Commentary

QR Codes and iBooks

I was recently introduced to QR codes in my architecture course. If you're unfamiliar, that stands for "Quick Response." You can read more about them here. What I want to do in this post is talk about this tool's potential in my day-to-day routine.

My job could be categorized as a PR position most of the time. I promote the college's events and its Facebook page. If you're not already following us on Facebook or Twitter, consider this your personal invitation. (Warning: the Twitter feed only mirrors the Facebook updates...so I recommend the FB page.) When I told my supervisor about QR codes, she said, "I love that you're excited about this, but where would we use it?" My response?

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On every poster.
On every pamphlet.
On the facebook page.
On everything.
Why everything? Well, it's simple. These things force an interaction that traditional posters and pamphlets can't even touch. When you look at a regular poster, what you see is what you get. It's basically one-way communication--the poster is telling you what you need to know. Really good posters will raise questions or inspire you to carry the idea on to others in conversation. Posters with QR codes, though, create a conversation with the poster first. By the time you've spread the word to your friends, you've created a bond with the poster using your smart phone. Implanting curiosity. GENIUS!
QR codes can embed text, phone numbers,...anything [except pictures, I think]. There's even an app out there that suggests this for event planning. Imagine RSVP'ing to an event, receiving a QR code on your smart phone and scanning it when you arrive. Delta has been doing this for a couple years (though the last time I tried this, TSA refused to accept anything but a paper boarding pass...). I can't believe it's taken me this long to catch on.

So those are QR Codes. Adopt them. Embrace them. Love them.

Next, I want to tell you about the most amazing experience I had at Borders.

I found some books that I really wanted to buy. While standing there, I thought, "hey, I could scan these with my Bakodo app and find them for better prices somewhere else." That would've worked had Borders not put their own sticker/bar code over the book's barcode. =/

And thennnn I thought, "Why would I try to find it at another store when I could just find it in the iBookstore?" Sure enough, the books I wanted were there. Well, not all of them...but most. To top it off, they were at least $6 cheaper in every case. Perfect.

If anyone at Apple is reading this: I really wanted ASTD's Ultimate Train the Trainer book. It wasn't available and it was over $100 at Borders. (btdubbs...ASTD stands for American Society for Training and Development. It's not what you were thinking...)

So iBooks. I know I've talked about them before, but today's experience excited me too much to not revisit it. If you come across any training books in the iBookstore, give a shout out at ya boi.

No, I don't really talk that way.

...but I could get used to it.

[Also: check out this QR code generator and start making your own with friends.]

2 comments about "QR Codes and iBooks".
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  1. Ace Howard from Ball State University, April 18, 2011 at 12:38 a.m.

    I just learned about QR codes last semester. I also think that they're super exciting. The idea of joining a physical artifact with digital technology just sounds so cool. A QR code would give a poster another dimension—something that we couldn't do just five or so years ago.

    It's the future of advertising and much more.

    And I agree: they should be used on everything.

  2. Lisa from Ball State University, April 18, 2011 at 6:12 p.m.

    I can't even explain to you how disappointed in myself for not knowing what a QR code was. As a (soon to be graduating) PR major myself, I'm pretty pumped to look out for the use of QR codes in marketing efforts...if not suggesting them myself.

    Thanks for informing me! You'd think people in my department would have mentioned them from time to time...but as far as I know, no one really has.

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