I was reading an interesting article on how stereotypes can derail your personal 'brand'. It made some good points, and I responded with some of my own strategies. I'd like to go into my own ideas of dealing with stereotypes.

If you're reading this blog, changes are you're a professional geek/nerd of some kind, or hope to be. Pretty much you've got plenty of stereotypes to deal with professionally and unprofessionally – the lifeless nerd, the socially incompetent geek, the perverse otaku, etc. You've dealt with them for a long time.

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News of the Day 4/27/2009

What will come of Human Resources in the IT Age? HR certainly hasn't moved with the times, so this question bears some thoughts – with so much data out there, what COULD an HR department do? A good read and worth keeping in mind in the future, where you'll need to be aware of what's known about you.

How the Obamas deal with paparazzi – via publicity – A quick but fun read. Short version, by releasing so many photos necessary, the Obamas control their image and make paparazzi far less valuable. A good bit of freakonomic thought and media savvy.

Barnes and Noble launches audiobook store online – Sounds like a good straightforward leap into audio. As we've noted here, we're expecting audio to be a fronteir for techno-geekery that isn't going to get the big play of video, but will be important. I imagine if this works out you might find a way to pitch yourself if you've got some audio involvement.

Newspaper decline gets even worse – At this rate I'm expecting a critical 'seismic' change to occur soon as a mixture of failures, consolidations, and new media rewrite the rules within a relatively short time (a year). It may be depressing for some people but the change could mean opportunity as well. Now for further thought where else could a collapse like this happen . . .

Social Media:
Facebooks new Open Stream API is out. What this means is they have a forward-thinking, open-standards-based way for applications to access Facebook data and functions. This keeps Facebook moving forward and defining how things can be done – while leaving standards open – and engaging developers. Interesting thought, their approach is Twitterseque

Facebook has also had voting on policies

The above two news items illustrate an important point on Facebook – they're working to maintain good will while maintaining presence and inviting people into their fold. It's actually a bit Google-esque if you ask me. Taking them on will require either a different approach (unlikely) or engaging them on their own ground (hard but doable). For careers, I'd say this shows Facebook knows what it's doing, and technically these open standards need to be followed.

In the midst of all this Hi5 gets a new CEO. That could be a good sign for their more enterainment-oriented approach.

Why selling its search business to Microsoft is a bad idea for Yahoo – Which, if it does happen, is a good warning for career-minded people who may want a piece of the action.

The Oracle and Sun deal analyzed – A lot of redundancy, so expect job cuts and changes, and product mergers or decomissioning. If you WORK with either of them or for them be aware of this.

A roundup of future areas of legal conflcit on the internet – I don't agree with all of them (#1 and #4 seem unlikely or minor at best), but this is a good read in general. I do expect legal issues and social media to come up, so if you work in that area keep that in mind (of if you want to work in that area and have a law background . . .)

Video Games:
Eidos will maintain a separate brand identity from SquareEnix but their new owner expects them to pull out enough to cover the $120 million investment in three years. In a troubled time, that sounds like a lot of money to me – and it sets a goal for Eidos.

Petroglyph and Trion team up for MMORTS – I thought Trion was also doing some work with Sci-Fi/SyFy so I'm wondering what's up with them since they used to be doig a lot of hiring.

And in final geek news, there's now a portable epresso machine

Steven "Microexpresso" Savage

Week in Review, April 12, 2009

The news took on something of an international flavor this holiday week. In addition to the usual goings-on in the U.S. and Japan, we learned that Bollywood has become so insurgent that Warner Bros. fears copyright infringement from it, Europe is experiencing a surge of creative Web startups, online gaming is huge in China and the Middle East may become the next fertile ground for the Twilight phenomenon. It all goes to show that geekery of all sorts is a truly global phenomenon in this wired age, and we all should be thinking globally when we get our big ideas.

Closer to home, the surge of streaming video – Crunchyroll, in particular, was all  over  the place – might be killing off traditional video outlets. It turns out that Blockbuster is in serious trouble. Given that Blockbuster is pretty much the last of the old-school rental stores, since they drove countless mom and pops out of business, this means the end of an era in video. Probably not coincidentally, Boxee announced new development options, CBS announced big numbers for its streaming of March Madness, speculation arose that YouTube might show full length movies and  Netflix expanded its streaming lineup. 

On the tech front, the Sun Microsystems-IBM deal crashed with a thud big enough to have an effect on the stock market. What's next for Sun is unclear – I don't think anyone in the industry wants the venerable company, which was once synonymous with high-tech itself, to go under. Time Warner announced it may spin off  another old warhorse, AOL, leaving doubts about its future as well. (The key to AOL's survival is going to be shedding its old image as The Internet for Dummies and reinventing itself as a content provider for the new era).

in a sequel to an old soap opera, it was reported that Yahoo and Microsoft may be in talks about a search and advertising partnership, bringing to an end the saga of the failed takeover bid. Microsoft could use the extra leverage against Google, as they're currently battling them for a Twitter advertising deal.

Meanwhile, there was an interesting new development on the netbook scene – speculation arose that Nokia  may be the next company to enter the small-and-cheap arena. This, coupled with the previous news that netbooks running Android may be in our future, brings netbooks and smart phones into closer and closer synergy – there may not be much different between the two in the future (except you usually don't talk into a netbook!)

On the video game front, Sony came out swinging at the DSi, saying Nintendo's new handheld doesn't offer much new and lacks the third party support of the PSP. Given how far behind its own handheld runs in sales in this country, they'd better be prepared to put their money where their mouth is when the next revision of the PSP comes along. EA's Will Wright left the company for an electronic think tank. The Midway saga got uglier as the Mortal Kombat team announced they weren't paid bonuses and news emerged that the company might be out of cash by June .

And, in much lighter news, the industry decided that if two monster franchises could sell a bazillion games alone, putting them together would send sales into the stratosphere. Voila, Lego Rock Band.  

In publishing, even in the face of the E-book wars, it appeared there was still some interest in bound books and brick-and-mortar stores. Author Solutions bought brick-and-mortar retailer Trafford and romance novels were flying off the shelves - a good thing in light of the fact that romances are an excellent training ground for aspiring authors looking to get into all fields.

Finally, if you are thinking of developing the ultimate geeky media property, take note that it's already out there. Anime News Network carried a story this week about a manga based on a Linux variant . Manga plus Linux? I can't see how anything could possibly be geekier than that.