On Wednesday morning, WNYC’s tech podcast New Tech City announced it has a new name – Note to Self. It came about, host Manoush Zomorodi wrote, from listener suggestions.
As I went through all the suggestions, a theme emerged: we’re on a search for balance in the digital age. In no uncertain terms, you told me you listen to our show because you’re interested in “purposeful use of technology.”
You may have already been introduced to this concept with Melody Kramer’s debut column for Poynter on the WNYC’s clever campaign to reintroduce boredom into our lives – Bored and Brilliant.
The newsletter portion of the project is what really caught my eye — because it is really, really smart. As NPR’s Social Sandbox recently put it, “They’re getting new subscribers for their newsletter and engaging those subscribers with an email welcome that’s specific to their point of entry to the newsletter. All while giving their audience something to do together as a community, something that will [then] feed back into the podcast.”
The feedback loop — from newsletter to podcast and then back again to the newsletter — makes the audience a key part of the campaign. Over the next week, audience members will drive New Tech City’s conversations, both on-air and online. This ends up making them feel more invested in the success of both the project and the show. It’s pretty brilliant.
In an intro episode, Zomorodi explained that the newsletter and podcast will continue under the new name.
“Note to Self. It’s not only this podcast’s new name, it’s something I have realized that I actually do every day, like a recent one I had was ‘Note to Self: Listeners actually have the best stories to tell.'”