I was holding our webinar last week, and I used freeconferencecalling.com to test out the service. I really liked their web interface. It allows you to have multiple callers, and mute each one. Then when you unmute a person, they are notified.
I've had people talk about doing a podcast “Live” and how they could take live calls. The problems run into call waiting issues or using skype out (which is not free). With free conference calling, you could give out your phone number (and your conference number – which would be a negative of this strategy), and people could call in and you could mute them until you were ready to take one caller at a time.
The other feature I like with this system is that you can have multiple hosts. So you could have another person act as a call screener on another phone and computer (and then use something like Skype chat to alert you to what each person wanted to talk about). This is how they do it in radio
Personally, I am not a fan of the live podcast. You are opening the door for people to hijack your show, your topic, crank calls, etc. However, this is a chance to connect live with your audience. You also need to set a schedule and stick with it (i,e, “Every Thursday at 9 PM) and then be sure to use facebook, twitter, email, etc to remind people that you are podcasting NOW and to call in. One of the biggest benefits of Podcasting is time-shifting. You record now, and your audience consumes later. With this in mind, people that want to podcast live make me scratch my head.
The other thing that makes me nervous about this system is that it's FREE. In my travels, companies that do not charge for their service typically go out of business.
If you are not looking to podcast live, but need a free way to record interviews over the phone, you could also use the system for that purpose. Their audio quality is “barely listenable” but better than Blog Talk Radio.
I've put together a quick guide to show you your options so you can make an educated decision.
CLICK HERE to get the guide for free.