For whom, even, outside of transportation geeks who already know of Penalosa, for whom is the talk intended? At this point, it looks like a state secret for insiders only!
The Facebook is an imperfect proxy for publicity and interest, of course, but it seems to be the way a lot of stuff is shared and discussed in Salem. So let's visit some public Facebook pages!
Cherriots own publicity, alas, talks past those who aren't already in the know:
|Cherrots Facebook: "Active Transportation Expert"|
The post has been shared twice, it looks like, but comments on the post are all about the lack of weekend bus service. No one from Cherriots has tried to redirect conversation or elicit interest in the talk. Cherriots doesn't seem to be very engaged with the Facebook. (How much does Cherriots really care if anyone attends?)
As for electeds, the City Councilor who might most be expected to be excited - because she is married to Cherriots' Director of Transportation Development, Steve Dickey - hasn't posted it to her own Facebook.
|Nothing on Councilor Dickey's Page|
|Nothing on the City's Neighborhood Services Page|
|Sunday Streets inactive since September|
Based on the sample of Facebookery, there's no buzz here. (This also raises questions about how social media is used in official and semi-official capacities: It's not being used very actively, and maybe more crucially it's used for announcements, but maybe not much for "conversation," for the sharing and back-n-forth that is "social.")
So really, who except an inner coterie of people who already know who Gil Penalosa is, who outside of this circle is likely to be interested in and even know about this talk?
How do we pop the bubble and get stuff like this out of the echo chamber?
On the face of it, this looks like a missed opportunity to talk about the value of walking and biking, about creating more livable neighborhoods, about investing in public space and public events.
Update from a Cherriots Board member!
Great turnout to hear @Penalosa_G hosted by @Cherriots and @willamette_u. Here's to a better #SalemOR and #KeizerOR! pic.twitter.com/hS8ex9rEomUpdate, 2: Eugene - with Electeds!
— Brad Coy (@bradlycoy) February 20, 2014
@Eugene keynote Connecting Communities. Great audience 2 Mayors, councilors, staff, citizens, etc Planting seeds! pic.twitter.com/tkUylkRgfl
— 8-80 Cities (@Penalosa_G) February 20, 2014
Update 3, March 4th
Here's the full presentation!