How to make colorful QR codes

Creativity | 2011.04.19 17:57 | Posted by 스마트 안전보건

The Paperlinks QR code reader is fast, free and powerful!
With Paperlinks, scanning QR (“Quick Response”) codes is easy and fun. Your editable history will include items you’ve already scanned. And best of all, you can create your own QR codes at www.paperlinks.com, then have people scan your Paperlink code for an in-app (rather than web browser) experience. Paperlinks codes can be scanned by other readers. However, with the Paperlinks reader, people can scan your code, then: save dates to their calendar; add contact info into their address book; view maps and directions, all with the smoothness only a native app can deliver.

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FEATURES:
• Instant Scan – no touching, tapping or clicking. Unlike other QR reader apps, you just open Paperlinks and scan!
• Fast – go from app to content in a split second.
• History – Tabbed access to a complete list of all previous scans. Easily delete entries with a simple finger swipe.
• Full Paperlinks integration with QR codes generated through Paperlinks.com.

The QR code

A thing of beauty or an eyesore? The magical barcodes that can be scanned by a smartphone to launch an offline-to-online experience are often criticized for their black and white checkerbox appearance. Those who doubt that QR codes will go mainstream are quick to point out that the look of QR codes will deter marketers and advertisers from using them.

Fortunately, QR codes are malleable and can be redesigned in truly extraordinary ways, while still maintaining their scanability. The truth is, QR codes no longer have to be checkerbox in appearance. We’ve entered a new phase of “designer codes” that can be integrated into marketing campaigns in an attractive way that isn’t an eyesore.

QR codes have so much potential from a design perspective, so let’s take a look at a few tricks and techniques you should keep in mind when designing a code to enhance your brand and appeal to your audience.

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1. Add a color palette

The easiest way to add branding power to your code is to add color to it. Your QR code does not have to be standard black and white in order to be scanned. You can embed multiple colors and apply a color gradient without affecting scanability. The only rule of thumb is that the code color should generally be dark and placed against a light-colored background. Make sure the contrast is sufficient, or the code will be difficult to scan.

A “reversed out” code, where the background is dark and the boxes are light colored, is generally not recommended. Only a small handful of QR code readers can treat such codes as a film negative and properly interpret the data.

2. Soften hard edges with round corners

One of the QR code’s greatest aesthetic flaws is its numerous hard edges. You can dramatically lessen the severity of this look by strategically rounding some corners. It is not necessary to round all of the corners, but softening up the edges will definitely make the code appear more friendly and approachable.

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3. Incorporate dimensionality with 3D impact

One high impact way to brand your QR code is to obstruct some of the boxes with imagery, such as a logo. By placing an image in front of the code, you imbue the code with a sense of depth. An ordinary barcode suddenly becomes a form of artwork, and you can really make a statement with the way you melt boxes together or choose to obstruct aspects of the code.

Fun ideas include adding a logo to the center of the code, but you could also add interesting elements to the corners or the sides for an even less standard look. Adding images or characters between the boxes is another playful way to dress the code with personality and style.

4. Use QR code with 30% error correction

If you decide to add in a logo to create a 3D feel for your QR code, you need to decide which part of the coding to obstruct with your logo. The key to creating these eye-popping designer codes is to take advantage of the fact that up to 30% of a QR code’s data can be missing or obstructed, and still be scanned. QR codes can be generated with 0%, 10%, 20% or 30% error correction rates built in. Building in the 30% error correction rate adds more noise (extra boxes) within the code, but those extra boxes within the code can then be removed to make way for a logo or other interesting imagery.

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If you use a QR code with 0% error correction, the code will look more streamlined, but opportunities to brand the code by adding in a logo are very limited. Removing or obstructing a single box within a 0% error QR code could render it unscannable.

5. Apply a trial-and-error process

Technically, it is possible to mathematically compute which boxes in a QR code are the buffers that can be removed, but such computations are generally unnecessary. By applying a simple process of trial-and-error, anyone can begin applying their design techniques to a code and then test for scannability.

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Be sure to test your code’s scannability with multiple QR readers, ideally three or four. Some readers may be able to overcome some stylistic elements of your designer code, whereas others will not. Deploying your code without testing for scannability is designer malpractice and can cause serious heartache with clients. It is true that even with reasonable precautions, designer codes may still be difficult to scan, so you must always weigh the costs of scanning difficulty against the benefits of designing a code that is eye-catching. If a designer code takes more than a few seconds to scan, it probably needs to be redesigned.

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Are You Addicted to Social Networking Sites?

Creativity | 2011.03.15 06:42 | Posted by 스마트 안전보건

Social networking sites like My Space, Facebook and Twitter can be great

resources for staying in touch with friends, but they should never become

a substitute for physical interaction with others.

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Unfortunately for many people, checking in on social networking sites takes up

a lot of their spare time and sometimes can even become a bit of an addiction.

