Economic news was, of course miserable this week. No new word there.
Perhaps in a few months the week in review won't include miserable news in the world of publishing – but in this case there was as usual miserable news in the world of publishing in the form of job cuts in everywhere from news to entertainment, and prediction half of all UK media jobs will disappear in the years to come. I'm expecting cuts will slow as the year's end approaches.
However as the miserable news will probably be with us for awhile, this week also brought signs of possible ways media can change and adapt. Marvel continued it's online comic efforts with subscription services. News organizations worked on exchanging stories and papers explored content sharing. A new ebook line of romance showed one possible direction. There was event he suggestion papers go nonprofit – a fact that may help as there's a prediction some cities will lose any paper whatsoever by 2010.
I'll come out and say right now I think publishing is facing a double challenge – a changing market due to technology and a bad economy. What's going to happen in the next few years is anyone's guess, but I think the use of sharing and high-tech delivery is going to be where people move. I also think that towns and cities in danger of losing papers may look to move online – and local news could become the focus of the town/city website – combine that with webcasts and public access, and you have a powerful tool. Consider where your publishing career may go with this in mind.
Moving from an industry in trouble to one doing relatively well, gaming was the site of hot news. Sega launched a casual gaming portal, and Real Networks moved into gaming further. Since casual gaming is extremely hot, they'll have a lot of company – the question is how competitive it will be, because even with the potential base, there are limits. Still a good area to send resumes too.
EA acquired Korean developer J2M Soft – and it appears that the company making their Dungeon Keeper game, is also doing a Disney MMO. I'm sure this may bring back some of the Disney/EA speculation, but I'm more interested in A) the continued expansion of companies into other markets, and B) just how SquareEnix feels about the Disney MMO.
Unfortunately not all was well in gaming – Midway remains in trouble. I expect we'll see the resolution of their fate in January if not earlier.
Social media of course was in the news – as always – Google is taking on Facebook, Twitter is trying to figure out a revenue model, Facebook handed off its classifieds to Oodle, and My Space's CEO is optimistic about the future – cautiously. Everyone knows Social Media is big, every seems to think its worth it, I think people are still unsure of what the future holds with so much economic change.