What I Learned This Week (Part 12)

QR Codes finally seeing traction in the US? Well, I don’t know if a bump from 14% to 20% is real traction, but I have seen more and more evidence of the practice. In fact, on my public transit ride in, there’s a few ads from the city that use them. I haven’t seen anyone with a cellphone actually interact with them though.

Why your links should never say Click Here. Accessibility in web design, bad form – overall click here is bad instruction.

Dissertation for Sale I guess it was well enough known that you shouldn’t give anything away for free if you want to make money off it later? Right Cory Doctorow?

QR Follow Up

I haven’t had any luck with getting any hard numbers about click-throughs for the local QR campaign run by Mohawk, but coincidentally, a report on QR code activity (PDF) has been made public and I found out about it through this article about using QR codes in social media. RWW then published an article today claiming that barcode scanning (both traditional and 2D QR type codes) are up 700%. While that’s interesting, it’s not indicative of whether this is a real trend or marginal activity. If activity is only at 1% of the population, an increase of 700% is not necessarily significant (7%). The quote towards the end of the article does note “80% of US consumers surveyed expressed interest in scanning mobile barcodes”. Again, that’s within the Android marketplace, which may be skewed towards consumers who are technologically early adopters.  It is significant when you start to tie all these loose ends together – there clearly is a trend developing where people are using barcodes and QR codes to link real objects to virtual information. Those that are not doing this now are at least interested in doing this in the future. Now, what will be the killer app for this sphere?

Start of Another Year

No, I’m not 9 months late… although that wouldn’t surprise me after the day I’ve had. Walking around Mohawk College today, and it was nice to see the renovations pull into the home stretch. After the summer we’ve had it’s been a  bit of a head scratcher as to whether they’d get it done in time. Saw a couple of interesting technical things throughout the college – the first thing that struck me was the use of QR codes on t-shirts that the “ask me” folks were wearing. I’ll try to grab a photo tomorrow and see what it links to. I know there was a lot of ideas over the last few months about the use of QR codes to augment reality, it’s nice to see that they’re being used even if only in a limited way. Especially so considering the amount of Asian students who are coming from China and Japan, where QR codes are more prevalent.

Another thing is that after a year of full D2L implementation, we’re getting better quality online courses for review. It’s nice to see that faculty have taken the time to embrace some of these ideas… and it’s even better when they surpass what’s been laid out in front of them.