“Whispering in their ears” is a phrase I use at least once in every podcasting and new media talk I give. You only have to look around as you move through your day to realize how descriptive it is of today’s media world. As you walk down the street, through the mall, ride the bus or subway, you see countless people with headphones in their ears. These can be the ubiquitous white, iPod earbuds, cheap replacements from the local drugstore or even high-end headphones better suited to listening at home than on the run.
With all of these people, though, a podcaster must remember one important thing — when you send your show out into the world, in many cases you are, literally, whispering in someone’s ear. You have access to them in ways they usually only allow to the most intimate people in their lives. You are sitting next to them on the bus, cuddled up on the couch, sharing a coffee at the local hangout or walking, with them, down a busy city street or country lane.
How can or should this effect how you create your shows? If you visualize how someone might eventually consume your show, what changes would you make, what features would you add, what would you do differently?
Remember, you have intimate access to listener’s mind and body. Those who respect that intimacy will be welcomed back, again and again. Those who violate it, will be quickly banished from the listener’s MP3 player.