Make Sure You Use The News

We post a lot of news here.  That's part of the service we provide to our fellow geeks, after all – calling out and analyzing news for people.

So I want to encourage you to do something WITH the news.  The news here.  The news elsewhere.  Whatever method you get news, you need to act on it and need to get in the habit of acting on it.

What do I mean?  Well it's easy to get news.  We geeks have news feeds, RSS, aggregators, social media, Twitter, and everything else.  We're constantly getting news – good news, relevant news, news that's important.

But getting news is one thing.  It's acting on it that makes a real difference.

So get into the habit of acting on news:

  • If you see a story you should read, don't just read it – ask what it means for you, and perhaps act on it.
  • If you hear about a company that sounds good then check their job listings, and send them a resume, or pass the lead onto friends and family.
  • For that matter if a story is relevant, just pass it on.
  • If the story links elsewhere, follow.  If you want to learn more go do a web search for a few minutes.
  • Does it mention a good book?  Download a sample or buy the thing.

Simple?  Sure. It's all stuff we think we should be doing – but we have to get into the habit of using that news.

So get active – news is only news you can use when you use it.

– Steven Savage

News of the Day 7/25/2009

What to do if you have no references or work experience – A good set of suggestions, excellent for fans who excell at DOING things.

Job losses are higher than expected – Very interesting, from the WSJ. This definitely points to potential persistent unemployment post-recovery.

China's government leveraging its soverign wealth fund to encourage Chinese businesses to expand and acquire overseas – Or more simply, they get cash and support branching out – and you can that may include your country. Didn't see this coming, but I expect that this means the Chinese government thinks its safe to do this and wants to cut any losses or potential losses from other areas affected by the global downturn. Upshot is this could be an economic game changer and put more power in China's hands.

Why companies must get back to venture capital and R&D – Essentially large companies now rely on parterships with startups and smaller companies to innovate. And they're not. A good read to make you think – and wonder where that Chinese money may flow . . .

Microsoft taps big names in anime for Halo video collection – Sort of what was done with the Animatrix. Good multimedia synergy there (and I imagine that the studios want the money). There's some good story potential with Halo anyway, so I sense a potential success, and further encouraging multimedia synergy. Thought for your career – what companies could benefit from more synergy, and what can you do to encourage it (and get a job or contract . . .).

Amazon will be target of a class-action suit over the book deletion – The argument seems to involve property rights and set expectations. The firm in question specializes in such suits. As usual, watch this space – this can also persist the incident in people's minds and give competitors an advantage, as well as settle (or open) some legal issues. The ethical issues already seem pretty apparent.

Geeky things you don't know about romance writers.

Video Games:
Game Developer's free 2009 game career guide available – So, go for it. Warning – lots of ads.

Analysis of video game market – Looking flat overall this year, with some nasty bumps – and some of the big boys may take hits. I disagree casual gamers may pull back significantly as their overall investment is likely less as it is – and much casual gaming is lower priced.

– Steven Savage

News of the Day 7/22/2009

How cloud computing will change jobs.

Over 50% of top newspaper publishers join the Fair Syndication COnsortium – I'm still figuring the FSC out. On one hand it seems to involve new revenue streams, sharing, and ads. On the other it seems like it's going to be big on tracking done use of content on sites and asking for cuts. Pay attention, this could turn into a morass of legal actions and bad feelings with no benefits to anyone. On the other hand if FCS works out some good content syndication methods, this could pay off or at least be a worthy experiment – and go beyond news.

Amazon will start doing print on demand of a huge amount of out of copyright books -Interestingly, these are also books digitized by Google. A lot of these are available of course as part of Google's book iniatives, so this seems to be a clear shot at Google in this case, continuing the Text Wars. However the use of further print on demand is intriguing since that technology is a potential Kindle/Reader/Slate/whatever electronic book competitor. Amazon seems to want to have it all ways.

Social Media:
Make-your-own-social-network company Ning raises $15 million in venture capital. Ning's been on my 'watch' list for awhile, and this moves it up – people are willing to sink money into them. However I haven't gotten a good grasp of Ning's strategy and want to watch how it goes before I put it into the 'send a resume' category. I will say Ning as a tool is getting a lot more use as of late and may be worth using either way.

MySpace will be providing email. A strategy I didn't forsee, it could get a lot of users (and help with some rebranding). Check out the news on Yahoo (below), and I think re-inventing email for social media may be a strategy more than one company is trying. It can't hurt, and this could stabilize MySpace a bit (which may help the social media industry overall).

Google Wave will have a sort of Beta, with invites in September – So go see if you can take a look.

More on Yahoo: they've bought a social email company, Xoopit, but is working to sell HotJobs and Small Business. Sounds like they're consolidating for social media space.

Estimate on the cost of the Apple Tablet? Above $500 according to TechCrunch. Doesn't sound like much of a competitor in the Netbook space to me, which could mean Apple will rethinking this in a year or so. I see Netbooks as a major growing area, and think anyone in a geeky career should pay attention because they're a) cheap and useful, b) changing how people are using – and buying computers, c) further enhance the use of mobile computing.

Amazon aquires online footwear provider Zappos– I suppose it integrates into their business structure of doing more product. Still, very curious.

Video Games:
Sam Rami to direct Warcraft movie – This is a big thing for several reasons. Rami brings a reliable name and talent to the franchise, a good movie would boost Warcraft's profile even more, and it would also boost the visibility of MMO properties. Also frankly, as game-movie adaptions often aren't good no matter which way the adaption goes, a good one could also raise the attention of game properties.

– Steven Savage