Newspapers promote QR codes, linking print and outdoor media to online, and building tighter social-mainstream media symbiosis



QR code for this blog

The Sydney Morning Herald has recently had big features in its Saturday edition on QR codes, the 2-dimensional bar codes that act as visual URLs for mobile phones, taking them automatically to the linked online content. QR codes are massive in Japan, appearing in magazines, billboards, business cards, shop windows, T-shirts, and more, by dint of NTT DoCoMo’s promotion of the codes. One Japanese magazine consists entirely of free things you can download with QR codes. Now Australia’s Telstra is trying to do the same thing in Australia, shipping all of its NextG phones with the necessary software, and making it freely available to anyone else.

It is very interesting to see a newspaper so actively promote a mobile technology. The Sydney Morning Herald is introduced daily QR codes on page 2 from this Monday, providing a link to the five most popular stories in the paper and other content. This means that you can engage with the media cycle even while reading a print newspaper. I wrote over two years ago about how each story on the online version of the Washington Post was showing links to blog posts about that article. Now this kind of immediate reflection of social media views is available in the print world.

So far in the US there have just been tests of QR codes in San Francisco, providing links to Citysearch reviews of local restaurants and merchants.

While there are a number of competing standards for codes that will link mobiles to online content, QR codes are substantially in the lead, and look set to become an international standard. There is a good chance these could become commonplace globally within the next 1-2 years. What is most interesting is the innovative ways they are used, particularly within mainstream media (which can include television).

Early insights from the Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications list


[UPDATE:] The complete Top 100 list is now up.

The compilation of the Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications list has now been completed. It will be made public on 19 June, when it will be the cover story on BRW magazine, accompanied by feature stories on some of the leading applications. It will be released the same morning on the Future Exploration Network website and this blog.

The Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications Launch Event at KPMG will include a panel discussion by Australian online notables, a showcase of five leading Australian Web 2.0 applications (3eep, BookingAngel, Engagd, Plugger, RedBubble) (Note that the showcased applications are NOT the top five on the top 100 list, but have been selected to demonstrate the diversity of successful Australian Web 2.0 ventures; companies that were showcased in last year’s Web 2.0 in Australia event won’t be duplicated in this year’s showcase), a panel of the founders of these applications, and one-hour of semi-structured roundtables for participants to discuss current issues in Web 2.0 in Australia. IBM, Adobe, and Starfish Ventures are sponsors. We are getting close to fully booked, so register soon if you’d like to attend.

No information about who is on the list or rankings will be released until 19 June, so don’t ask! :-) However it’s probably worth clarifying the scope and criteria for the list.

Read more