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2010/05/29 in Science Communications, Thoughts on... | Tags: advertising, apps, bar code scanning, bar codes, bookmarking, del.licio.us, Digg, Echofon, Hootsuite, iPhone apps, journalism, Microsoft Tag, print journalism, QR codes, rescuing science journalism, smart phone cameras, smart phones, social media, TIME, Twitter | by younglandis | 6 comments
Have you ever wanted to tweet the link to an awesome article you just read?
Great and easy if you’re on reading on the Web, but what if you’re reading from a print magazine or newspaper?
Now you gotta get up from your chair to go to your computer (if you’re near it)… go look up the rag’s website… search for the article… copy the URL… shorten the URL… and zzzzzzzz….
I was reading TIME magazine’s list of “The 50 Worst Inventions,” which included ideas from the the Segway to Venetian-blind sunglasses. But the list also included the CueCat, the personal bar code scanner that was distributed through magazines like Forbes and Wired in the 1990′s enticing readers to look up companies featured in printed ads:
Millions of the cat-shaped bar-code scanners were produced and shipped for free across the U.S., in hopes that people would use them to scan specially marked bar codes to visit Internet sites. (How this was easier than a typing a link, the company never did answer.)
So, the CueCat went extinct. But why couldn’t that concept work today – for tweeting and social bookmarking?
For every print article you publish, you can print a tiny bar code or QR code of a shortened URL to the online version of that article. A reader can photograph this code with their smart phone camera.
Then, you modify a smart phone Twitter client (HootSuite, Echofon, etc.) to photograph and read these codes, then unwraps the shortened URL and inserts it into the message to be tweeted (not unlike this example of a QR code billboard). Or, modify bookmarking apps for Digg or del.icio.us to read these codes and add the article URL directly to your collection.
Anyone willing to give this a shot?