Episode 46. Heather Li of It’s Nice To Hear You

“Can the power of voice lead to a deeper connection?”

It’s Nice to Hear You is parts experiment, memoir, dating show, self-help, science, and analysis, all thoughtfully combined into an entertaining and insightful podcast.

Underpinning It’s Nice to Hear You is an audio-only matchmaking experiment, designed by Heather Li, creator and presenter of the podcast. Imagine pen-pals, but instead of letters, people exchange voice memos. Now imagine that you have a pile of audio material with which to tell several stories about how human connections work – or don’t.

“The way I designed the show is at the intersection of a lot of different genres,” says Heather Li.

In this episode of MetaPod, we talk to Heather Li about how she designed an anonymous voice-only matchmaking experiment and carried it out as “Yves D. Ropper” in the confines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We learn about the challenges and surprises she came across in the experiment, including issues around gender balance, engaging with voice only and imagination in the absence of visual information. Heather also discusses what she learned about the “science of compatibility” and how artificial intelligence is developing to be applied to online dating platforms.

Show notes

About Heather Li

Heather Li is an enthusiastic hobbyist, consumer of culture, and seeker of connection. Professionally, she advises companies from startups to Fortune 500 companies in brand strategy, specializing in experiential retail. She is also a podcast producer, writing and creating the award-winning series, It’s Nice to Hear You, about human connection based on an anonymous dating experiment. The genre-bending series has been featured in New York Times, The Guardian, among other press. Heather has an MBA from Columbia Business School and is currently based in Los Angeles. When she is not working, Heather enjoys browsing vintage furniture, practising aerial silks, and learning about Dutch golden age paintings.