Part of my daily routine in order to stay somewhat informed on major industry and geek news is to take about an hour at the beginning of the day to comb through a few key media sites for tidbits to spark conversation and deep thoughts that help stimulate the rusty idea engine atop my shoulders. Here are my initial ‘go to’ news sources outside of the social media ‘fake news’ generators:
http://news.google.com – pretty standard, but by this time, the google news algorithm has learned what I look for and will normally have some super filtered leads on alternative news site at the ready, and even some great general industry reads in the business section. This is the fastest way I hear about the breaking news to all the major retail partners and their business alignment. Guys like Barnes & Nobles, TRU, Mattel, and even Bandai.
http://www.linkedin.com – LinkedIn can be one of the fastest, most powerful news sources in any particular industry as it networks the combined brain trust of the contact list you build. This is why I’m highly against simply connecting with just anyone out there whose looking to just build a hyper inflated number of contacts. Its not the size, its how you use it… and should you think otherwise, you’re fooling yourself. Quality over quantity. And the news feed is the proof: when you’ve got socially active CEO’s of major industry companies making statements, or articles liked by industry peers, its all that more relevant to your understanding of your profession. Its so interesting too that we not only get relevant news feeds, but you also get the see the credibility of the poster and any other related parties (be it individual or company) through THEIR linkedIn profiles. Sign up if you haven’t already, and start connecting.
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com – this source is a bit more specific to my particular industry, so I can’t imagine too many other professionals needing this unless you want a very thorough source for news, history, and culture of the anime ‘otaku’ culture in the US and abroad. Based in Canada, this source has been a primary ‘go-to’ for almost two decades, and it hasn’t stopped. A large portion of the community are old schoolers who have weathered the anime trend in the US from as early as the 1980’s, so the depth of discussion can be intense. Recently, the site has announced that its needing help coming up with funding to continue providing anime news for free. Hopefully, they can find a funding mechanic that works for them and traditional banner advertising and global begging are a dying trend.
http://www.kotaku.com – another nichey type site that showcases news on general geek culture topics with a noticeable affinity towards video games. Admittedly, I’m less excited about the articles here as it sounds like most of its written by middle schoolers, but there are the occasional gems that pop up that are timely, to the point, and insightful.
http://www.icv2.com – domestic geek culture in general with a focus on US comics, movies, card games, and board games. They also post on major industry retailers including close coverage of the Barnes and Noble and TRU fall out. So this site can be a great source for industry purchasing trends.
http://www.bloomberg.com/businessweek – from niche industry sources to industry business news, bloomberg is a great place to keep up with the pulse of major toy players including retailers and manufacturers, and the business insight that follows. Certainly worth a look as I’ve seen where articles address the concerns with stakeholders rather than representatives of a business which lends to a very direct, and even brutal, perspective on things. I’ve noticed its been getting a bit more political, so as long as you don’t mind wading though all that without getting too mad, you might find some goodies.
http://www.businessinsider.com/ – Hot news article dump about higher level industry news and some tech insight for possible gaming or lifestyle application for the future.
https://www.youtube.com/feed/trending?gl=US – its a both sad, but good thing to have a trending youTube source. This allows people to see what’s hot in the video verse. In some cases, you discover some break out influencers if the right mix of hype, release and product hit the scene at the right time. It also highlights some of the trouble things people are looking at. I normally look to this feed to see what kids are into as this is a mainstay for any babysitter nowadays. I’m sure the majority of viewers are not kids, but the idea that kids can be exposed to recorded disasters that are ‘rewarded’ for trending its troubling for me. I digress. The video source is in my opinion a necessary evil that can reveal a good deal about the interest on pretty much anything you can think of in the video world.
https://trends.google.com/trends/ – Last, but not least, google trends page can delivery some very interesting info on trends by various demographic filters including estimated age and geo-location. I don’t really catch as much news here as I do more of a macro view of the health of subjects. makes for great watercooler talk at the office for anyone else whose actually passionate about the industry.
This are my sources. Do you have any to recommend? Let me know if you have a moment.
RT Griffin aka The Keep