Let's Talk Shop by Danae DeShazer

QR Codes: Decoded

Posted July 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm

by Danae DeShazer

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You social media and technology-savvy folk out there, this blog post isn’t for you. You’re already verse with the latest and greatest ways to tweet, pin, tumbl’, post, like, instagram, share, scan, and connect.

But, for those of you who have been scratching their heads at the funny-looking black & white squares you’ve seen in the pages of The Observer and Pelican Press, it’s okay. Take a deep breath. I’m here to help.

With the explosion of media, the Internet, and the whole shebang, the QR Code (yes, that’s the fancy name for the barcode-like boxes) has emerged as a way to make printed pieces more interactive.

But they're actually not a "new" thing. They were developed in Japan during the 90s (when the Internet was still gaining prevalence) by a company called Denso as a universal barcode.

Unlike a regular barcode to scan retail items, the QR (Quick Response) Code is more complex, which allows them to store lots more information (like long links to YouTube videos!).

So, if you’re one of the 46% of Americans using a smartphone (Apple, Android, and Blackberry operating systems), I’ve got something as simple as 1-2-3! You’ll be on your way to scanning, viewing, and enjoying in a snap.

1. Download the Biz Barcode App from your smartphone. Biz Barcode is a QR Code scanner that will allow you to interact with the featured Store Around the Corner pages in the newspaper so you can see interviews, videos, and meet the businesses face-to-face.

2. Test it out! You can scan this very QR Code on the computer screen. I dare you.
It should open up a video about The Observer Media Group. If it didn’t, please go back to step 1. And repeat.



3. Pick up a copy of the Sarasota Observer, Longboat Observer, East County Observer, or Pelican Press (that was a mouthful!) and flip through the pages to find your “Stores” Around the Corner. They will look like this:



Scan and enjoy! Hope that was easy as pie. Pretty soon, you'll be a QR Code scanning machine! 


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