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Oh, Media – Breakfast Television tomorrow

As you might (or perhaps might not) expect of a student of Communication, media gives me swishy feelings. I got a few days head’s up for this, which is better than what I usually get. We hashed out the details this morning – tomorrow morning, I will be up bright and early to talk about the SkyTrain Unconference on CityTV Breakfast Television. Colour me excited and terrified.

The thing I will likely find most terrifying is to explain how social media links to transit links to not shouting at public open houses. I’m finding that the longer I stay in the space, the more challenging it is becoming to explain it, though I have a few metaphors and stories that I haven’t overused just yet, and that I hope I can use to good effect. How do you explain people who go online and write up regional transportation plans? How do you explain why you have a t-shirt with the BC Electric Logo?

That, and I never really went into the SkyTrain Unconference project gearing for this kind of coverage in mind – but life wouldn’t be what it is if it weren’t surprising.

I do think it’s very interesting that I am entirely clueless as to how television interacts with social media, because I haven’t had cable since 2004 or watched anything outside of CBC Newsworld since 2002. That, perhaps, was the self-imposed intellectual isolation that comes with really studying Communication. And so I found myself asking the producer, “Who watches Breakfast Television?” because it’s not me or the people I surround myself with.

Why is CityTV doing this? They’ve recently recognized that they need to start adding information on the status of transit as part of their morning traffic information. I haven’t done the morning SkyTrain commute in years but I imagine that it’s still mostly Broadway and Commercial from 7:50 to 9:15 that is the big kerfuffle, and Burrard Station at that same time. But it’s interesting to think that there are lots of other parts of the system that may need this information that I may not be aware of in the slightest – for instance, buses late or stalled in the suburbs. But I can see how for some people, even hearing, “Transit moving along well,” serves to legitimize it for the people who don’t see the thousands and thousands of people on transit every day.

Though to be fair, I don’t envision a huge shift to traffic as a result of this starting to happen, mostly because of the service levels…but I think it’s indicative more generally of what the challenge of sustainable transportation is, which is to give people ownership on the choice by empowering them with information. Securing the capital for it is but one part, if we’re in fact serious about wanting to be sustainable. (Judging by the cover of yesterday’s Province, I think we’re still a bit uneven.)

One Comment

  1. would love to see the video! is it archived somewhere?

    Posted September 19, 2008 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

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