October surprise?

October surprise? Wait. There’s got to be a catch, here. “Big media” is not supposed to find good economic news in the days running up the election. But the Time Inc.-owned Business 2.0 is pumping out a press release touting the fact that it has found at least 100,000 “high-wage” jobs (higher than the $36,000 nation median) in the pipeline at just (clarification “more than” — which means, what? <200?, <150?) 100 companies. And that’s in addition to tens of thousands of jobs the same companies filled this year, according to the magazine. And that’s just (clarification “more than”) 100 big companies.

However, most “new jobs” (even high-wage ones) in the American economy are created by companies much smaller than those surveyed by Business 2.0. As Virginia Postrel has explained about the challenge of measuring job-creation:

“The Bureau (of Labor Statistics) is good at counting people who work for large organizations in well-defined, long-established occupations. It is much less adept at counting employees in small businesses, simply because there are too many small enterprises to representatively sample them. The bureau’s occupational survey, which might suggest which jobs are growing, doesn’t count self-employed people or partners in unincorporated businesses at all. And many of today’s growing industries, the ones adding jobs even amid the recession, are comprised largely of small companies and self-employed individuals. That is particularly true for aesthetic crafts, from graphic designers and cosmetic dentists to gardeners. These specialists’ skills are in ever greater demand, yet they tend to work for themselves or in partnerships.”

I know who Nashville blogger Bill Hobbs will blame for all this.

No-brainer suggestion

No-brainer suggestion: The first call I’d make if I ran the Miss America Pageant would be to Mark Burnett. This seems so obvious, I guess the organizers of the event would rather it go away than to do what it needs to do to survive: become entertaining. I’d make Miss America a multi-part series lasting the entire summer and end it on Labor Day weekend. You’ve got 50+ state rounds and countless local ones. Surely there’s some drama in how someone becomes “Miss Congeniality.” What a waste of a category-defining brand.

The hacking of a vapormook

The hacking of a vapormook: Everytime I don’t link to a story about Make, someone e-mails me there’s a new vaporzine. Now, from Wired.com, I learn it’s not merely a new vaporzine, it’s a trend spotting opportunity. I’m totally sold, and have been since I first blogged it in July.

DIY (oh, “do it yourself”) is right up my alley — or at least wanting to DIY — and my book shelves groan from stuff I’ve purchased from Make publisher, O’Reilly. I’m so pumped to build that $14 steady cam. Really. I’ll probably spend $1,000 on a new camera for it, but the gratification of making that $14 steady cam will be priceless. I’m currently setting up a home podcasting studio and am so into doing as much as possible with old Pringle cans

(I feel the need to alert anyone who may stumble onto this with no context that I’m not really setting up a podcasting studio, nor do I eat Pringles or use their cans.)

Seriously, though. If I were someone who gives out awards for most notable magazine launches of the year, I would go ahead and pre-award the 2005 “best of show” to Make. And unlike some notable launches, Make magazine will be a huge success: take it to the bank.

Quote from the Make website:

Make brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life.
Make is loaded with exciting projects that help you make the most of
your technology at home and away from home. This is a magazine that
celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your
own will.

And another thing: I really like that they’re defining a new publication category based on a term the Japanese use to describe a recurring publication package with some of the conventions of a trade paperback book, a magazine-book hybrid called a “mook.” I’m thinking of starting a whole new subsidiary at my company that will custom publish these publications just so I can call it Hammook Publishing.