E-Commerce: What Are People Really Buying online?…02.28.10

28 02 2010

Thanks to Lifehacker


Application of QR Codes in Libraries…02.28.10

28 02 2010

For more on QR Codes, search my blog as there are many posts on the subject…

Here is a nice summary of their uses in libraries excerpted from Aaron Tay:

“…There seems to be 2 main uses,

(1) Embed QR codes in the virtual world (e.g. blogs, online catalogues, webpages,)

(2) Add QR codes in the real world (e.g. At book shelves, checkout machines, posters)

The other aspect seems to be what data is embedded in the QR codes, again there seems to be two main choices

(1) A URL (maybe even to a RSS feed)

(2) Some other data (Text, SMS, Phone number, email)

I think there are other more exotic data that can be encoded? (Vcard formats? geolocations?) using various QRcode generators , but this suffices for now.

I think is that while you can easily embed a url for QRcodes, if the destination (OPAC, blog etc) is not mobile friendly, it might not be such a good idea to link to the site?

For example, the University of Bath Libraries, embeds QRcodes to each library catalogue, scanning the QRcodes yields you text – The title , the author and the call number/location, rather than bringing you to the Online catalogue.

I suspect this is because the university of Bath Libraries’ catalogue is not mobile friendly. Even if the library has a mobile friendly catalogue is it really better to link to the online record itself? I’m not sure.

In any case, the more mobile friendly your site is, the far more use you get out of QRcodes, because you can directly them seamlessly to a mobile friendly site. Without mobile friendly sites you can still of course embed urls, it just wouldn’t be that effective, as the user would need to struggle to surf on a site that isn’t suitable for mobile surfing…

Add QR codes in the real world

This class of use cases are probably more interesting. The problem here is that you can add QRcodes to literally any real world location both within and outside the library, hence there are many  possible ideas. Add the fact that QRcodes cost nothing to generate (except maybe a bit of ink), and one can go crazy with them.

But when should one embed additional information in a QRcode and what information should be added? The paradigm example could be a real-world object, say an object on display, and a QRcode to meta-data. Perhaps links to constantly updated information such as schedules, interactive media that work well on computers.

But one must be careful not to leave out users who do not use QRcodes. It seems to me in most cases you must include information in both normal text form as well as in QRcode. Sure you could add QRcodes to promotion material say link to your webpage, but you definitely need the text as well.

But should one provide equal access to information and interactivity to users who use QRcodes and non-users? Sometimes it’s not possible.

Some ideas here

(1) Posters and promotional material

The usual things could be added here, QRcodes to urls (see here), contact details of librarians etc. If it’s an event it can be a link to the events calender booking system, or just the event details if no booking is required, or geolocations to googlemaps etc

(2) Book/Journal shelves

QRcodes at print journal shelves, linking to electronic versions?

As for book shelves, perhaps each book shelf could be embedded with QRcodes linking to catalogue records, reading lists/recommended books in the specific shelves. Special collections could link to metadata, video, podcast, feedback, interactive game etc

(3) Individual books or journals

Could QRcodes totally replace barcodes? QRcodes could possibly be linked to RFID tags, so users could do self-check outs. Even if they did not, librarians could be armed with Itouches and roving librarians could quickly check status of books.

If this is too much effort, one could this for

(4) At self-check machines or various locations of interest

Create instructional views on how to use self-check machine on YouTube? Add a QRcode that goes to the YouTube video. Want to book a discussion room or computer? Scan a QRcode that sends you to the online booking system.

Have a book display? Add QRcodes to the book covers!

(5) Direction/Signs

Makes signs more interactive. Instead of just a sign that says “Level 5 : Reference” , perhaps the user could scan the QRcode and be sent to a webpage describing the level? Or Flickr pictures? How about a treasure hunt/library orientation?

(6) Others

QRcode on business cardsUse QRcontacts to generate QRcodes of your contacts on Iphone screen. Frequently asked videos or podcasts on pads at the reference desk? or even on Librarian shirts? QRcodes to location based sites like foursquare? Use in classrooms? Or totally wild ideas like augmented reality…”

Using Twitter Backchannel in Teaching @ UT Dallas…02.28.10

28 02 2010

“13 Ways to Move Your [Library or Business] Facebook Fans to Action”..02.28.10

28 02 2010

Excerpted from 13 Ways to Move Your Facebook Fans to Action:

1. Ask questions

For status updates, try ending with a question. In the example below, Best Buy generated 274 responses so far to their question about what feature your can’t live without on your phone.

