Wednesday, January 19, 2011

QR Codes Take Root

It seems like in the last year a realitively new phenomenon has been taking over our various media.  They are known as QR (Quick Response) codes and have been prevelant in Asia for some time.  From what I understand they have been using them on billboards and other media for some time.  But now it seems that everytime you turn around in the US you're looking at another black and white blob.  I've seen them in on billboards, in newspapers and magazines and all over the internet in various forms.  If your not familiar with what these codes are, I'll give you a brief description. Basically a code is designed to be photographed using an application on just about any smart phone these days (search your libraries for one that works for you) that will then transport you to a page online.  It may be a video, a profile, a presentation (whihc is what I use them for) or just more static information than can be handled in one place (such as a business card).  It really is nothing more than a quick way to get at valuable information.  The one below will take you directly to the English Wikipedia Mobile main page.

Why this post today and where's the utility? Well, someone I follow on Twitter (more specifically ) asked of her PLN: "how do you make those codes that a cellphone can scan? they're usually in a square shape w/black & white in the middle?"  Well, since I've been using them at the start of every presentation I give as a way for the audience to easily grab a link back to the presentation itself, I quickly responded with my favorite QR Code generator: Kaywa  this site will let you input a URL, text, a phone number or even an SMS and generate one of those black and white codes for you.  You can then download it and add it to printed documents, business cards, presentations or even web your blog or wiki.  I've even seen them being used as Avatars on twitter and other social networking platforms that will take you to that persons home page. Ingenious!
get your own embeddable forum with Talki