Tag Archives: Mobile Technologies

Using QR Codes in Libraries – Thoughts and a Free QR Code Generator

QR Codes – Mobile’s Secret Decoder Ring

There seems to be quite an interest about the use of QR codes in libraries lately. I personally have mixed feelings and am still wondering if it’s a bandwagon worth jumping on just yet.

Are they cool? Yes. They’re a cell phone’s version of a secret decoder ring. They definitely have a form factor. But are they worth taking the time to QR Code a whole bunch of text and urls, then work at getting patrons and customers excited about using them (of course, after they have discovered and downloaded an app that works for their particular phone)?

I’m simply not sure and am going to need a little bit more convincing before I get excited.

By the way, if you’re excited or just curious about them, here’s a great QR Code Generator from www.kaywa.com, no registration required.

I’ve enjoyed seeing Google’s Favorite Places QR Codes around San Francisco, yet recently read this post about a QR scanner reading the code wrong. Personally, I’ve had good and bad experiences with the reader, mostly using it to test them out (I have yet to see one in the real world compelling enough to break out my phone and use my BeeTagg iPhone App, but I’m ready for when I do). I’m not sure if it’s the reader or my aiming abilities, some times it has taken a few snaps to get it right.

Secret Decoder Ring
A Christmas Story is my favorite movie to watch during the holidays. It’s a classic that will always be watched by my family. There’s a scene where Ralphie has waited for his Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Ring with great anticipation, finally gets it and runs upstairs, closes the door to be alone, then begins to decode his secret message. If you’ve seen the movie, you know how it turns out. Here it is in the form of a QR Code:

If you don’t remember the outcome: Ralphie is disappointed with the results.

One could argue that the problem isn’t the decoder ring, but the content that is disappointing, but let me pose a question: When you saw the QR Code above, did you pull out your phone to see what the code said? If so, great and thank you for participating! If not, I understand. This is my reasoning for the mixed feelings and I happen to LOVE mobile technologies.

The future of libraries and businesses is in mobile because it’s a device that is always with people. By being available to them everywhere, you increase your communication opportunities with more patrons and customers. That said, with so many different sub-technologies on mobile devices, at some point a choice has to be made on where you place your time, energy and money. Right now and for many years to come, text messaging is the most ubiquitous mobile technology outside of voice calls.

What’s Best About Them?
They’re free, they’re pretty cool and for those who have the software downloaded onto their phone, they can be quick and useful (although someone here with a Blackberry Curve disagrees about the quick).

Other Possibilities: Search Engine Optimization
I recently read on a search engine blog, a speculation that Google will read the codes and index the information in them (which is why we have one on our contact page). I’ll keep an eye out, but have yet to see any confirmation of this. This use, however, isn’t mobile.

My Pick for Coolest “Code” Library Mobile Technology: Red Laser
Red Laser is a barcode scanner (just like the ones at the check out). Why could it be great for libraries? Because patrons out in the world could scan books, DVDs, etc and instead of buying or renting them at the store, see if their library has it, then put it on hold. Definitely a bigger jump in programming on the library side of things, but very useful bridging the gap between the library and being out in the world. OCLC and Occipital have already caught on to this and partnered to build a WorldCat Local App.

Do you think QR Codes will be worth your time, energy and money? If so, how do you see them working best?

By the way, for those of you who didn’t pull out your phone to snap the QR Code, here’s the response (the same one Ralphie got in the movie):

News: Mosio Announces Show360 Mobile for Complete Conference and Trade Show Information Experiences

Web-Based Software and Managed Interactive Mobile Solutions for Event Management, Organizers and Exhibitors

San Francisco, CA December 14, 2009 — Mosio, an award winning mobile technologies company providing messaging and mobile web solutions for businesses and organizations, today announced the launch of Show360 Mobile, a suite of interactive mobile solutions for the conference and event industries.

Show360 combines hosted, on-demand mobile messaging software and managed services, enabling show organizers and exhibitors to maximize the interactive mobile experiences for attendees while they are on-the-go, regardless of phone type.

Conference attendance is down considerably in 2009. Corporate travel restrictions are forcing attendees and exhibitors to look for cost-effective, manageable ways to get the most out of their show budgets and informational experiences. Mobile technologies provide a proven method of increasing attendee engagement and satisfaction, as well as decreasing expenses for exhibitors and event producers.

“Building on over 3 decades of events experience, the Mosio team set out to create Show360 with two goals: Offer cost-effective mobile technologies that are easy for businesses and organizations to implement; and make mobile services available to as many attendees as possible,” says Noel Chandler, Co-Founder and CEO of Mosio.

“Most of the current mobile information services operate on rented hardware or require attendees to download an application to a smart phone. This alienates a massive amount of event-goers eager to access mobile information. Show360 utilizes text messaging and the mobile web to reach more attendees and exhibitors no matter where they are,” adds Chandler.

Show360 Mobile enables show management and organizers to:

  • Interact live with exhibitors and attendees via mobile text messaging. Mosio’s web-based technology can be used as a simple way for attendees to get general event information or for Q&A at breakout sessions and speaker panels.
  • Collect real-time feedback and comments from exhibitors and attendees.
  • Offer quick conference and event information, accessible to on-the-go attendees without mobile application development costs.
  • Take part in the social media conversation and trending by efficiently posting attendee comments and feedback to Twitter and Facebook during and after the event.

Mosio’s Show360 enables exhibitors to:

  • Generate sales leads and send marketing materials in real-time through Mocardsâ„¢, Mosio’s mobile alternative to printed documents, presentations and collateral.
  • Create mobile marketing and text messaging programs to drive customer interaction on their mobile devices during and after the conference.
  • Reduce expenses via a direct response technology on devices attendees always have with them: mobile phones.

More Show360 advantages:

  • Dynamic mobile marketing opportunities for sponsors provide an additional source of revenue and put brands, products and services in the pockets and purses of all attendees.
  • The technologies provide a green alternative for printed materials and reduce post-event waste caused by outdated marketing collateral

Mosio provides clients with a single technology vendor to manage all mobile event solutions. The on-demand mobile messaging platform is available via monthly subscription with a limited 14-day trial account. Managed services are built on Mosio’s web-based platform, tailored to meet specific client needs and goals.

For information about Show360′s mobile solutions for events and conferences, visit:
http://www.mosio.com/biz/show360

About Mosio
Mosio is a mobile software and solutions company providing messaging and mobile web solutions for businesses and organizations. Mosio helps clients connect with customers on-the-go, using their mobile presence as a competitive advantage to increase sales and brand loyalty, both on and offline.

More than 250 organizations have implemented Mosio’s mobile technologies, including event-specific solutions for: Novian Health, Information Today, American Library Association, Performance Pricing, Entertainment Technology Center, Movember Foundation, GoldMail.

Info: http://www.mosio.com