First event online: live Q&A chat with City Manager Scott Neal. Topic: Southdale Center’s economic development

Edina City Manager Scott NealFrom 3-4 pm today, I’ll be hosting a live chat with City Manager Scott Neal about all things related to the economic development of Southdale Center.

Southdale Center in EdinaWe made the decision to host the event on Monday afternoon.  Scott’s had recent discussions with officials from the Simon Property Group, owners of the mall, and he expects a detailed economic development proposal from them in a week or two.

By the time we host the chat today, Scott hopes to have had a discussion with officials from Metro Transit, as the development could include a redesign of their transit center at Southdale Center.  See Scott’s June 1 blog post for more details on that.

Once Scott gets the detailed proposal from Simon Group, we’ll likely host a live webinar on it.  A webinar can be the online equivalent of a face-to-face presentation in which one or more panelists/presenters can visually show the proposal, the sketches, etc. as well as take questions from the audience, both text and audio.

Why do a live text chat now?

  • It’s an initial step to building more public awareness about the development. Scott knows some stuff and much of it he can talk about.
  • A live event has some advantages and generates interest in a different way than a blog post, a memo, or a webinar: 1) some people gravitate more to scheduled events; 2) text-based Q&A/conversation is less threatening for many people; 3) an archived transcript of a  text-based live chat can be read quickly by those not able to attend.
  • We need to experiment!  Yes, we’re newbies at live chat so it seemed like a good way to get our feet wet and learn our way into it.

Got questions about the live chat before it happens? Got feedback about it after it’s over?  Use the comments form at the bottom of this blog post.

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