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Maureen Callahan In so many ways, it would seem ever more difficult to separate the typical American consumer -- battered by the Great Recession, bloated jobless numbers, relentless spikes in foreclosures and food stamps -- from what little money they have. And yet at no time in history has it ever been simpler to do so, with companies employing the most sinister methods. “That’s is why I did this book,” says Martin Lindstrom, author of “Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy.”
"Free" is a four letter word. However, unlike the expletives often deleted, free is an "f" word that is embraced and enjoyed by millions of mobile content consumers who regularly download free music, videos, images, apps and games on their phones. Free content, supported or sponsored by advertising, is hardly a new concept. We have all grown up in a world where the "commercial break" is commonplace on TV and radio, and the American media consumer inherently understands that those commercials, like them or not, are facilitating the availability of quality entertainment, free of charge.
David Sims covers the payment and data sectors for O'Reilly Radar and is the author of " ePayments: Emerging Platforms, Embracing Mobile and Confronting Identity ." Given everything your smartphone does for you now, from mapping the skies to tracking your rides and delivering your website analytics, isn’t it a bit surprising how difficult it is to buy stuff with it? Mobile commerce — like flying cars or domestic robots — is one of those promises that has long seemed just around the corner; a logical next step, but one that has receded into the future before us, like a financial mirage. At the risk of getting fooled again, I think that’s about to change. Twitter lights up every time Apple hires an engineer with expertise in near field communication (NFC), the wireless technology that will most likely power wave-and-pay mobile systems, and Eric Schmidt showed off tap-and-pay capability in an Android phone at the Web 2.0 Summit last fall.
This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum , where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business. The real world is often overlooked when small businesses try to raise awareness of their online efforts. But with a few clear exceptions, people still do most of their living offline. Physical space can be as good of a place as any to advertise your website, social media accounts and blogs.
Ken Yarmosh is the proprietor of a boutique mobile agency based in the Washington, D.C. area and the author of App Savvy (O'Reilly). Mobile is only getting bigger. Thousands of new apps are hitting app stores every day. The result is that even innovative or well-made apps are often ignored. One reason for this is that far too many mobile developers start their marketing efforts after they launch their app. This approach wastes one of the best marketing opportunities available — when the app first goes into an app store.
Everyone loves plush animals, everyone loves doing good and pretty much everyone loves Facebook. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has combined all three into Facebook 's first ever non-profit gift center. Timed for the (always early) start of holiday season, the conservation organization has opened a gift center on its Facebook Page that allows supporters to purchase different packages aimed to look like an "adoption." While WWF won't actually ship a tiger to you, these symbolic adoptions each come with an adoption certificate, color photo and a species description card.