paper trail

Does Twitter really drive traffic?

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Since the Charlie Hebdo attack, Voltaire’s Treatise on Tolerance (1763) is selling out in Paris. Almost half as many copies have been sold over the last three weeks as have sold over the last twelve years.

“People read without sharing, but just as often, perhaps, they share without reading.” At the Atlantic, Derek Thompson uses Twitter analytics to investigate how likely it is that tweets bring traffic to websites, and discovers that click-through rates—not to mention rates of people who actually read stories—are very, very low. Overall, in fact, it seems that Twitter is sending less than 2 percent of its users to other websites. The vast majority stay inside the app.

The Polk Awards in Journalism have been announced. Among the winners is Ta-Nehisi Coates, who received the award for commentary for his Atlantic story “The Case for Reparations.” Coates dedicated his award to the David Carr, the Times journalist who died last week.

Princeton has inherited twenty-five hundred rare books, about three hundred million dollars worth, from an alum. The bequest includes a 1455 Gutenberg bible and and original printing of the Declaration of Independence.

The New York Times Magazine will reveal its redesign next week. Among the changes is the news that Chuck Klosterman is stepping down from his role as The Ethicist. The column will continue "in a different format," Jake Silverstein, the editor in chief, said. Silverstein has already made numerous changes since he took over, including dropping the One Page Magazine section.

At the New Yorker, Zadie Smith profiles the comedy duo Key and Peele, whose sketches often take race as a subject, and reflects on race as a category. “To fondly identify a community,” Smith points out, “you have to think of its members collectively; you need to think the same way to hate them. The only thing a rabbi and an anti-Semite may share is their belief in the collective identity ‘Jewishness.’” She quotes Peele: “You never want to be the whitest-sounding black guy in a room.”