The Atlantic on Dark Social

Alexis C. Madrigal in The Atlantic dismantles the commonly believed history of the Web by showing that the majority of web site traffic doesn’t come from social media like Facebook and Twitter.

There are a couple of really interesting ramifications of this data. First, on the operational side, if you think optimizing your Facebook page and Tweets is “optimizing for social,” you’re only halfway (or maybe 30 percent) correct. The only real way to optimize for social spread is in the nature of the content itself. There’s no way to game email or people’s instant messages. There’s no power users you can contact. There’s no algorithms to understand. This is pure social, uncut.

Rochester’s red-light cameras result in 27,000 tickets in first year

The various red light cameras the city has installed resulted in 27,000 tickets in their first year. But it’s not clear from the article whether or not accidents have decreased (the supposed reason for the cameras in the first place) or if the city is going to do better than break even. Complicating the economic aspect is the sad fact that only around 50% of the violators pay their fine. If they can’t exceed a certain amount collected, all of it goes to the company that owns the cameras.

LA may remove their red light cameras

Evan as Rochester installs more red light cameras, Los Angeles is considering removing theirs due to a lack of convincing data that they increase safety or make enough revenue to pay for themselves as supporters claim.

I’m all for safety, especially at intersections, but I’ve never seen how red light cameras help in that regard. Most of the problems I see are related to the inability of the traffic signals to adapt to traffic conditions. Traffic backs up in one direction, especially where there’s no turning arrow, and frustrated drivers fill the intersections making it impossible to exit under the green. We have the technology to do better, why don’t we?