This year’s Sinulog is more interactive. Banners carried by contingents now contain QR or quick response codes that, when scanned with a phone or tablet, triggers the download of information about the contingent.
The article that is loaded by the system is connected to Facebook, allowing people to “Like” performances right on the spot.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza will be giving her State Of The City Address in Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City this morning. What’s different about her speech today — from her previous ones and from the speeches local government executives have been giving and will be giving this month — is its digital twist — the speech can be downloaded as an e-book via phone scanning at the venue.
Radaza’s team at City Hall asked InnoPub Media, the journalism start-up I co-founded with my wife, Marlen, to set up a system that will allow the City Government to offer the mayor’s speech as a downloadable report.
Lapu-Lapu City will also launch today it’s own version of “A Guide To Cebu 2012,” the electronic guidebook on Cebu published by InnoPub Media with the strong support of Smart Communications, Inc. and partners like Ayala Center Cebu, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, The Islands Group, Department of Tourism, Cebu City Government, among other partners.
The downloadable e-books are just the start of digital initiatives in Lapu-Lapu City. More initiatives done in partnership with InnoPub Media will be announced in the coming days.
Last Saturday, several groups all over the world celebrated Social Media Day. In Cebu, members of the Cebu Bloggers Society Inc. gathered in Mactan Isla Resort and Spa for a seminar on various topics related to social media.
I talked about good writing as foundation of an effective social media campaign.
Despite advances in online video and availability of new, interactive story-telling tools, the Internet is still primarily a textual medium. If there’s one thing we should invest on to improve our social media skills, it should be to sharpen our writing.
Gabii sa Kabilin or Night of Heritage offered Cebuanos last Friday the opportunity to visit museums and heritage areas until midnight. The yearly activity was started in 2006 by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (Rafi) and patterned after the Long Night of Museums in Germany.
This year, however, the event had a tech twist – Rafi, Smart Communications Inc. and MyCebu.ph staged a QR (quick response) code hunt that brought teams to the different heritage areas in the city. (Disclosure: My wife and I run MyCebu.ph and are deeply involved in all the projects mentioned in this article.)
The QR Code hunt gathered teams of journalists, bloggers, students, runners, police and tech workers. They had to scan QR codes to decipher tasks they were required to do in heritage areas – learn how to offer flowers to the Buddha, sing Matud Nila, weave puso, find a painting, among other things. They then had to perform the tasks and upload photos as well as post in social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.
Participants said they enjoyed the event and described the contest as “educational.” The winning teams took home Nokia Lumia units and portable Wi-Fi devices.
The Daily Mail reported that Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin have been paid a “substantial” figure to have the QR codes printed on the bottom of their bikinis.
That piece of quirky news illustrates the increasing use of QR codes, which are 2D bar codes that contain data–from text to numerical strings to website addresses. It was developed by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to keep track of vehicle parts.
A study by comScore said that 14 million users in the United States scanned a QR code in June. Of the number, 61 percent were male and 36 percent were in households making more than $100,000 a year.
The study also found that mobile phone users are most likely to scan the codes found in newspapers and magazines.
Productivity blog Lifehacker links to a great service by Boxmeup, a website that allows you to create virtual containers that you can use to track stuff in boxes and other bulk storage systems. It uses for labels QR codes, bar codes that can be scanned by most smartphones today.
The service is really useful for pack rats like me who can’t seem to let go of things, even 5-year-old notebooks and ancient press releases.
With Boxmeup, you can list the things you place into a container and then generate a QR code that you can use as label for the box. The next time you are looking for something—interview notebooks for a libel case, heavens forbid—you can just use your phone to scan the QR codes of your boxes and containers and you’d know right away what are stored inside these.
Mobile phone codes such as semacodes and QR for “quick response” codes allow you to to embed data such as SMS messages, phone numbers, and URLs into images of square patterns.
HYPERLINKED BUSINESS CARD. This mobile code is linked to my blog address. I’m planning to have this printed at the back of my business cards. Click on image to view larger version. You can try scanning it if you already have a mobile code scanner installed in your phone
These codes add interactivity to previously static media such as newspapers, magazines, posters and even business cards. Newspapers, for example, can publish mobiles codes beside movie and TV schedules to allow readers to download the information. I wrote, in my Sun.Star Cebu column for tomorrow, how newspapers can use mobile codes to add interactivity to their pages.
But one exciting aspect of the technology is the ability to embed more data into your business card or even “hyperlink” it to your blog.