Tuesday, April 15, 2014

10 Things to Know about QR Codes

Event poster with a QR code directing scanners to the website
where they can register for the run.
If you see little black and white pixilated squares around, you may wonder what they are. They are QR codes. Useful in business to covey a lot of information in a small space.
1. QR stands for Quick Response. They come from Japan where they have been used for twenty years. They can be read quickly by many cell phones.
2. They are like bar codes, but instead of determining the price of your purchase, you can encode other pieces of data in them, such as text and URLs to websites, documents or YouTube videos. The QR code can send a person to the “buy it now” page of your website.

3. Your entire business card information can be encoded into a QR code. Place the code onto your business card. This saves the recipient data entry time and they'll be more likely to keep your information.
Just Write Books' Facebook Fan Page
4. To read a QR code, you need to download an app for your phone…not time consuming, may be a minute. I use Savvy Shopper for Droid.
5. My favorite website to create QR codes is: http://www.qrstuff.com/
6. If you are creating a QR code for a URL, first make it into a small URL. My favorite website for that is: http://bitly.com/ Creating a small URL makes the QR code less complex and faster to load and less prone to smudging errors.
7. QR codes will be useful to a cell phone user, if you print them on your business cards, printed advertising and publicity pieces. A viewer can scan the information on their phone and take it with them without displacing a poster or some other printed media.
8. A mobile optimized website will make the user experience more worthwhile.

Save Our Swinging Bridge
9. New ways to use QR that I think are neat: 
a. For instructions, the QR code could contain the URL to a YouTube video providing step-by-step instructional video.
b. QR codes in real estate print ads lead to a mobile optimized virtual tour of property and, of course, the contact information of the listing broker.

c. Museum or conference daily schedules and more info. This gives opportunity for less printing and provides adequate information.
d. Links to websites providing information for historical walking tours.

10. There will be QR codes uses of which we have not yet dreamed.

Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, publishing Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project—building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: nerandolph@jstwrite.com.

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