News of the Day 12/15/2009

A look at the damage caused by unemployment, how to save Detroit, Borders is in trouble, Comcast is on the move, and I get to brag about being somewhat right about Harlequin and video games. Geeky Career Big Sentai Team Go – it's news time!

A look at effects of unemployment – It puts a face to the numbers and is a must-read. It's also important to remember the troubles people face and the impacts of their troubles do not just vanish when they get a job. We're seeing long-term effects, and indeed long-term damage, to people's lives, health, and mental well-being.

Dan Schwabel takes a look at personal branding trends.

Yves Smith quotes a reader saying we need new words to embarass people for engaging in dumb, mindless group activity – such as what we saw with the financial meltdown. They're aiming for a german sounding word, with Narrenfieber (crazy fever) or Narrenfreude (crazy happiness) to start with. Go help out so we can embarass more people in the future properly.

A plan on how to save Detroit. A mixture of human compassion, historical knowledge, and the sheer geeky courage it takes to mix them all into an idea for solving Detroit's issues? The basic summary is that you need leadership, specific actions, definite plans, long-term investment, sense of self-identity, tackling different regions differently – and accepting it may take up to a generation to fix things.

(A great read on many levels! Remember, you reading this are the imaginative types, the fanboys, fangirls, otaku, and more – your imagination may just dream up the solutions for the future.)

Anime and Manga:
Crunchyroll creates new Drama membership – Much like it's anime membership, providing enhanced features. The Crunchymarch to victory continues.

Sephen Covey moves rights to e-books from print publisher Simon & Shuster to Amazon. Royalties appear to be a factor, but Mr. Covey (of the "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" fame) is even looking into self-publishing. This is a sign of larger changes in the industry – self-publishing, e-publishing, the prevailance of, etc. A good read – and keep in mind my past statements that authors now need to consider all options in publishing – even a big name like Mr. Covey apparently is willing to rethink things . . .

Bonnie and I have been all over Skiff, but here's a Critique of the idea from the president and general manager of ESPN. Frankly I don't find his arguments all that convincing, but I felt it was good to provide some contrast to the enthusiasm we here at Fan To Pro have held.

Border's will close the 22nd if a buyer is not found – Bad news for bookselling, though I wonder if this announcement is a gambit to force purchases as well. That's a shakeup in the bookselling market if it happens – and more if it just shuts down.

Social Media:
Myspace may also be looking at Flixter as MySpace continues on its work of self-evolution.
Comcast launches its own internet broadcast system, Xfinity. We knew something like thi sis coming so . . . here it is. Not exactly thrilled that it needs a download to run, I sense all sorts of massive problems there. Also, wondering if bringing this out with the NBC purchase makes them look too aggressive to regulators.

Video Games:

Well I called it. Harlequin is releasing a video game via Big Fish with tie-in to novels. It's a basic hidden object game (looks nice though). If you've followed any of my writings or podcasts recently you know I've speculated on Harlequin's possible opportunities in gaming – so here we go. Also note Big Fish is living up to it's names by singing other deals. So, my geeks and fans, why aren't they getting your resumes?

An analysis of why some MMO's suck. Protip from a Project Manager – bad starts and bad process are the reason a lot of things fail. Go on, take a read.

60% of households have game consoles. The shift to watching more TV may have had something to do with it, along with changes in social patterns (check out the tidbit on buying habits at the end). The market is there, even in these troubled times (just is it enough to keep the current workforce in games going or expanding).

Kongregate releases development platform. They want to get into the MMO market and others as well. Go take a look, Kongregate obviously wants to support developers – including ones not supported by other platforms.

Square Enix ships 1 million copies of FF XIII in Japan. So here we go, let's see how it does . . .

Carol Tice adds more tips on writing careers to consider.

General Nerdity:
Instant noodles combined with Asian Economics? How could I resit mentioning that the o wner of the company that's the biggest instant noodle distributor looks to expand to China.

QUESTION FOR THE DAY: Did Comcast tip its hand by announcing Xfinity? Is it too early and will it impact their acquisition plans?

– Steven Savage