, share lessons learned, and discuss your future webcasting goals and plans. 
    Graduationcasts should include
    • a properly posted event listing beforehand
    • an overview of their 'webcasting journey' (original motivations, personal & technical challenges, etc.) 
    • a brief overview of their webcasting setup and any special challenges they faced using their hardware
    • short descriptions of their 3 featured interncasts
    • a discussion of their future webcasting plans and goals

      Gradcasts posts should be published on the Webcast Academy site within a week of webcast and include a link to the intern's webcaster portfolio, the chat log from the webcast, and properly encoded audio (with ID3 tags).

After session leaders verify successful completion of all  tasks, interns will be awarded their  Webcaster Badge and Certificate of Proficiency.   They can then apply for a Worldbridges Webcasting License and become eligible to become a 'producer'  at any of the Worldbridges webcasting communities.   They will also receive 'webcaster' permissions and additional hosting space at The Webcast Academy.