31 March 2015

Thing 89: Getting Creative with QR Codes

 General Impressions

I found this activity fun for several reasons.

What amused and amazed me were the creative examples of how libraries are making use of QR codes.  I was also pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to create the codes. The video from Rocketboom Tech was informative and helpful.

QR Creators and Readers

I tried three creators, Google URL shortener, QR Code Generator and QRpedia.  I liked each of them and suspect that it would depend on the project I had in mind which one I used.

I also scanned the QR code in the Thing 89 article and discovered it takes you to the Wikipedia article on QR codes. That was a bit tricky but I'm pleased to know the Reader I have on my phone will read from the computer screen.  I'd downloaded the QR Code Reader App, Bakodo some time ago and hadn't used it much.


I used QRpedia to create this QR code. I've always been a tad curious about who posted this about my employer and keeps it updated.  I do see a couple of things in the text that need editing however.

 QR Code Generator

I used QR Code Generator to create a code for a blog I maintain for a consortium I belong to that is connected to my job. We do produce a informational pamphlet that is used in the presentations we make to public schools and ESU's and I think that  I will add this QR code to the document the next time a print run is done. I hope that will prompt students, parents, and the public school staff that we speak to, go to our website and look at the resources curated there, including a copy of the pamphlet. I think that there is potential here for using QR codes to help promote our resources and presentation service to the audience we target. It's an idea I intend to explore.


Last but not least, I tried goo.gl. It is SO easy and so is the URL that I won't have any difficulty remembering it.  My spouse and sister-in-law are active in the local genealogical society and  as more tech savvy people join, it won't surprise me if someone comes up with ideas on how to use QR codes for promotional purposes.  For some reason, I did find it more difficult to place this QR code here than  the others.

Random Observations

I don't think QR Codes are a passing fad, but like anything else, there is and will be, a particular audience for them just as the Codes have uses that they are particularly well suited for - and other uses not so much.  The notion of the codes as a (mobile)  marketing tool is one that creators will need to be comfortable with  to be successful using QR codes.

Personally, I think if one is creative - or has a penchant for marketing, that the potential for using QR codes in libraries is great.

26 January 2015

Thing 87 New Years Learning Resolutions

I've been thinking about this "Thing" since I first read Christa's post.  I knew what wanted to make a resolution but wasn't sure just what until I was cleaning out my email box and found two posts I'd saved.

One was a post from WordPress and the other was from Code Academy.

I use WordPress for a work related blog and am about to venture into  using WordPress for a personal project so thought that the email inviting me to learn more about WordPress was apt.

Like Christa, I'd started some time ago, using some of the Code Academy tutorials and my intentions fizzled out in the face of busyness. I thought it was time to try again.

Proficiency with Excel is also a need - and not just at work so that  has been on my mind.

I decided I'd use  a Code Academy codebit to document my resolutions.

I've already begun on the Excel resolution.  I'll report back in six months on my progress.

05 January 2015

Thing 86 - Google Keep

Google Keep is an interesting and  clever application and I enjoyed experimenting with it.  Throughout my experimenting though, I kept wondering  why I would choose to use this instead of Google Tasks, a feature I use frequently.  

I decided that for me, I probably would not use Google Keep very much, unless I was intending to do a lot of sharing of lists  and notes  with others, particularly my chronically forgetful spouse.

Google Keep does have  lots of wonderful features, but at bottom, I am a list person. While I don't make lists every single day, I do make them frequently as a checks/balance to make sure I get everything done, not because I need lists to remember to get things done. Perhaps the Keep "extras" are more than I need right now.

Perhaps too, the other reason I am not likely to use Google Keep right now is that the two apps I found for use with Google Keep on an iPhone, "Turbo Note for Google Keep" and "GoKeep" didn't inspire me with much confidence.  "Turbo Note for Google Keep" has very mixed reviews; "GoKeep" had only two dozen reviews and the majority were negative.  Consequently, I decided not to try either one.

I make most of my Task entries at my desktop  I also have Tasks set to be part of my Google calender so that even if I don't add time and date information to a task, the task list displays  in the calender sidebar. There is an app, GoTasks that I use and it syncs nicely with my task list.

But back to Google Keep. The archive feature could be extremely useful, depending on what one records with Google Keep.  The ease of sharing and the ability to be creative makes this application particularly attractive if you use Google+ a lot. I did like the ability to add a reminder and an image to the note that I created to share with Michael. Adding "hotlinks" would be a breeze had I chosen to do that.

I think the very visual, "sticky note"  design would would make it very useful for sharing information with Google+ circles or Google groups such as book reading groups. Perhaps too, libraries could have Google Keep display as the  "home" page on some public access computers and post "sticky notes" about new books, upcoming meetings and activities and so forth.  There might be some management issues to think about doing this though since  it could be quite easy to access anything else attached to the Google account from which Keep was operating.

Keep would also be a great tool for staff to use for collaborating and sharing ideas among themselves.

I expect to return to Keep from time to time but not use it a lot  for now.

Google Keep Experiment