Big Ideas Research Log

My idea is to incorporate Qr codes and Social media to make the world of social media and easier and more private way to keep in touch with the world. So one of the first places i will start with is to research QR codes and social media to give me an idea of how these currently work in the world today.

What is a QR Code?

So you may have heard that QR Codes are set to become the ‘next big thing’ but thinking to yourself, what is a QR Code!? QR or Quick Response Codes are a type of two-dimensional barcode that can be read using smartphones and dedicated QR reading devices, that link directly to text, emails, websites, phone numbers and more! You may have even got to this site by scanning a QR code!

QR codes are huge in Japan and across the East, and are slowly beginning to become commonplace in the West. Soon enough you will see QR codes on product packaging, shop displays, printed and billboard advertisements as well as in emails and on websites. The scope of use for QR codes really is huge, particularly for the marketing and advertising of products, brands, services and anything else you can think of.

Why should I care about QR Codes?

With as many as half of us now owning smartphones, and that number growing on a daily basis, QR Codes have the potential to have a major impact upon society and particularly in advertising, marketing and customer service with a wealth of product information just one scan away.

How is a QR Code different from a normal 1D UPC barcode?

Ordinarily we think of a barcode as a collection of vertical lines; 2D Barcodes or QR Codes are different in that the data is stored in both directions and can be scanned vertically OR horizontally.

Whilst a standard 1D Barcode (UPC/EAN) stores up to 30 numbers, a QR Barcode can store up to a massive 7,089! It is this massive amount of data that enables links to such things as videos, Facebook or Twitter pages or a plethora of other website pages.

How do I scan a QR Code?

If you have a smartphone like an iPhone, Android or Blackberry then there a number of different barcode scanner applications such as Red LaserBarcode Scanner and QR Scannerthat can read and decode data from a QR code. The majority of these are completely FREE, and all you have to do once you install one is to use your phone’s camera to scan the barcode, which will then automatically load the encoded data for you.

What can be encoded into a QR Code?

In its simplest sense a QR Code is an ‘image-based hypertext link’ that can be used offline – any URL can be encoded into a QR Code so essentially any webpage can be opened automatically as a result of scanning the barcode. If you want to encourage someone to like your Facebook page – have your Facebook profile page as the URL. Want your video to go viral – encode the URL in your QR Code. The options are endless.

In addition to website URLs a QR Code can also contain a phone number – so when it is scanned it prompts the user to call a particular number. Similarly you can encode an SMS text message, V-card data or just plain alphanumeric text. The smartphone or 2D barcode reading device will automatically know which application to use to open the content embedded within the QR Code.

Where can QR Codes be placed?

The answer to this is almost anywhere! QR Code printing can be done in newspapers, magazines, brochures, leaflets and on business cards. Further to this they can be put on product packaging or labels, or on billboards or even walls. You could even tattoo a QR Code on your body – now that would be an interesting take on giving a girl/guy your number in a bar!

You can use QR Codes on a website but they should not generally be used as a substitute for an old-fashioned hyperlink because obviously the user is already online and doesn’t really want to fiddle around with their phone only to find a website they could have just clicked through to in half the time.

How can I make a QR Code?

You can make your own QR Codes using designated 2D barcode generators, some of which are listed below; however you should first consider why it is that you want a QR Code and how you will use it. See the ‘QR Codes for Marketing‘ section below for more information on this.

QR Code generators that are currently available include:

What size does a QR Code have to be?

Generally speaking, the larger the QR Code, the easier it is for it to be scanned, however most QR reading devices are able to scan images that are small enough to fit on a business card for example. This of course assumes that the quality of image is good.

QR Code File Formats

You can use the following file formats when creating a QR Code:

  • HTML Code
  • PNG File
  • Tiff File
  • SVG
  • EPS

PNG files work particularly well as they can be resized very easily, meaning that you can easily scale the QR Code depending on where you want to put it.

QR Codes for Marketing

If you want to use QR Codes for business or marketing purposes then you should consider that people have higher expectations from scanning a QR Code than they do simply clicking a link on a website. You should offer something special or unique to people that have taken the time and effort to scan the barcode. For ideas of what this could be, or just for more information about QR Code Marketing have a look at Piranha Internet who have successfully incorporated the use of QR Codes into several marketing strategies for their clients.

Also remember that many people won’t know what a QR Code is or how to use it. Up until their use is more widespread you will need to provide instructions about what to do with a QR Code.

Who invented the QR Code?

