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Thanks to the internet, it's never been easier for consumers to share their thoughts and opinions about products and services. That has spurred the creation of an entire online reviews ecoystem.
Popular reviews sites like Yelp, which is planning to go public, can literally make or break a business. Earn favorable reviews and a steady stream of eager new customers could be coming through the door. Earn poor reviews and attracting customers can become a difficult task, although there's some evidence that negative customer reviews aren't as bad as thought.
eBay's CEO, John Donahoe, believes that digital payments should account for a lot more of the global payments market than they currently do.
One of the big ways he's trying to make that happen is by ensuring his PayPal subsidiary grows its volume in the most promising digital payments space -- mobile. On that front, it appears he's making good progress as quietly, mobile payments have become a multi-billion dollar business for PayPal.
That, for obvious reasons, is probably not what bank executives want to hear. So it's no surprise that banks and other traditional players in the finance and payments markets are getting involved in the most promising digital payments space.
In the multi-channel, multi-platform age, running marketing campaigns is a lot different than it used to be. There are more options, and a lot more to think about. The same is true when it comes to giving away a car.
That's what Toyota is doing as part of its Camry Effect, which the company describes as "a social media initiative developed to unite the nearly seven million Camry owners in this country through an interactive, online experience."
While Hollywood pushes to have Washington D.C. take over the internet in the name of fighting piracy, some of the most successful purveyors of digital content are heading in the opposite direction.
Take for instance Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds.
Mobile in-app purchases are expected to hit $4.8bn by 2016, and increasingly they're key to the monetization models mobile app developers and app store operators are employing to keep themselves well fed.
But the dollar signs are somewhat deceptive. Profiting from in-app purchases is a lot more difficult than just enabling in-app purchases, and not all developers will implement the model successfully.
So what's the secret to success?
Virtual currency has fast become a multi-billion dollar industry. It's the juice that could propel Facebook to great IPO heights, and has already served as the foundation for other billion-dollar businesses, like social gaming giant Zynga.
In fact, a study released yesterday from Juniper Research predicts that the amount of money being spent on virtual currency in mobile apps is going to more than double in the next four years, going from $2.1bn last year to $4.8bn by 2016.
Native mobile apps may still be the best way to deliver mobile applications that provide rich, enjoyable experiences, but there is a place for the mobile web, and in many cases, it is increasingly promising.
Technically, however, many challenges remain. The number of mobile devices and platforms grows by the day, and capabilities often differ significantly.
When the web was young, most websites were in English. This wasn't exactly surprising. After all, the web first emerged in the United States in a big way and was its largest initial market.
Over time, of course, the web has come to bring the world closer together and in turn, give companies anywhere in the world opportunities global in size.
For many companies, that meant moving beyond the English language to reach customers and stakeholders in their native tongues.
Should you build a native app or a mobile website? The answer depends on who you ask, and there's a very good chance that the person you ask will have very strong feelings one way or the other.
Yes, the native versus web debate is still alive and well, and those on both sides are still ready to throw down over their beliefs.
For Adobe, the rise of mobile, and the iPhone and iPad in particular, has been bittersweet.
Yes, the company most recognizable to consumers for its Reader and Flash products, has plenty of new opportunities thanks to mobile, but exploiting them has required the company to look at a number of Plan Bs.
The primary reason: Apple doesn't like Flash. Adobe tried to persuade Apple that Flash isn't so bad, but that wasn't going anywhere, so the company has been increasingly betting its mobile future on other technologies, like HTML5.
Will the future of mobile apps be controlled by native apps, or web apps? Or will both share the spotlight?
Today, there's little doubt that native apps are winning the hearts and minds of consumers and developers alike. And for good reason: if you want a great experience that takes full advantage of the capabilities of today's most advanced mobile phones, you need a native app.
We&Co is a new location-based app that is all about great service. If you receive excellent customer service you can 'thank' those responsible. It's a fine concept, given the importance of customer experience in modern business.
I asked co-founder Ryan Jones to provide us with a lowdown on the app...