No More Skypecast

Posted on | September 4, 2008 | 5 Comments

Over the weekend, another free on-line service was gone, not only the “free” part, but also the service itself.

Skypecast was launched in 2006 to host public conference calls up to 100 people at a time. It was since being established as a meeting place for many to get to know others and talk about anything. The service was also widely used by people seeking out language practices. English was by far the most popular language. One could often see skypecasts with titles such as “Let’s practice English”, and “Improve your English”. As a counter measure to keep learners out, it was not uncommon to find skypecasts with subtitles “Fluent English only please”.

Sadly, due to the virtually non-existence of any king of moderation, the service was very much abused by its users. There were people hanging around trying to harassing other users. Personally, I think it is better for Skypecast to go than stay.

Skype already has another service in place, a public chatroom service which provides better moderation. In addition, Skype provides another paid service called Skype Prime, and it is still in Beta. (what is not?)

At a first glance, Skype Prime looks like a good tool to hook up language tutors and students. As mentioned in my previous post, I support the business model in which tutors would charge their students and let the middle men take some commission. However, when I check out how much commission Skype is charging … 30%! Why would anyone want to use a service that charges a 30% commission?

Of course, tutors are smart enough to let the students to absorb the commission overhead. I quickly browsed through the “Language lessons and Translations” section, and I found “advisors” charging for fees as mush as $2 per minute.

If I were a serious student, I would poke around some language forums and look for a tutor. If I were a tutor, I would do the same to look for potential students.


5 Responses to “No More Skypecast”

  1. مشعل
    September 4th, 2008 @ 11:07 pm

    no more skypecast
    more and more paltalk

  2. Learn That Language Now
    September 4th, 2008 @ 11:29 pm

    Hi, great language blog you have here! Would you be interested in doing a link exchange? Just send me an e-mail with your URL and I’ll add your link to my blog. You can add my link as “Learn That Language Now”. I look forward to reading more blog entries from you. Thanks!


  3. aaron Lawrence
    September 5th, 2008 @ 2:29 pm

    You’re right 30% is absurd! I have found that charges a much more reasonable rate, and provides a great community aspect.

  4. Brett
    September 8th, 2008 @ 8:01 am

    I’m just getting started on Edufire, as a tutor. As a learner I’m sad to see Skypecast go, it was so easy to find people to talk to in Japanese.

  5. Ramses
    September 13th, 2008 @ 3:01 am

    Not that I want to plug eduFire, but it does have a better community support system and asks 15% instead of the 30% Skype asks.

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