The Most Followed NBA Teams on Twitter by County and More: An Interactive Map I’m in Danger of Spending Days On

business, culture, sports

I don’t follow the NBA as closely as some, but I’m always interested in the narratives surrounding parity, the lottery system, the differences between large and small markets, and so on. I’m a basketball fan, but not an obsessive one.

With that said, I could spend a very long time on the tool Twitter has created below. There’s a lot of information here, but I thought I’d just share this:

The Lakers have over 4 million Twitter followers. The Bucks have under 300,000. Obviously, lots of people follow more than one team, and so this isn’t as scientific as, say, a Facebook metric. But still.

Every team has outposts of support, and I like to speculate about what makes one county in Nebraska more likely to follow the Sixers than the county next to it.

You can get detailed information on every team, and you can compare any two teams.  That’s helpful if you’re interested in social media as an indication of parity or if you want to keep tabs on how well rival teams on doing with social in general.  If these numbers are any indication, major-market teams have an advantage (we already knew that), but the bulk of their follows come from outside their immediate metropolitan areas.  The later is also true for small-market teams.  If the ring were the thing, the Celtics really should have more followers than the Heat, but they have a million less.  I’m guessing Heat fans skew younger and are more savvy with social.  Boston should be treading the same threshold as the Lakers, but they’re not. Again, age and buzz are at work.

The Top 100 Comics of 2014

business, culture, writing

And this is why DC is building up to the Convergence event. And also because 90s Aquaman = the best Aquaman. Actually, the best Aquaman is from TV’s Batman: The Brave and the Bold, but you get the point.

Graphic Policy

Previews has compiled a list of the top 100 comics sold to direct markets. The list, which you can read below, is dominated by Marvel, who have 9 of the top 10 spots. The Walking Dead #132 comes in at an impressive second, but DC Comics doesn’t see a book make the list until slot 14 with Batman #32.

Dark Horse‘s Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1 was that publisher’s best-selling comic book at #137. Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe#1 from IDW Publishing was the publisher’s top book in 2014 at #965.

2 WALKING DEAD #132 (MR) $2.99 AUG148104-M IMA
3 ROCKET RACCOON #1 $3.99 MAY140803-M MAR
6 THOR #1 $3.99 AUG140785-M

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Why Does the President Want Free Community College?

business, culture, economics, politics

indexA few years ago, Mark Cuban gave what he called “soapbox advice” to the Occupy Movement by way of a long blog post.  In it, he also talked about the idea that college loans had basically become predatory.

Since then, I’ve noticed out-of-area colleges advertising on billboards like never before.  All of the marketing going on in higher education has solidified my view that higher education is truly in an unsustainable market bubble.

For that reason, I support the President’s plan to make community college free.  He’s deflating the bubble before it bursts. He’s also right to say that we need more people in essential professions than the current way of doing things can reasonably produce.  And Cuban’s right about loan debt precluding recent grads, or grads 10 or more years out of college, from participating in the economy.

The system of pricing and paying for higher education is broken. Like the broken housing market before it, it’s leading more and more people to economic calamity with a sort of “trust us” je ne sais quoi. Before he’s through, I expect Barack Obama to enact the largest presidential pardon in history: the near total forgiveness of outstanding student loans according to some qualifying formula.

Despite the 90s Revival, Deb and Delia’s File for Bankruptcy, Wet Seal Closing 300 Stores

90s, business, fashion

Meanwhile, Claire’s beat Russia into the Ukraine by 3 years.  Reports by various outlets on the overall trend.

Department stores, to the extent that they still exist, are offering increased variety and perceived value in the segment.  Other explanations include a shift in teen purchasing preferences toward tech, analysts say.

Did you shop at Deb, Delia’s, or Wet Seal in their heyday?  Their male-clothing equivalents closed long ago.  In the very near future, everything we wear will come to us via subscription and we’ll print our accessories from schematics sold on iTunes, Play, and Amazon or shared in the Creative Commons.

No Veggie Burgers At McDonald’s?

business, food

Venessa Wong with the original story, shared here by Ashley Lutz.    White Castle announced their own veggie burger on January 2nd, joining Burger King and countless fast casual concepts in catering to meat-free palates.

McDonald’s says it doesn’t carry veggie patties because no one buys them.  As Lutz notes, MCD CEO David Thompson told investors that when the world’s largest burger joint did offer meatless burgers, they “sold four a day” per location.

To me, that means veggie burgers are scalable.  If Burger King can do them, so can McDonald’s.  They just have to want to.  And they should.


Will Disney Buy Angry Birds, Rovio?

business, culture, economics, tech

I still think so. But not for Minecraft money.

Not that long ago, people were talking about Angry Birds: Stella as a shot across Disney’s bow.

A little longer ago, Rovio envisioned becoming bigger than Disney itself.

Not so much right now. But if you think the Angry Birds brand and other Rovio assets aren’t still poised for content-to-cash kinds of leverage, consider that the properties on the studio’s ToonsTv app, which streams original Angry Birds cartoons alongside offerings from Hasbro, Nat Geo, and Stan Lee, reached 4 billion views last month.

And also, Notch is building a Minecraft theme park in Binghamton.


McDonald’s Had the Solution. It Was Called Chipotle.

business, economics, food, writing

Millennials want authenticity.  Because Chipotle has good food and invests in the kinds of things Millennials care about, they forgive the fact that Chipotle Mexican Grill is not authentically Mexican.  But when McDonald’s has to put out a video defending the authenticity of their chicken as chicken, you have to wonder what else is coming home to roost.