News of the Day 8/11/2009

Gaming when unemployed good or bad? Gaming is a recreation I enjoy, but I think he may have a point that an addictive factor in gaming is a sense of SUCCESS. That's one reason I always advise tracking things during a job search – you can see success (or a lack) and adapt and learn.

We're on the brink of a boom! Or not. Edward Harrison takes a sobering view. This is a mix of plain talk and econospeak, but a good read to get an insight on the economy. I am especially pleased to see someone note that growth can happen for sound reasons AND stupid reasons – which needs to be emphasized a heck of a lot more.

Ranking cities by culture? Not as clear or reliable as it may seem. I'd add 'duh,' but let's face it I get hypnotized by statistics too. This is why I always emphasize research in relocating.

Social Media:
The heck? Nokia buys social networking company Plum – Apparently to compliment some of its services. I suppose when you think about it mobile phones have a big social media component, so there's some sense in this. I can't fully get a grasp of the impact in my head. Thought for today: small social media companies have a lot of useful technologies to many industries, so those that may want to buy them could be more varied than you may think. Plum sounds pretty good, so they (and Nokia) may be resume worthy.

You knew Twitter changed its TOS right? Sounds to be they're clarifying ownership (you own your tweets) and opening the door to advertising. The latter is no surprise of course – Twitter needs money. The new TOS seems to be aware of user concerns, so is a good sign for user sensitivity. Now when do those inevitable ads come . . .

AT&T doing its own Huluesque video service?. Hmmm. This is a bit of a stealthy creation, though mostly it seems to aggregate video. Now how many other stealthy operations are there trying to get into the video space (and of course, how can you get into working for them?).

Video Games:
Ouch. Zynga accuses Playdom of stealing trade secrets. This has the stench of nasty all over it – it's not just another gaming soap opera, there are accusations of some underhanded stuff here. This could be a blow to Playdom depending how it goes – social media is about trust, and doing underhanded stuff IN social media can be bad for your reputation (notice the way some social media companies get bad reps due to their services). Social media companies are also in the spotlight lately (so if you're in PR . . . remember this).

Double ouch. Console video game sales fall for sixth straight month. Watch the holidays to see what happens – gaming may be coming back to earth (but I wouldn't say it's a definite). I'm still bullish on gaming of course, or at least not bearish – partially as I've seen industries do worse, partially for staying power, partially because I think it's been through most of the worst. The new PS3 seems to be doing well in Japan at least.

EA's weird publicity stunts helping Dante's Inferno, hurting, what? You've heard Bonnie and I argue about this – and we will still. What I find amusing is that the publicity STILL happens because of controversy – the question is will it help or hurt the game. I still remain interested in the game itself actually, so I may not be the best judge – but I remember some dismal past stunts that are still reviled today, so I suspect EA may not be making the best 'image investment' for the long term.

-Steven Savage