Archive for the ‘Web/Tech’ Category

QR Codes Customized to Match Your Brand

QR Codes Customized to Match Your Brand by 1-Stop Design

QR codes were first created by Toyota to track vehicles in manufacturing, offering a small barcode that can be quickly decoded. That was in 1994, and now, almost 20 years later, QR code technology is experiencing a revival — but not in the automotive industry. The small, square codes are ubiquitous, showing up on everything from flyers to beer bottles, allowing anyone with a smart phone to quickly scan and find out more information with the code. The possibilities for their use are endless, from marketing to the college classroom, offering a fun and exciting way for students to use technology for learning.

Jimmy Fallon’s recent QR code moment and New York City’s QR-linked building permits are two more notches on the belt of early adopters. But were these just blips or an indicator of things to come? Will QR codes ever become part of everyday life or be relegated to “only-in-Japan” status?

I believe the answer is yes, QR codes are coming to an advertisement or object near you, and sooner than you may think. Here are the reasons why, along with suggestions on how advertisers can catalyze this movement by making QR code campaigns as useful and rewarding as possible.

Why QR Codes Make Sense

When you see something that you want information about, you no longer have to make a mental note to look it up later on Google. You can simply point your smartphone at the object and obtain the desired information without typing or speaking. In essence, the QR code has become the shortest distance between curiosity and information retrieval.

The beauty of QR codes is that they are an open-source and freely licensed standard. They cost nothing additional to add to printed materials and can be scanned by free readers on all smartphones and even some feature phones.

Meanwhile, here is what businesses, institutions and individuals can do to make QR codes an effective part of their marketing arsenal.

1. Optimize for Mobile

Advertisers who embed desktop URLs in a QR code are missing the point of real-to-mobile interactivity. People interact with their mobile devices with significantly shorter attention spans than they do on their desktops. Once a QR code is scanned, the resulting view should be thumb-interactive, easy to read, and purpose-driven.

2. There Must Be A Payoff

A QR code is like a scratch-off card — people have to apply some effort to engage, so the payoff better be worth it. Content emanating from a QR code needs to be useful or an easy redemption of an exclusive reward.

3. Be Patient and Stick With It

By experimenting with QR codes early, advertisers can become adept at engaging with users on a mobile basis, so that when QR codes do hit the mainstream, they will be ready.

College Learning with Technology

With QR codes, they’ve made learning even easier and many of these ideas can be also be applied to your workplace.

Information & Enhancement

QR codes are great for sharing information, and we’ll explore some of their uses here, as well always they can enhance learning.

Link to supplemental materials in your own textbook Make sure your valuable resources don’t get lost in a forgotten folder: slap a QR code right on your textbook so it’s handy for you to find later.

Classroom calendar On your syllabus and handouts, link to your classroom’s calendar with a QR code.

Mobile reminders Make it easy for students to remember assignments by creating QR codes to automatically add events to their calendar.

Interactive periodic table By putting QR codes on posters like the periodic table, you can share more information about what you’re displaying, like details about the elements.

Post assignments for the week Keep students updated on the weekly schedule with a QR code that will take them to a website with the assignments for each week.

Link to book reviews Any time you assign a book or a reading, set up a QR code linking to book reviews.

Share exam details If you’ve prepared a review for students to use, link it with a QR code for easy access.

Lecture Wouldn’t it be great if you had all the time in the world to share YouTube videos, readings, and other relevant information right in your lecture? With QR codes, you can share all of these resources and more.

Highlight videos If you’ve got a YouTube video you want students to watch, but don’t want to use valuable lecture time to show it, link it through a QR code in your slides.

Pre-teaching Before class starts, students will be waiting in the classroom. Why not post a QR code of a video, website, or reading you’d like for them to check out before you get started?

I’m sure this is just the beginning. If you’ve got a great idea for a QR code for marketing or communications, or if you’ve seen something in the wild, please feel free to share it.

 

by Chris Hennigan

Naymz: A Little too Much Info? Stalkers Welcome!

Naymz is an online provider of reputation/identity management and promotion services for people, groups, and businesses. Naymz provides a simple and user friendly experience for those who are concerned with promoting an accurate and positive picture of their personal or professional reputation and identity. Their slogan is, “Empowering Reputable Professionals.” It that appears to be going after something close to Linkedin.com’s market.

I discovered the site through an invite from a client and was immediately curious as to what the site did and could do. After working my way around it there was some surprising results.

There are some features for professionals such as the ability to endorse friends or use friends as online references that I can see as being useful. In today’s world of identity theft and having your personal information spread throughout the electronic world.

One goal of effective Social Media is to inter-link all your channels to each other.  Once I arrived on Naymz it asked me to Search for contacts in my other accounts:

  • LinkedIn
  • Gmail
  • Hotmail
  • Yahoo!
  • AOL
  • Plaxo
  • Outlook
  • Outlook Express
  • Other
  • Single Invite

Something told me to wait and find out more before opening up my world to this unknown site. Thank goodness I listened to myself (which I don’t always do!).

Moving past being spared from being put on their spam list along with all my contacts, there is one major concern that jumped out at me fairly quickly.  Stalking.

Naymz offers reporting about other Naymz users who have been viewing your profile. While at first I might be intrigued to know “who looked at me?” but, it doesn’t take long to realize, “Whoa! That means every person I visit can see that I was there!” At that point, I realized that this wasn’t for me.

You can pay for more stalking ability or to be stalked more. Depends on how you look at it. So by becoming a Premium Member you can find out more about who’s stalking you. Things like who was visiting my profile, what IP address they visited from (possibly telling me which company that worked for), what country, and the exact time they paid me a visit. If the referring link showed something like a company’s internal webmail, I would also assume that something was emailed, most likely about little old me!

Yet again this all information that might intrigue some or most of us…if we were doing it to someone else. But once you realize that the same reports and data that you’re seeing about your Naymz browsing are being shared with other site members, you might think twice.

Makes me wonder how quickly  Facebook users would rebel if Facebook started reporting who was looking at your profile at then telling everyone else who’s profiles you’ve been viewing?

And if that would kill Facebook, Naymz may be dead on arrival if they don’t pull the plug on their stalking reporting.

In all fairness I do have to say that Facebook has  an application FanChec which was originally called Stalker Check!! But Fan Check doesn’t mean that you checked their profile a lot. It counts how many times you’ve interacted with that person, wrote on their wall, commented on their pictures, liked their status, etc. ..It doesn’t count how many times you’ve visited their profile. You don’t have to even have visited their profile. For example; if you liked their status or commented on them recently, then you may be part of their ‘fan check’.

_ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ _

“The application has created some problems for Facebook users, causing their walls (and other portions of Facebook) not to display properly. Contrary to warnings like the one reproduced above, however, FanCheck is not a “virus” and it  does not download or install anything on users’ PCs, it does not harm computers, and it cannot be “caught” by visiting a Facebook page. As noted on the Facebook

FANCHECK IS NOT A VIRUS – IT’S JUST A BAD APPLICATION

The Fan Check application is NOT a virus. It does, however, mess up your ‘Wall’ and other parts of Facebook — not by destroying information, but because it doesn’t work properly your wall and other parts of Facebook won’t display correctly. It doesn’t do any damage itself.

The fix for the problems Fan Check [can] cause are simple — remove it, and everything will go back to normal.

The developer of FanCheck (formerly known as StalkerCheck) also denied that the application contained some form of virus or malware.” (from snopes.com)