Early preview of Skypecasts
We all know that people love to talk, so we’re excited to announce an [early preview of Skypecasts](http://www.skype.com/go/skypecasts): a new way to have conversations with people across the world who share your interests. Skypecasts are live, moderated conversations allowing groups of up to 100 people from anywhere in the world to talk to one another.
]]>Skypecasts enable people to discuss shared interests — anything from classic cars and cooking, to home design and computer support. Skypecasts are moderated by the ‘host’ who is able to mute, eject or pass the virtual microphone to participants when they wish to speak. Hosting or participating in a Skypecast is completely free.
How to join or host a Skypecast? See the [user guide](http://www.skype.com/help/guides/skypecasts.html).
Since this is a preview of Skypecasts, we’ll be making many improvements over the coming months, to prepare for the official product launch.
* Promote Skypecasts listings on your blog with our TypePad Widget (available now from the [Skypecasts front page](http://www.skype.com/go/skypecasts)), or on your website with our simple HTML snippets (very soon)
* Localised version of the Skypecasts directory, in 17 languages
* Usability improvements to make it easier to:
* Find listings in your language
* See who has the microphone and is able to talk.
* Know when a Skypecast is full or has ended
* Join a Skypecast at the right time
* Leave a Skypecast in a single click
### Tips for hosting your first Skypecast
**Choosing a subject for your Skypecast** is the first step you need to take. You can host a Skypecast on any subject you’re interested in, from classic cars to learning Japanese; from how to bake banana bread, to watching World Cup matches together. The more interesting your subject, the more participants you’re likely to have for your Skypecast.
If you’re having trouble picking just one subject, don’t worry — you can host as many Skypecasts as you want and it’s totally free.
When creating your Skypecast, you’ll be prompted to enter a title and description. This is your opportunity to **sell your Skypecast to the audience**, explain why they should join and what you’ll be talking about. You’ll also need to add **keywords** (also known as tags) to allow users to find your Skypecast by searching the directory. These keywords will also determine which syndicated listings your Skypecast appears in. By entering several relevant words to describe your Skypecasts subject, you’ll help users to find your Skypecast and will also ensure your Skypecast gets the best possible promotion.
Make a note of the **time of your Skypecast** so you remember to sign in and host it and don’t leave your audience waiting in silence.
**Promoting** your Skypecast is easy. You can simply send the link to your friends in an email or add a simple HTML snippet to your blog to encourage your friends to join you.
You may wish to run your Skypecast as an **open discussion** or a **one-way broadcast** with questions and answers at the end. Either way, the **Skypecasts moderation tools** will help you. When you’re in the Skypecast, you’ll be able to mute or unmute selected participants or all participants. Muting participants will also improve call quality for yourself and your participants. When participants are muted, they can request the microphone if they wish to speak. You can use chat to ask them what they wish to talk about and can then allow them to talk when you’re happy with what they wish to add to the Skypecast. If you find that particular participants are being disruptive you can even eject them from the Skypecast.
We hope that these tips will help you to host your own Skypecast. So just [try it out](http://www.skype.com/go/createskypecast) and post any other tips you have for other Skypecasts hosts here.