Monday, March 28, 2011

Make a QR Square for Your Blog, Web or Shop Site

Attach a QR Square to Your Bog OR Web Site
This QR Sqaure will link your to this Blog made using Kaywa

Original Post From Etsy Forums 3/28
FrayedFuzzies says
You know those funny little squares that look like a weird barcode that you can scan with a smartphone that are gaining popularity? They're called QR squares. And you can make your own for free and link it to a URL. Put it on a business card, flyer, postcard, etc. and when someone scans it, they are taken directly to your Etsy page, blog, or whatever site you want to direct them to. How cool is that?!

Here's an article from CNN explaining what a QR code is and how it works:
This is article has been edited...
Marketers embracing QR codes, for better or worse
(CNN) -- A confused crossword puzzle. A psychedelic postage stamp. A bar code on drugs.
This is how a QR, or Quick Response, code may appear to most people. You may have noticed these black-and-white squares showing up in subway ads or in pages of magazines. Thanks to our growing addiction to our smartphones, you'll likely be seeing more of them.
QR codes are showing up in more and more places: posters, storefront window displays, TV advertisements, business cards, websites and even on T-shirts. When accessed with your phone, a QR code takes you to a landing page where you'll usually find special promotional content.
The QR code was invented by a Japanese company called DENSO Corp., a subsidy of Toyota, in 1994. The codes have been used in Japan for years and are quite common there. But only now are they becoming mainstream in the United States.
Here's how they work:
First, you must download a QR scanning application for your smartphone. When you see a QR code on a poster or billboard, open the scanning app and use the phone's camera to focus the code on your screen. The application will recognize the code and automatically open up the link, video or image in your phone's browser. You just need an internet connection to access the content.
Many QR scanning applications -- RedLaser is a popular one -- are available for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and Symbian phones. Anyone can generate their own QR code for free. And you can link it to anything -- from URLs to contact information to your GPS location.
Brands and companies are increasingly taking advantage of this relatively low-cost marketing tool. Last year, the animated movie "9" was promoted with green posters containing only a large QR code that took users to a new trailer and special features.
A recent issue of Wired magazine included an ad by watchmaker Tag Heuer that contained a QR code that led users to images of its latest collection of timepieces. Magazine ads have used QR codes to promote everything from hair-care products to sheepskin boots to diamonds.
A QR code promotes Mini Cooper cars.
A QR code promotes Mini Cooper cars.
Even New York City launched a QR code campaign in Times Square that linked to Notify NYC, the city's official source of emergency events and services.
And people are responding. According to a February survey of U.S. smartphone users by MGH, a Baltimore social-media marketing company, 32% of respondents said they have scanned a QR code.
Of those, 53% said they used the code to get a coupon or discount. And 72% said they were more likely to remember an advertisement with a QR code.
Getting something extra
Matthias Galica, CEO of ShareSquare, a QR code platform, said he believes that QR codes have changed the way people consume services and products.
"Imagine you see a poster of your favorite artist's upcoming concert," Galica said. "Usually, you would have to go home to look them up. But QR codes work as paper-based hyperlinks that can lead you to music videos, the site for MP3 downloads, and even purchase tickets right there."
But will that incentive prompt people to whip out their phones and scan the QR code? Galica seems to thinks so, and reminds us using our phone to get something in return is not a new concept.
"The 'text to win' SMS campaigns have been very successful, and that's the trigger for QR codes," Galica said. "Something like getting a coupon through a QR code is a powerful call to action."
Mobile coupon apps by companies such as Groupon and Living Social also may have helped familiarize consumers with the idea of using their smartphones to earn discounts.
The kind of mobile content that the QR code leads to is as equally important as creating one. Rich Brooks, CEO of flyte new media, a Web design and internet marketing firm, said the rewards one gets through scanning QR codes should be valuable.
Brooks said he once came across a company's Facebook page whose avatar was a QR code. When he scanned the code with his phone, it led him to the same Facebook page he had opened on his computer, leaving him disappointed.
"I mean, what's the point of that?" he said. "You need to deliver something that is not available elsewhere and is something worthwhile, surprising,"
Brooks suggests QR codes should lead to discount coupons, a virtual tour of a real-estate property or a never-before-seen video, for example.
"You can the damage the brand of the company if you don't provide something of significant value," he said. "And I would not want to use your company."........
QR codes on 34th Street
Macy's "Backstage Pass" QR code led users to videos.
Macy's "Backstage Pass" QR code led users to videos.
On the other hand, experts say, Macy's iconic New York department store seems to have gotten QR codes right.
Early in 2011, QR codes began appearing inside Macy's trademark stars in storefront windows and strategically inside the store. Even sales associates wore lanyards with the code for customers to use.
When scanned, the code directs customers to Macy's special "Backstage Pass" landing page that offers behind-the-scenes videos of star designers such as Martha Stewart putting the finishing touches to a cake.
Holly Thomas, vice president of media relations at Macy's, said that the store saw the opportunity to use QR codes to deliver unique content, especially when customers are not in front of a computer.
"It's one application that can speak to customers across so many vehicles," she said. "QR codes are such a sensible way to send content with immediacy."
And the campaign has met with some success. According to Thomas, during one week in February, there were an estimated 20,000 downloads through QR codes alone.
Presenting a QR code
Both Galica and Brooks said they believe the United States has reached a tipping point in terms of smartphone usage. In other words, most affluent professionals -- the kind of person advertisers love -- have smartphones now, making it necessary to include QR codes with all marketing material.
However, Wayne Sutton, a digital marketing strategist, said that how marketers present a QR code will differ from company to company. He cited a recent Calvin Klein billboard in New York that contained a massive red QR code under the title "Get it uncensored" and nothing else. Calvin Klein could get away with it because the ad was edgy, just like the company, he said.
"At this early age of QR codes, though, there should be additional information and images on the poster (to provide context)," Sutton said.
That does not mean that companies cannot get creative with their QR code marketing. Sutton said that many QR codes can have patterns or logos embedded in them and around them, as long as the code itself works properly.
To ShareSquare's Galica, there's something about a basic black and white QR code, and the promise of its hidden message, that makes it striking.
"I'll admit, it's not a beautiful thing and stands out as a sore thumb," he said. "But it ends up being a signal that gets you something in return.".......

This little blip from the NY Times gives some sites where you can go to make them for FREE:

Q&A: Make a Quick QR Code

How can I make a QR code pointing to my personal Web site that I can attach to an e-mail signature?
Several Web sites will convert a standard URL into a Quick Response (QR) code, those square-shaped codes that are popping up on ads and billboards. Once converted, you can download the QR image file and then attach it to your e-mail signature, upload it as a Facebook profile photo, print it or post it elsewhere online. Some QR-conversion sites can also encode maps, text, phone numbers or RSS feeds.
QR code-generating sites include Kaywa, Qurify and Delivr. The Google URL Shortener will also create a QR code file from a shortened link — just click Details to see the image file.
Quick Response codes are basically two-dimensional bar codes that can be interpreted by a mobile phone camera equipped with a code-reading app. Once the QR code is scanned, for instance, the Web address embedded in the image pops up on the phone’s browser, saving the phone’s owner some typing.

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