Progress with Barcodes

MMM Business Card Design v2 - Share on OviIt definitely seems that QR Codes have jumped the shark in respect to seeing and hearing about the, a good bit more. It’s even gotten me to go back to using business cards, now that there are enough people that either understand them or want to know more about them.

This past weekend, I experienced the latter in a very interesting manner. My God-daughter’s mom is totally not a techie. She used to bemoan my use of mobiles in church as recently as two summers ago. However, life has moved in such a way that she now has a Palm Pre Plus and really enjoys it for the communications, camera, and applications that are offered. So, you can imagine the surprise when she asked me about barcodes – and not just QR Codes, but Microsoft Tag codes as well.

She has an independent business that also works for her to disciple other women, and one of the things she noticed is that some other women were using business cards with the MS Tag on them. While she liked the idea, the MS Tag didn’t work on her device (there is no reader software) but she want to know more about it. I pulled out my business card and explained to her the difference between them.

With the MS Tag, it would be a need for the person scanning the tag to have a web connection. Besides the data on the other side of the tag, there was also some analytics and tracking happening. However, much of her audience doesn’t have data plans, or might not have good enough browsers on the mobiles they do have, so the QR Code was a better choice. With that 2D code, you can embed information such as calendar event data or even a contact card (similar to my card). You can even do a QR Code that is a pre-built SMS message. Then, that plus a low-cost printing solution like VistaPrint (which she was already using for her business cards) would make for a reusable contact point for everything from sharing contact information to making flyers more interactive.

Now, she wasn’t concerned with tracking, hence the suggestion of the QR Code versus the MS Tag, but it would be possible. And as I explained to her, using a barcode in this manner just adds a layer of interactivity to efforts to communicate and connect. You (usually) don’t put info in a barcode that would be easily discerned in an email, or even faster if typed. Giving a reason for folks to engage has that side benefit of making you stick in their head just a bit longer.

Of the past weekend’s conversations, this was one of the ones that ended up being very exciting. A friend not only adopted mobile tech, but found a means to help her small business along while increasing the ability to connect-engage with those she already disciples. In this respect, mobile being added to the Body like this hits every relevant aspect of life. That kind of progress with this tech is what I’ve been adamant about, and am glad to see it happen in surprising places.