Saturday, April 2, 2011

Social Saturday: Get the Code

Recently I received an invite to beta-test a site that lets people create QR Codes for free. What is a QR Code? Perhaps around town you've seen these little boxes on signs and store windows:


It resembles a futuristic barcode, doesn't it? If you own a smart phone and have an application that reads these codes, you can take a picture with the phone and be directed automatically to a mobile website. Realtors use these to direct people to information on homes for sale, and retail stores might use them to send people to a Twitter feed, Facebook page, or anywhere else on the Net. I don't have a smart phone that takes pictures, so I've had to rely on a few friends for quality control, and it looks like we have it down with this one.

Now, I won't tell you what will happen when you scan this code. You'll have to see for yourself - and you just may get something free for your trouble. The plan is to use the code on cards and signs when I do live gigs. I probably won't have them ready for the Rainbow Book Fair, but definitely Philly and beyond. In the meantime, I'll print out a flyer for Rainbow and see if I can get anybody to scan in person. Won't that be fun!

Can QR Codes help authors? They are new to me, and as I said I don't have the equipment to view them myself. As an author, you can create a code to send readers to different places on the net - to a YouTube trailer or Facebook page, to a point of sale, to your blog. Put the code graphic on your website, blog and on print material. Eventually you'll hook up with somebody holding a phone and a burning curiosity.

Kathryn Lively