Denso-Wave – a subsidiary of the Toyota Group – are attributed with the creation of the QR Code as far back as 1994. Originally it was designed to be used to track parts in the vehicle manufacturing industry, but its use has since grown tremendously.

Other 2D Barcode Formats

QR Codes are just one type of 2D Barcode, although they are probably the most popular. Other popular 2D Barcode formats are:

  • Microsoft Tag – Microsoft have their very own 2D barcode format known as a High Capacity Colour Barcode, or ‘Tag’. The main benefits of this are that you can easily customise your tag – adding colour and making it match your brand. You can also “dynamically change your data source” meaning that you can change the URL that the tag directs to. The main drawback of Microsoft Tag is that they can only be read using Microsoft’s own tag reader.
  • Data Matrix – This is probably the most similar format to the QR Code and is commonly used on small electrical components because it can be read even when only 2-3mm in size.
  • EZcode – This system is a little different in that the data is not actually stored within the code itself, but on the Scanbuy server. A code index is sent from a mobile device to the server, which queries a database and returns the information. The problem with such a system is that it is wholly reliant upon the Scanbuy servers.

http://www.whatisaqrcode.co.uk/

Social Media

Social media is a phrase being tossed around a lot these days, but it can sometimes be difficult to answer the question of what is social media. If MySpace is a social media site, and Mag.nolia is a social media site, and Wikipedia is a social media site, then just what is social media?

Is it social networking?

Is it social bookmarking?

What is Social Media?

The best way to define social media is to break it down. Media is an instrument on communication, like a newspaper or a radio, so social media would be a social instrument of communication.

In Web 2.0 terms, this would be a website that doesn’t just give you information, but interacts with you while giving you that information. This interaction can be as simple as asking for your comments or letting you vote on an article, or it can be as complex as Flixsterrecommending movies to you based on the ratings of other people with similar interests.

Think of regular media as a one-way street where you can read a newspaper or listen to a report on television, but you have very limited ability to give your thoughts on the matter.

Social media, on the other hand, is a two-way street that gives you the ability to communicate too.

 

Is Social Media and Social News The Same Thing?

It is easy to confuse social media with social news because we often refer to members of the news as “the media.” Adding to the confusion is the fact that a social news site is also a social media site because it falls into that broader category.

But social news is not the same thing as social media anymore than a banana is the same thing as fruit. A banana is a type of fruit, but fruit can also be grapes, strawberries, or lemons. And while social news is social media, social networking and wikis are also social media.

What Are Some Social Media Websites?

Now that we have answered the question of what is social media, we can move on to social media websites. Because social media is such a broad term, it covers a large range of websites. But the one common link between these websites is that you are able to interact with the website and interact with other visitors.

Here are some examples of social media websites:

  • Social Bookmarking. (Del.icio.usBlinklistSimpy) Interact by tagging websites and searching through websites bookmarked by other people.
  • Social News. (DiggPropellerReddit) Interact by voting for articles and commenting on them.
  • Social Networking. (FacebookHi5Last.FM) Interact by adding friends, commenting on profiles, joining groups and having discussions.
  • Social Photo and Video Sharing. (YouTubeFlickr) Interact by sharing photos or videos and commenting on user submissions.
  • Wikis. (WikipediaWikia) Interact by adding articles and editing existing articles.

And these websites are not the only social media websites. Any website that invites you to interact with the site and with other visitors falls into the definition of social media.

http://webtrends.about.com/od/web20/a/social-media.htm

I set up a survey monkey to directly ask people about if they thought my idea was a good one and wether they would use it. Here are the results.

Q1: How old are you?

18

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

Journalism Student

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

Nope

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

Yes and quite often i would say so myself

Q5: What do you use it for?

Connecting and looking at funny and factual stuff

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

Yes and most likely

Q1: How old are you?

17

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

journalism student

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

no

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

yes, very often

Q5: What do you use it for?

social purposes

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

no and no

Q1: How old are you?

19

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

journalism student

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

yes

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

yes all the time

Q5: What do you use it for?

seeing what friends are up to and following the news

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

yes and yes

Q1: How old are you?

23.

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

Retail/Student

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

Yes.

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

Yes, and I use it on and off all the time.

Q5: What do you use it for?

Use it for checking news which relates to me and also to keep connect with friends.

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

First impressions are thats quite risky in terms of privacy and also controlling the right people have access to those codes…

Q1: How old are you?

17 and a half.

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

Student/Journalist/Album Critic/Historical Reenactor.

