Keeping up with every tech headline is hard enough for anybody, let alone busy professionals. To help, ReadWriteBiz rounds up the week's most important tech news and insights for small- and medium-sized businesses.
This week, Microsoft's search engine Bing launched a profile management portal for businesses much like Google and Yelp have offered for some time. The Bing Business Portal gives companies the ability to edit and enhance their business's listings on the site, as well as publish special offers and deals for customers.
Meanwhile, Google announced on Friday that it's discontinuing its trial program called Tags, which offered businesses a way to highlight their Google Places listings and publish special offers. In a post on the Google Small Business blog, Google said they'd "halted new signups and will be working with existing participating businesses over the coming weeks to help them meet their marketing needs with other Google products where possible."
Email marketing platform iContact announced the availability of a free version of their service for small businesses and nonprofits this week. Organizations with 500 or less email subscribers can use the service for free. Once they exceed 500 subscribers, they'll enter iContact's lowest tier of paid plans and have to fork over $10 per month.
The age of mass customization, or the ability for customers to have a hand in designing products before purchasing them, has been predicted for decades. With the rise of co-creation sites like Blank Label, Spreadshirt, chocri and mymuesli, mass customization is headed for ubiquity, according to a new report by Forrester. Thanks to the falling costs and increased sophistication of the technology involved, mass customization is now easier to offer and thus is poised to become a major force in manufacturing before we know it.
As more and more employees access work data from their smart phones and other personal devices, the process of managing security is complicated for IT departments. We took a look at some of Forrester's recommendations as to how companies can forge a mobile IT strategy that takes personal devices into consideration.
Speaking of mobile devices in the workplace, ReadWriteWeb's has been doing a weekly roundup of news pertaining to the iPad's use in business. This week, he looked at the latest figures in tablet sales, iPad dominance forecasts, Blackberry's answer to the iPad and more.
For those interested in the mobile payments space, near field communication (NFC) is one technology that's quickly emerging as the go-to standard for making and accepting payments wirelessly using one's mobile device. As part of her NFC 2011 series, ReadWriteWeb's Sarah Perez took a look at what MasterCard is doing on the NFC front as it invests more heavily in exploring mobile payments.