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What the Heck is a QR Code?

This past week Marion Online asked in their poll question if people had ever used a QR code. While 14 percent said they had, about 80 percent selected “What the heck is a QR code.” If you are one of those people, never fear, the answer is actually very simple.

QR codes stands for Quick Response code and they are a type of barcode. One is pictured above. They first became popular in Japan as they were designed there to be used to track inventory in the automotive industry.

More recently, QR codes have become a popular marketing tool. You’ve probably seen the little squared on mail, signs, and in stores. Heck, I even saw one on a billboard the other day. (By the way, I think this is a horrible idea. Do not try to scan a QR code while driving. It’s just dumb.)

To use a QR code, you need to scan it, usually using a smart phone. There are probably hundreds of scanners available for Android and Iphone users, just search the markets. When you scan a code, several things may happen, but the most common use is to send you to a website or video. QR codes are used to get you to a website or give you a special offer without having to type in a long website address.

So the next time you see one of these odd looking squares, use your phone, or borrow someone else’s, and check it out for yourself.

Questions? Give us a call, send an email, or leave a comment!

Friday Favorites – September 16, 2011

Below are some of our favorite stories that we’ve run across the past week. Stories include lessons for digital age parenting, advice entrepreneurs should ignore, why websites still matter, and more.

5 Lessons for Parenting in the Digital Age
There are so many more reasons to stay inside these days. This article has tips on balancing the digital world when it comes to your kids.

Three Bits Of Advice Entrepreneurs Should Ignore
These three bits are well known. This author provides thoughtful reasons why you should plug your ears.

Five Reasons Why Websites Still Matter
(plug, plug) Social media is a powerful tool, but as we consistently tell people, it is just one tool. Here are some reasons (from someone other than us) why you still need a website.

Master Word and Excel with Handy Step-by-Step Videos
These are two old-school, but extremely useful programs. The videos listed give you easy to follow tutorials to get more out of them.

Are Facebook Posts Penalized by Using Third-Party Tools?
Ugh…we use and promote third-party tools to make keeping up with social media easier. These findings may make us re-think our strategy.

“Trash Tycoon” Brings Eco-Responsibility to Social Gaming
We’re eco-nerds around here. This game is right up our ally.

Search Engines Decide What’s Important To You

You head to your favorite search engine, YouTube, or even Facebook to look for something or to read the latest information. Maybe you’re looking for something serious, maybe just for fun. More than likely you are confident in the results that you get when you do your search or read your newsfeed, but did you know that what you see is not always what you want to see? It’s really what the search engine believes you want to see.

Eli Pariser, a successful online organizer and pioneer, reminds us that search engines are filtering what we see online. He calls it the filter bubble and suggests this may cause us to become even more narrowed in our views.

While Eli is worried about our level of broad-based knowledge (frankly so am I), you should also be worried about being passed over when someone is searching for businesses and products. Search engines may very well be passing your website over for your competitors because of a variety of factors.

This is just one more thing to keep in mind when companies come calling promising you high search engine rankings. That promise is hard, if not impossible, to keep and it keeps getting harder.

Check out the video. It’s only nine minutes long and very thought provoking.

Friday Favorites – September 2, 2011

Below are some of our favorite stories that we’ve run across the past week. Info includes Facebook for restaurants, emailing newsletters, cyber-loafing, and more. As always, we’d love to get your feedback and questions.

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