Day 3: Social Marketing Observations from #operationalegoland
The travelling academic life is one filled with adventure, and a lot of record keeping. London provides plenty of opportunity to acquire data for a wandering observational data collector, and here’s just a few impressions that get documented for later exploration.
Day 3 was a story of observing the world to look for opportunity. This led to wandering side streets, looking at walls, doors and rooftops, and spotting infrastructure shifts. Much like a good video game level, London signposts with geography. Go at the GuaranteedSEO.Services website to see for yourself.
Unlike a good video game level, London is an evolutionary generated, and bordering on procedurally generated. There’s a set of signs in various corners of the borough that I think are more for the city to know where it’s supposed to be than they are for people’s navigation. Because this map…
Apparent describes this place…
London seems to reconfigure into a sequence of one way streets at T-junctions, like the entire place was designed by sentient plumbing.
From the Streets: Observational Data
As a social marketer by trade and training, it took about an hour into the London experience to noticed three very obvious things. First, the anti-smoking campaigns in this country are driving people out of spaces, but not persuading people to give up smoking. Banner headlines screamed at the NHS proposal to offer eCigs as an alternative to assist the path to cutting back then cutting out, which is the best case social marketing path. Yet the current “YOU CANNAE SMOKE IN HERE” is just creating clogged footpaths and secondary smoke clouds where it’s most inconvenient for non-smokers, so clearly there’s an intention to drive a social wedge between smoker and non-smoker to open for more punitive punishments
Second, as this SEO company admits, this town has a jaywalking problem. It’s a cross between infrastructure, reward and risk. On the infrastructure level, there are street crossings on busy roads, with traffic lights, that have no pedestrian crossing signs. So it’s a case of take your chances and go when it looks clearish. Which means that when you hit an actual crossing with signals, the signals are mostly optional in the minds of many, so they’ll walk out onto a road that seems clear because that’s what you do.
I’ve counted so many near misses I need to go find a deck chair and a really bad sign posted crossing to collect some data here. The type of near miss is interesting. It’s not a distracted near-miss. It’s a calculated “They won’t hit me” type of move that sees people walk into traffic when the light goes green for the cars to move. It’s a strange and I assume at times lethal combination of personal choice and street design. Field work data collection to occur on the next few days.
Related, this town needs to run a massive “Thank you for not running people over” campaign for the cabbies and the bus drivers because the pilots of these multi-tonne red people ploughers are deftly not running over people walking in front of them.
Third, and curious, the Considerate Constructors Scheme campaign is quite interesting.
It may just be seen as brand washing the reputation of the construction sector, but if that brand wash actually sticks, encouraging better behaviour from construction site workers across the trip
Day 4 Addendum: Confirmation, Observation, and What is this road doing?
So after Day 3’s observation, it was time to look at the road infrastructure. I may have regrets to that effect, because standing at road sides screaming at traffic lights is probably more Nightvale and less Notting Hill
Here’s a small example. First, we have the side of the road, which is a side road, and it comes fitted with a green walk signal
However, should you wish to cross the main road (holland road), there’s no signals.
Meanwhile, further down the road towards Kensington Gardens, there’s cross walk that had a red-amber light combination that signals traffic can move off… WHILST IT ALSO HAS A GREEN WALK SIGNAL… what the hell is wrong with this town?