Moments later, his wife came outside and announced that the power was out inside, and that answered the question we both couldn't answer. You see, it was July, which means the outdoor temperature is somewhere between 110-120 degrees. To make life possible, every house is equipped with an air conditioner, and from May-October these are running almost 24 hours a day. When you have hundreds of air conditioners running in a very close proximity, there is a constant hum in the air from the motors. The mysterious sound that we couldn't figure out was silence.
Noise doesn't just come from motors, and regardless of the source, if it is consistent we learn to ignore it, especially when there is nothing we need to hear. Think about the programming on many TV stations, the commercials, your marketing messages, even your blog. Does your message sound like something everyone has heard many times before? Are you saying something new, or communicating simply for the sake of putting your noise out there?
When we hear the same commercial repeatedly, we learn to ignore it. Billboards along our commute just become part of the backdrop. The bank talking about free checking? It's just noise to us. When I see someone blog, tweet, or otherwise talk about the top 10 SEO tips/tricks/mistakes, I shut down. It's been said, it's been repeated, and now it's just noise.
Think about your message, is it really a unique thought, or a break-through message? Are you finding a new way to tell a story? Or are you blogging, advertising, writing, or broadcasting simply because it's time to do so? Remember what happens when we can count on the noise. It just gets lost as part of the background.