Posting a video on a cereal box?

22 Aug

Google came up with another way of connecting the online to the offline – the QR code. Good thing they are slightly recovering from bad publicity caused by those bikes. What, then, is a QR code?

A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobiles phones with camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

It’s this:

Google's QR Code

If you have a camera phone and a QR scanner installed in it (you can download the software online depending on your phone model), you can scan the image above using your phone’s camera. It will take you then to Amazing, right?

How did Google creatively use this technology to get Netizens hooked up? They came up with this:

Gel-O 4: Stop by Offline, Explore Online

Favorite Places by Google

Google started an offline and online program centered around identifying the most sought-after places in the US by sending over 100,000 store owners decals with QR codes in them. These decals are meant to be put in store windows and glass doors where people can see them, scan the codes, and know more about the establishment.

Once the code is scanned, your phone will show you details about the establishment as well as reviews by other customers. You can also post your own review after visiting the establishment. What’s even greater is that you can get coupons exclusive to QR users!

example of what you will see after scanning the barcode

Now, why QR codes are promising social media tools:

what stickybits wants - make barcodes social

They are like real world tags. And they’re starting to become social. Thanks to companies like StickyBits.

You can attach anything to the scanned barcode – pictures, videos, music, pdfs, zip files, anything! Other people will see what you have uploaded upon scanning the same barcode. You can get notifications whenever someone posts content in the barcode you scanned, or when the barcode changes location! And it works with ANY barcode! Yes, any barcode.

It’s literally bringing the tag function out in the offline world – you can see who’s tagged, what others are saying about the tagged content, and tag other content too! StickyBits is starting the trend in “social scanning.” Facebook, watch out. This is something more exciting.

Although in our case, the social scanning trend might have to wait, since not all people here in the Philippines own phones with software that can scan QR codes (like smartphones, iPhones, and Androids).

But this remains to be an insight we should not ignore – there are a lot of taken-for-granted things we can integrate with social media. It only needs a certain level of being creative and tech savvy, plus a little more time observing the activities in the offline world. Who would’ve thought that those geeky barcodes can become social, right? That tagging can go out of the screen and into our cereal boxes? The industry needs more geniuses who can think like the developers of this technology – those who can make social networking obsolete, social scanning a trend, and social *insert anything crazy here* a reality.


Of Shirts and Threads

12 Aug

Throughout my college life, I have acquired a lot of shirts – some of them were batch or org shirts, others I got from fundraising activities of orgs in school. I make shirt designs myself, too! And the bf and I do shirt printing every now and then. You can never go wrong with shirts. People buy them. People wear them. And people always like something new to wear.

It’s kind of a giveaway, then, to use shirts for corporate branding purposes. And I’m not talking about those branded shirt giveaways and printed umbrellas and calendars companies so eagerly give to people every Christmas. I’m talking about using apparel to connect the online to the offline. Yes, the third part of the Gel-O series.

Gel-O 3: Post Online, Wear Offline

About a year ago, Twitter and Threadless teamed up to give birth to Twitter Tees by Threadless.

You can log-in using your Twitter account and submit a tweet, or nominate one you want printed on your shirt. Each week, the two tweets with the most votes get printed! And of course, the owner and nominator of the winning tweets walk away with some cold, hard moola. Great.

What makes this tie-up different?

1. It’s a tie-up. Unlike other companies who print tweets on shirts (which I will not name, I don’t want to be sued or to even be bombarded with spam), Threadless is not just another third-party who wants to earn profit from tweets. They are partners with Twitter and they ask permission from Twitter users before printing their tweets. Now that’s good SOP.

2. It’s not one of those customize-your-shirt schemes. If your tweet is boring, there’s no way you can fulfill your ego-boosting dream of seeing your tweets on a shirt. Which leads me to my third point;

3. It’s a community. The Threadless brand of making shirts social is carried on in this project. People get together to vote for their favorite tweets, and form meaningful conversations and interactions along the way. The shirts are crowdsourced, and only the best emerges victorious!

Yes, Threadless makes shirts social. Not only are their tees inspired by the Web, they also integrate social media in their standard processes.

Their website isn’t the retail-store-gone-online type. They focused on participation and making online communities, as seen below:

And of course, no business structure would be complete without rewards:

They also go offline and tour the world, while publicizing the tours online:

Unlike other brands that use websites to supplement their advertising efforts, Threadless has managed to transform their .com space into an active, co-creating online community.

You see, we can connect the offline to the online using apparel in two ways: one, we bring online tools offline and wear them (i.e. the Twitter shirts), or two, we bring the wearers online and let them decide what they want to wear next.

New social media going into the RTW business will surely set the trends in trtfhyhmanufacturing and designing shirts for the coming years. This may be the best thing since haute couture. 🙂

A Google Surprise. :)

9 Aug

Just for the record, the author of this blog is a human being. I’m not a spammer who randomly comments on three blogs a week, nor am I a social media machine. This is an academic requirement. And this blog has become a responsibility I’ve learned to enjoy.

And so, claiming all the rights to exploit the free space this blog has to offer, I’m choosing to deliver a special message through this blog over any other mushy medium – just because I want this to be elegantly preserved:

To the boy who made my highschool days batshit crazy

…who gave me my first Valentine’s roses

…who fondly calles me “aba” to emphasize my body’s unconventional beauty

To the guy who printed 90++ shirts with me overnight

…who took care of me when I had too much tequila (t’was my birthday, okay)

…who taught me how to play poker

…who always does my visual aids because my handwriting sucks

…who always cooks breakfast for me

…who makes my days less stressful and more laid back

To the man I would love to be with for the next x+++ years

To my bestfriend

To my first kiss…

Happy birthday.

Hope you’ll find this entry next time you Google your name! 🙂

rainier aundreyzel ceriales