We’re familiar with the phrase and film clip from George Lucas’ THX sound system; The audience is listening. A bold declaration that the audio system in your theatre is revolutionary.

That concept worked in the 80s to describe not only theatre design, but also broadcasting. It was one way. The audience was listening. The broadcaster was broadcasting.

But not anymore.

In the new world, the audience is broadcasting.

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, texting, SMS, YouTube, Blogs – these are more than broadcast networks, they’re social networks. They’re more than broadcast media, they’re social media.

And when I say they’re MORE than broadcast, it means that broadcasters are no longer first in the pecking order of media.

Social media is about having a conversation. Broadcast media is a one way street.

Broadcasting means I’m telling you what I think. Sure I’m a dj on the radio and there’s a request line here, but we don’t really play requests because we have a music director who picks the music. So we’ll “play what we want”. We’re broadcasters.

But that’s not how people work anymore.

The audience is no longer content to sit there and take it. Sure, they will listen, but they also want to speak. They want to engage. They want to share. They want to socialize. They want to have their half of the conversation heard.

So…. the audience was listening. And now they’re broadcasting. And socializing.

The question is, are the broadcasters listening?

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