Best Buy on Facebook

And, in this example, Skype got 147 comments to their question about meeting your partner via Skype!

Skype on Facebook

2. Use the words “you” or “your”

Use the word “you” often – “What are your thoughts?” “What do you think about xyz?” Here, the Hard Rock Cafe is giving out a coupon code with the words “Our gift to you because you rock…”

Hard Rock Cafe on Facebook

3. Keep it short

The easier it is for your fans to read, the more likely they are to respond. Keep your status updates short and simple with one topic. You have up to 420 characters per update, but I recommend about half that for an ideal size. For longer updates, use the Notes app – or write a blog post and update.

4. Post in high-traffic windows

Get to know when your fans are most responsive. Depending on in which part of the world the majority of your fans are, you might want to post between 9:00am and 2:00pm in your timezone.

5. Respond promptly

Do your best to respond to fan questions (as wall posts) as promptly as possible. If you find you can’t keep up with the volume of questions, offer a free teleseminar or webinar where you answer the top questions for your fans. You can do this in the traditional way of having people opt-in to get the phone number so you’ll build your email list at the same time.

6. Address fans by name

Come back and reply often to your fans’ comments – Facebook currently doesn’t have threaded commenting, so I suggest addressing specific fans in your comments as @name. See my comment at the bottom of the screenshot below:

Facebook comments

7. Comment yourself

Add your own comment as needed to get the ball rolling. However, don’t step in too soon. I often find that the comments come more freely when you allow your fans to run by themselves initially.

8. Thank your fans

Acknowledge your fans often with simple thanks. Genuine recognition goes a *long* way!

9. Surprise your fans

Don’t be afraid to stray “off topic” from time to time and surprise your fans. In other words, your content doesn’t always have to be directly related to your product or service. You might share an inspirational quote and add your own thoughts, for example.

Facebook quote

If you happen to know a fan’s Twitter ID, send a tweet thanking her/him for the comment on your fan page. With a link of course. :)

10. Use @ tagging

You can tag other fan pages that you’re a fan of and your own friends (along with Groups you belong to and Events you’ve RSVPed for). When appropriate, and used sparingly, @ tags can be a very powerful way to have your post show up on others’ walls, which gives you more exposure and brings more fans or potential fans back to engage.

11. Use the Discussion Board

Give your fans a place to network with one another. Plus, often fans want to do self-promotion. You can encourage these types of activities on a specific discussion thread. Also, when you first launch your fan page, be sure to start 3 to 5 discussion topics so it’s not a blank  tab.

In this example, the most popular discussion thread on Chick-fil-A’s fan page is asking their fans where they’d most like to see a Chick-fil-A next. Topics are always listed in order of the most recently commented on.

Chick-fil-A on Facebook

12. Send updates to fans

Each tab on your fan page and each discussion thread topic has its own unique URL. To bring fans back to your page to contribute to a discussion and get them more engaged, send out an update with a call to action and specific link. (To find the Update feature, click Edit Page under your image then look for Send Update to Fans on the right of your Admin page.)

13. Monitor insights

If you’re a perfectionist, the goal is to get 5 stars and a perfect 10 score! Facebook uses algorithms to calculate your Post Quality as determined by the percentage of your fans who engage when you post content, calculated on a rolling seven-day basis. The number of stars depends on how your Post Quality compares to similar pages (for example, pages that have a similar number of fans).

Facebook Insights

The more activity your fan page posts generate, the longer you’ll show up in the News Feed of your fans!

As you build up your fan base, consistently add quality, relevant content and engage your fans. You’ll start to see results that translate into an increase in brand awareness and positive brand sentiment, email and blog subscribers, and of course, sales and paying customers.”

“Deconstructing the Learning Pyramid”…02.27.10

27 02 2010

Thanks to Stephen Abram for pointing out Deconstructing the Learning Pyramid:

“Public Libraries” Now Online…02.27.10

27 02 2010

Public Libraries online is a complement to the printed journal that offers three full articles from each issue of the printed edition as well as expanded content exclusive to the web…”

The Importance of “Tribes”…02.27.10

27 02 2010