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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Good or bad idea to use QR codes?

We are working on an idea for a smartphone app that would scan QR codes as one of several ways of inputting data (the QR code would cause the app to query the server for the data).

Are general (i.e., non-technical) users of smartphone very willing to scan QR codes? Are scan rates high or low for places where QR codes are displayed such as magazines,  websites, and product packaging? Are QR codes currently increasing in popularity or decreasing in popularity?

Thank you for your help in making me better informed on this topic.
Dan R Send private email
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Well if it scans them using the cell phone camera and you have actual things to scan and it actually WORKS, then people will love it.

Here are your case studies:

- CueCat was a huge failure.
- DeliciousLibrary was a huge success.

Both because of bar codes.
Scott Send private email
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
There have been a few scare stories recently about QR codes sending people to dodgy websites (e.g. loaded with malware). Don't know how much of an issue that it really, but perceptions are important.
Andy Brice Send private email
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Andy, I saw that to, where posters advertising stuff had QR codes on them, but someone had covered the code up with their own QR code that sent people somewhere dubious.

I guess putting the codes in a printed book, magazine, newspaper or flyer is okay, but not on posters, billboards, etc.

As an aside, it is a nice hack and it shows initiative, although the owners of these adverts were rightly underwhelmed.
Scorpio Send private email
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
too, not to. Doh!

[10+ years and still no edit function]
Scorpio Send private email
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
If people are blaming QR codes for dodgy websites, then you don't want them as customers anyway because they are morons.
Bring back anon Send private email
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Also, in my experience barcode readers/qr code scanners on phones/tablets are incredible. I use an app called MyFitnessPal and the tablet version allows you to scan the barcode for a new food to quickly get the nutritional information into the system. It has been a huge help! They do not have any such feature for the website and you have to manually look up the food which is annoying as hell.
Bring back anon Send private email
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
@Bring back anon
It is a bit strong to brand people as morons when the QR codes have been sabotaged.
Scorpio Send private email
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Yeah I had not heard of the fake website stickers but now that I have this was my thought process:

1. Wow that's a clever way to inject malware.

2. Guess I'll never be scanning a QR code then if the only option is to go to the link without a chance to review it first.
Scott Send private email
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
I'll toss in:

3. Gosh I wish I was more smart and not such a moron because I don't want to go to malware sites. Smart folks go to malware sites, wish I could be smart, mebbe I get me one of dem smartness pills. Hey ya.
Scott Send private email
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Ok, so what you're saying is the following sequence occurs:

1. Someone replaces a QR code on some ad for Microsoft with their own sticker going to www.malware.ch

2. Unsuspecting, you pull out your phone and scan the code. Your scanner tells you that the QR code takes you to www.malware.ch. In plain URL-speak.

3. You go anyway.

It's phishing but for QR codes. It's the same logic and yeah, I think you're a moron if you fall for it.

If you've never used a QR code scanner, I can understand why you think I'd be harsh but the ones I've used definitely give you a chance to review before executing on the data contained in the QR code.
Bring back anon Send private email
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Thanks to all of your for the input. The problem of malware is something I hadn't heard about and thought about before, so it's good that it was brought up (and now seems obvious), along with the possible way to deal with it.
Dan R Send private email
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Incidentally, I came across an article titled "9 marketing strategies you must stop using - now" yesterday, and QR codes are #1 on the author's list:

Dmitry Leskov @Home Send private email
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Interesting link Dmitry, I was also puzzled a bit by #2, "Keyword-based search engine optimization".  Then I realized that whenever I use a device that I've accessed GMail or any other Google service with, searches are done with HTTPS (because I've been automatically logged in).  So almost all of my searches don't provide useful information to referrer logs.

Which opens a whole new can of worms.  If your referrer logs don't provide you with the information you need, what do you do?  Trust Google to properly price keywords? (They can call it bidding, but when the bidder has no information, I call it pricing).  As the linked article suggests, maybe it's time to rely on organic search results and do a better job of keeping visitors interested. 

Which leads me to think Google is shooting itself in the foot.  But then it seems that Google is the prime example of a successful company that is clueless about marketing, but built a product so closely aligned to what its customers really wanted, that any scheme to monetize it would be successful.
Howard Ness Send private email
Thursday, February 07, 2013
I also find #2 on that list odd, I get that on site seo is rarely enough; but not making sure your pages are optimised at a basic level sounds like seo suicide.

Seriously - checking your desired keywords are in your title tags and h1's doesn't make you a spammer.
Jonathan Matthews Send private email
Friday, February 08, 2013

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