News of the Day 8/20/2009

45% of employers screen social media profiles – Either up your privacy settings or take down those embarassing pictures of you at the Tailgate party.

Household debt-to-worth ratio is higher – And it varies by income in many cases. Rough summary – lots of people have debt getting higher as a proportion because of declining wages and job losses, and it was unpleasant to start, and it affects the middle class. Watch your debt . . .

Housing starts are down – that's good – This may sound strange, but with inventory overloaded in the housing market (and probably increasing) we DON'T need more housing starts (as noted yesterday we could even face another stupid bubble). I used to hear that several months of increasing housing starts are a good sign of a housing market recovery – not buying that now.

(By the way, two links from the same blog? Yep. Expect a review of it soon . . )

Open-source textbook publisher Flat World is adding a lot of customers. Curious to see how they do – they obviously have ways to save AND make money (physical publishing). I'm sure they also do better in these tough economic times.

Social Media:
MySpace already plans to use iLike to expand its offerings to other media. Which surprises no one I imagine. iLike seems to be easy to expand – and also still works with/on Facebook, making everything even more complicated if it changes or evolves. We might see an odd alliance here.

Mashable has it's Weekly job postings in social media.

Facebook's opening up its virtual currency to purchasing real gifts (3rd party of course). A shot across the bow of PayPal?

An alliance for Sports news, letting sources 'cover' each other's gaps. A specialized reporting/sharing method like this hints to the same ideas as hyperlocal – leveraging content specialities. For that matter, you sports-and-tech fans might want to see if those interests of yours are even closer now . . .

More dealing in Silicon Valley? Apparently Apple and Palm may have considered a a no-employee poaching deal. This is the kind of thing that may not seem important, but these are illegal, and in the Everything wars any one thing can shift a company's fortune.

Time Warner will put clips on YouTube – A nice deal for YouTube and thus Google. Nothing too unexpected or major, though I'd wonder if something this big will kick off another round fo dealmaking on video among companies.

Video Games:
Game stats/tourney company Major League Gaming buys Agora Games, making their reach even larger. Game stats are HUGE, increasing as social aspects of gaming increase. Remember what I've said about middleware being a good place to be? This is an example of it.

There will be a World of Warcraft Magazine. So what it takes to save magazines is a videogame . . . though in all seriousness, Disney's D23 seems to be doing well and it has a high-end magazine.

– Steve