Posted by: HOUCV | 03/25/2013

QR Codes: Bridging the Gap Between Online & Offline Content

9781118337035Recently, I had the need to learn how to make a QR code for a library endeavor.  I know what you’re thinking… as someone in my 20’s and quite obviously a member of the 21st Century, I really should have learned this little trick before now. But the truth is I have what would be categorized as a “dumb” phone and have sincerely never needed this knowledge…until now. So, what did I do? Why, look in our PINES catalog for information resources on the subject, of course!

QR Codes for Dummies is a very informative little book that covers a basic introduction, how to link them to mobile-friendly content, and how to ensure their scanability (1st new word of the day).  The first step in the creation process is to pick a good QR code generator.  Basic qualifications of good sources are speed of generation, standard size, flexibility to redirect, no limitations to URLs, and trackability (2nd new word of the day).  According to this book, some of the best online code generators are Kaywa and QRstuff.com (my personal favorite, thanks to Mark the Nola Brantley Librarian).  It even gives you step-by-step instructions on how to use Goo.gle to shorten your URLs. And the best part? All this stuff is free!

If you’re wondering why in the world you’d ever want to use a QR code, the answer is easy: it bridges the gap between the online and offline worlds.  QR-codesYou can place codes in flyers for fundraising, education, or administration.  You can even use giv.mobi to direct users to an electronic way of donating to a good cause.  QR codes can also be used to spice up your career: include one on your resume that links to your about.me page or to a YouTube video of a professional presentation you’ve given in the past. The possibilities are endless!

While there are some shortcomings to QR codes (also covered in this book), they are extremely useful for many, many life purposes.  In fact, I might have to force myself into crossing over to the dark side that is the ever-growing trend of Smart Phones, just so I can scan them everywhere I go.

What about you – how do you use your QR codes?

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