Archive for April, 2012
Currently in the news is the story of a Washington man updating his Facebook while on the run. Not just status updates, everything from commenting on friends posts, to changing his relationship status.
This isn’t the first time someone has done this, and it likely won’t be the last, but it does bring up the interesting subject of what information Facebook and other social sites will provide law enforcement officials.
As illustrated by the “Craigslist Killer” case, Facebook will provide pretty much everything. Beyond copies of your status updates (public or private) and all the information you have posted to the site, Facebook will provide IP addresses and any location information.
The moral of the story is not to commit crime so the police don’t have to subpoena your social media accounts. But for all of us law-abiding citizens this does serve as a nice reminder to think before you post.
For those unfamiliar with QR codes, they are the square barcode-like images popping up everywhere. When scanned with a smartphone app, these codes can take users to a website, or provide other information (think contact details or a special promotion).
These codes are becoming the latest fad in digital marketing, popping up everywhere. I personally do not yet own a smartphone, though I would definitely be tempted to scan some codes to see what they do. Whether the excitement of this would quickly wear off or not, remains to be seen.
The trouble with QR codes in my opinion, is that for every organization that uses one correctly, 20-30 more do a terrible job of it. Codes taking you to the company website (easily accessible without the code), codes leading to websites not optimized for mobile tech, and codes that are impossible to scan are popping up everywhere.
So what makes a good QR code? Like most new media, the best use gives the consumer something otherwise unavailable. When scanning the code becomes an inconvenient way of doing something routine or uninteresting, the QR code has totally failed.