• The Return Of The Sunday Circular
    There are few sure things about the future of mobile marketing. The long-term effectiveness of micro-banners, 2D scan codes, branded apps, SMS interactivity, near-field communication technologies and the like are all open and interesting questions. If there is one model I would put my money on, however, it is mobile couponing. Few traditional marketing formats map so well to the phone. Instead of clipping, storing and remembering to carry these paper savings certificates, a mobile device makes it so much easier to locate the right discount and use it on the spot.
  • Screwing With Google
    Google's formal announcement that it was feeding AdWords placements into iPhone and Android apps took me by surprise today. I thought this had started a while ago. For a couple of weeks now I have been running across these little text links in some apps. They sport a tiny blue "g" in the right corner. My early experience is mixed with these ads....
  • 3G S + 3.0: Doing The Math
    Many of the most important developments on the iPhone really come from the new OS that launched last week. In the first few days of playing with the software, I am impressed by the potential for the new in-app billing system. Game publishers can offer incremental levels and content providers can open up select access to new content. I think this will be a test bed for pay content models that could refract back onto the Web.
  • Down The Mobile Anti-Marketing Hole
    It started innocently enough. It was a cool June day on the streets of New York where outside of Penn Station some street marketers were passing out samples of Speed Stick antiperspirant. When I got to my hotel room and unpacked the cellophane bag I noticed that the promo included a 2D code I was prompted to snap and send to a short code.
  • The Return Of The Crank
    It just builds up inside. The frustration. The impatience. The desire to reach into the phone and shake a WAP site by the throat and scream "Why are you doing this to me? Can't you see other people do this so much better?"
  • My Apps, My Taste, My Self
    "Boring! Can we fast-forward?" my daughter asks as Joan Baez warbles "Joe Hill" at Woodstock. That my daughter disapproves of my music library and my mobile app collection is not surprising, but a new study from consulting firm Gravity Tank actually makes that exact point: "Apps are a very personal kind of software. Indeed, it's useful to stop thinking about them as software at all, and instead compare them to music. Like music, apps are a social phenomenon -- we love to talk about them, try them, compare them, and share them." And get lambasted about your preferences by snotty …
  • Bad Robot! Clean Up This Mess
    It was an act of spiteful anger that sent me back into the Android Marketplace yesterday. Apple made me do it. After the 3G S announcement yesterday, of course I had to see about the possibility of an upgrade from my current 3G.
  • Dumb Is As Dumb Does
    Forrest Gump's momma had a point. Her famous "stupid is as stupid does" reassurance to her son is applicable to the evolving cell phone universe as well. "Dumb phones," the current shorthand for non-smart devices or feature phones, are only as dumb as the limited uses people choose for them.
  • 'Sim' Day '09
    No game in the history of video games has cost me more money over the years than "The Sims" series. That my daughter needed to have every version upgrade and every expansion pack was only the beginning. It is the ancillary costs that will kill you. "It runs like a slide show on that old computer," she complained repeatedly of every major release in the series. And so it is with some trepidation that I approach "Sims 3," which launches today across PC and mobile platforms. My daughter is already planning on wiping her hard drive and reinstalling Windows to …
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