Croncast, Couplecasts, and Creative Podcast Promotion

Kris and Betsy of Croncast are great examples of the simple, personal, wonderful side of podcasting. A husband and wife with a kid, a house on a cul-de-sac, and a microphone. While many podcasters aspire to the slick production standards of commercial radio, and while certainly a good many “personal podcasts” are unlistenable, uninspired indulgences, sometimes the voice of everyday people is truly compelling. Sometimes there’s deep insights or razor sharp wit, and sometimes there’s not, but honesty and spontaneity count for a lot, and a real conversation trumps a perfectly scripted one every time.

My HawaiiUP podcast is meticulously planned… so it’s no surprise that most of the time, the segment that listeners respond to the most are the ones where Jen joins me to riff on whatever’s on her mind at the time. Even limited to movies, music, and pop culture, and even though we’re just another couple lost in the suburbs, people definitely feel a connection there. It’s something that’s intrigued me since I first started journaling online over ten years ago.

Of course, whether it’s text, audio, or video, putting yourself out there implies that you want an audience. While some would be content to just broadcast into a vacuum, others are willing to work for it. And Kris and Betsy are definitely putting their money where their mouths are.

On the brink of their 300th episode, they’ve decided to try and get 300 new listeners. To get them, they’re giving away four iPods: two to new listeners, and two to the current fans that referred them.

And they’ve developed an interesting system to run the contest. A referral system isn’t particularly innovative. But at Croncast, new listeners are tracked by using a unique, custom subscription feed to get the show. In other words, it’s not enough to just show up and enter a referral code to enter the contest — you need to subscribe and download a show using a specific address before you’re counted as a new listener. In fact, if each new listener gets a custom feed, they’ll presumably be able to get an extraordinary level of detail in their listener metrics.

It’s an impressive effort for a show that is otherwise as basic as they come. Croncast feels like it’s just for fun, but it sounds like they care about what they’re doing.

So… wanna enter to win an iPod?

Not sure if Croncast is worth the trouble? Here’s another review of their show, and they posted an 80-minute “best of” compilation in February.

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