Apps: A homeless person on your iPhone

With charitable donations plummeting because of the state of the economy, the fundraising efforts of nonprofits have needed a creative boost. Just how creative is demonstrated by iHobo, a Tamagotchi-like iTunes application that lets you interact with your very own homeless person, shows just how creative. In just a week, iHobo shot to the top of the iTunes chart, with over 200,000 downloads. Although at first glance it may sound exploitative, the thinking behind it, the app's creators claim, is as serious as it is provocative. Although it's generating significant word of mouth, innovative marketing ploy's success won't ultimately be measured by publicity or even download volumes, but by the uplift in donations it produces. iHobo: No 1 on the street by Meg Carter (Guardian UK 2010-05-24).

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