As a Millennial, I like to think I have a fairly good idea of new technologies and social media platforms, but one type of emerging media I never really got on board with is QR codes. And judging by the Tumblr blog, Pictures of People Scanning QR Codes, I am not the only one. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to learn a little more about the mysterious barcode and share some of my findings with those who are as clueless as I am. What is a QR Code? A QR (or quick response) code is a type of 2-D matrix barcode that stores data in both directions. This means it can be scanned both vertically and horizontally, unlike UPC codes, which are 1-dimensional. A traditional 1-D barcode can store up to 30 numbers, but a 2-D barcode can store around 7,000 numbers which presents a plethora of opportunities like playing a video, downloading a mobile app, checking-in on Foursquare, updating a Twitter status, “liking” a Facebook page, and displaying map directions, just to name a few capabilities. Once a QR code is created it can be placed on just about any surface or location: newspapers, television ads, billboards, product packaging, you name it. This can drive traffic and interaction from anywhere. The great thing about QR codes is that tools to generate and tools to read them are free. There are also management tools available to track scanning analytics. These tools are not always free but they are relatively inexpensive and sometimes have free trial periods with fees based on the number of scans. Even thought I have never downloaded an app to read QR codes (and therefore have never scanned a QR code) I at least know what they typically look like. QR codes are actually not the only kind of 2-D barcode, and they also don’t have to be so black and white. QR codes include an Error Correction Level (ECL) in which the error tolerance can be set by the code generator to be as high as 30%. This enables damaged codes to still be scanned, which allows for creative license in the generation of designer QR codes
Will they last? In my quest to learn a little bit more about QR codes, I came across a number of articles that argue the use of QR codes to be on the decline. I would have to agree. What do you think? Are you a QR code newbie like me? Check out this site for some more basics on the subject.
I bet a lot of college students would be surprised to see their university’s president out late on a Friday or Saturday night dropping by a bar or a house party, but the students at West Virginia University look forward to it.
Dr. E. Gordon Gee served as president of The Ohio State University (1990 to 1997 and 2007 to 2013), Vanderbilt University (2001-2007), Brown University (1998-2000), the University of Colorado (1985-1990), and West Virginia University (1981-1985). In January of 2014 Dr. Gee returned to WVU to serve as interim president and was confirmed as the permanent president two months later. In 2009 he was named by Time magazine as one of the Top 10 university presidents in the United States.
If you read his bio and CV you can see through his accomplishments why he is such an outstanding educator, but are his current students really all that aware of everything he has done? Do they care about his publications and all the positions he has held in higher education? My guess is, unless the students plan to develop a career in academia (most do not) then they probably don’t know and don’t care to know about all of his academic accomplishments. So then why is he seen as a celebrity at WVU?
Dr. Gee has always enjoyed spending time with and getting to know the students he serves. Without the students, his job and position within the university wouldn’t mean very much. As a former employee at the University I have seen firsthand how students (and potential students) view Dr. Gee as a type of local celebrity. He is extremely approachable and students love to talk to him and take pictures with him.
Also as part of his celebrity appeal, Dr. Gee has created a strong presence on social media as well. In addition to his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, he is known for his increasingly popular countdown and engagement videos. This 71-year-old president knows how to reach out to his students, in person and through technology.
While I was perusing the good old Internet for some inspiration for my next post, I came across this Periodic Table of Content Marketing that was just too amazing not to share. Published by Chris Lake on the Econsultancy Blog, This table is clearly divided and easy to understand – a great tool for someone who is fairly new to the world of marketing. Sure, as a Millennial there is a certain amount of knowledge and knowhow I have accumulated just from growing up in the information age, but when it comes to looking at the digital landscape, the “what” questions seems to overshadow the “how” and “why” questions. There seems to be a big focus on what the content is, but little focus on how it was created and why it is important.
This table takes a concept we are slightly familiar with (you don’t have to be a science wiz to remember the significance of the Periodic Table of Elements) and inserts the key elements of content marketing. This is a creative yet effective reference and check list. I think I will be holding on to this one.
Instead of elemental groupings like noble gases and alkali metals, on the Periodic Table of Content Marketing the groupings include:
3. Content Type
7. Sharing Triggers