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

Yep, they’re box codes scanned with cameras on smartphones to get access to a URL or advertising

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

I use facebook a lot, I use it to commentate on things and talk to friends.

Q5: What do you use it for?

As above.

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

I’m not sure.

Q1: How old are you?

69

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

Drive lorries

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

Nope

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

sometimes

Q5: What do you use it for?

nothing really

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

ye

Q1: How old are you?

19

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

you’ve answered the question for me

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

yes

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

yes everyday

Q5: What do you use it for?

venting

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

maybe if it is simplified

Q1: How old are you?

20

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

Student

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

Yes

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

Multiply times throughout the day.

Q5: What do you use it for?

Social networking, finding out what is happening, see what my friends are up to.

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

I don’t know because most of people’s basic information is already on their Facebook, and Twitter & Instagram usually interface.

Q1: How old are you?

20

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

Student

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

Yes

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

Multiply times throughout the day.

Q5: What do you use it for?

Social networking, finding out what is happening, see what my friends are up to.

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

I don’t know because most of people’s basic information is already on their Facebook, and Twitter & Instagram usually interface.

Q1: How old are you?

16

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

I’m a student

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

Yes

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

Yes and all the time

Q5: What do you use it for?

Everything

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

No because I think it’s not giving you any privacy

Q1: How old are you?

17

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

student

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

nope

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

Yes i do. I use them all the time.

Q5: What do you use it for?

communicating.

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

I wouldn’t use it as I feel it would be an invasion of privacy.

Q1: How old are you?

19

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

Journalism student.

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

Yes

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

Yes, daily.

Q5: What do you use it for?

Sharing photos and reading peoples opinions.

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

Yes, it would allow me to find the people im most interested in and give me access to all there social sites.

Q1: How old are you?

16

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

Journalism student

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

Yes

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

Every day like

Q5: What do you use it for?

Speaking to people, news, etc…

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

YES, yes

Q1: How old are you?

16

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

Student

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

Yes

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

Yes I use it all the time

Q5: What do you use it for?

Celebrities

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

yes

Q1: How old are you?

19 years old.

Q2: What do you do? (Student, Journalist etc.)

i am a student studying journalism.

Q3: Do you know what QR codes are?

Yes i do.

Q4: Do you use Social Media and how often do you use it?

i use social media all the time. Mainly twitter, and Facebook. I use it every day, perhaps 20 times a day.

Q5: What do you use it for?

i use it to keep in touch with the latest news, mainly football news. i also use it to share links to my blog.

Q6: It is in my plans to create a social media site which links people to basic contact information and an interface linking to their individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram. This will be easily achieved through the use of QR codes where someone simply scans another persons QR code and has access to all this information. Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it?

this sounds like an easier and more convenient way of looking at your friends information and social network sites. I may use it if it is created in the right way.

Analysing results 

From my results i found that 10 out of the 14 people who answered my survey knew what QR codes were which shows me people are likely to know how to use them as they are already familiar with them.  All of the people i asked said they used social media which shows how large social media sites have become in todays world. That is a good sign for me because anyone looking to use my site will have a reason to do so as they will already have a social media presence. A lot of the people i asked also said they used it a lot of the time so i know that my site would get an audience. When i asked if they would use it most over half of them said that they probably would. One of the people said they were unsure about the privacy of the site which i feel if they had more information they would have a different view.

I have realised that i should have told them more about the company before asking them the questions so they know what my intentions are for the idea. I would tell them about how privacy can be much safer than what is currently out there which will probably settle concerns and make people feel safer to use the website. I can understand the privacy concerns people have made and admittedly i could have worded the definition of my idea more clearly but i wanted to give a brief idea of the company so i will take their comments on board and i know that privacy is a real concern so i will concentrate on making it very secure.

My Idea

After thinking of my idea i decided to create the design on photoshop so i can develop what my website will look like. This is the design i cam up with.

Big Ideas Website

This is the final design i came up with so i decided to slice all the images and buttons and put those into a Dreamweaver and created the website from there. I put all the images in place and added a bit more to the blank spaces in the bottom left of the picture to make the site look more complete.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 14.17.57

 

This is the product after i finished. I liked all the pages to all of the buttons on the top of the page by using the linking feature on dreamweaver. We showed each other our sites and we all evaluated each others. My evaluation mainly consisted on a page which will describe what my site is and how it works such as the QR code scanning. I took this advise and will improve it in the future when i upload the site and get it running. This will allow people to know how to use this site which will make my site easier to get around.

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