 

To help you determine if you use social networking sites appropriately we have

put together the questionnaire below. Answer "yes" or "no" to each question and

then total your answers to determine if you are addicted to social networking sites.

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Questionaire

1. Are you a member of multiple social networking sites?

2. Do you visit your social networking sites with no goal or specific purpose in mind?
3. Are you usually surprised by how much time you spend on a social networking site?
4. Have you ever said no to an activity with your family or friends because of social networking sites?
5. Have you ever ignored a responsibility like homework or chores because of social networking sites?
6. Do you ever stay up late or get up early to spend more time on social networking sites?
7. Have you ever hidden your time on social networking sites from family or friends?
8. Have you ever used social networking sites when a parent or teacher has told you not to?
9. Do you prefer to interact with people on social networking sites rather than face to face?
10. Has anyone ever commented on how much time you spend on social networking sites?
11. Do you have more friends on your social networking sites than you do in your real life?

12. Do you become frustrated or angry when a social networking site goes down or is unavailable?

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Type 1

If you answered "yes" to between one and four questions then you are most likely

not addicted to social networking sites. You probably use social networking sites

to extend your relationships with family and friends but recognise that keeping up

with these sites are less important than strengthening the relationships that exist

outside of the Internet.

 

Type 2

If you answered "yes" to between five and eight questions then you may be addicted

to social networking sites. For the next week try to write down every time you visit

a social networking site and how long you spend on it.

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Type 3

If you answered "yes" to nine or more questions then you are likely to be addicted

to social networking sites. Your use of these sites is most likely getting in the way

of your real life and you may even be using them as a substitute for getting out and

making friends, or nurturing the friendships that you already have.

Try to wean yourself off of social networking sites by spending less time on them

each day, and more time on activities away from the computer.

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6 predictions of social network in 2011

Creativity | 2011.01.04 06:31 | Posted by 스마트 안전보건

The past year was an eventful one for the world of social networking.

Facebook went on an acquisition spree. Twitter started growing up.

And MySpace? Well it’s the same old story over there.

In 2010, we predicted that Facebook would conquer the web. We just didn’t know the social network

would do it so convincingly. We’re not oracles, though, and we did miss on some of

our acquisition picks. Well, time for round two.

Now that FacebookFacebook is clearly king, what is going to happen to the rest of the world’s social networks?

What will happen to BeboBebo? What’s next for MySpaceMySpace? And will Facebook finally hold that IPO?

Here are my predictions for what will happen in the world of social networking in 2011:


1. Google’s Social Networking Efforts Flop Spectacularly


Google dominates search. It has nailed mobile. Oh, and it owns YouTube, the web’s biggest video

property. So why the heck does it fail so miserably at social?

Until this year, Google’s had middling success in social — YouTube, Gmail, Gtalk, Blogger and Orkut

have all had varying levels of success. This year though, Google Wave was shut down, Google Buzz

flopped and Google’s big social initiative has been delayed due to in-fighting and a lack of clarity and purpose.

Here’s my first prediction of the year: Google’s social media efforts will be spectacular failures. TechCrunch

nabbed a screenshot of the “Google +1″ social toolbar, one big component of Google’s social plan, we’ve

been told. We remain unimpressed, though. As Buzz demonstrated, sticking something social on a page

doesn’t mean people will instantly use it.

More importantly, Google as a company is built for speed and efficiency, neither of which are critical to the

success of a social network. That’s why we predict another horrendous year for the search giant in the social realm.


2. A Middling MySpace Is Sold Off

Despite a total redesign and overhaul, MySpace continues to plummet like a boulder pushed off a cliff.

While we’re fans of the social network’s attempt to reinvent itself as a “social entertainment destination,”

the frank truth is that MySpace is bleeding money and there’s no end in sight to the bloodshed.

Eventually MySpace will bottom out; we just don’t know when. It won’t come soon enough for News Corp.

though, and it will start looking for someone to take its high-profile Internet property off of its hands.

MySpace is still a valuable asset in the right hands, so somebody will pick it up.


3. Bebo Gets a New Owner… Again


Bebo’s fall from grace is one of the sad stories of social networking. When we first covered Bebo in 2006,

it was on its way to becoming a powerhouse. In 2008, AOL acquired Bebo for $850 million, an astounding

(and overvalued) price point.

Six months ago, AOL sold Bebo for about $10 million to Criterion Capital Partners. Then they made a few

big moves: they hired Kevin Bachus, co-creator of the Xbox, and brought Bebo co-founder Michael Birch back

as an advisor and investor.

Bebo’s still shrinking though. Unless Birch and Bachus can orchestrate a comeback of Rocky proportions,

Criterion Capital Partners will start looking to make money on its investment or at least minimize its loss.

Even if it makes a comeback, Criterion’s reportedly interested in selling Bebo this year.

We expect Bebo to be in new hands by this time next year. The most likely acquirers, we believe, would

be a group led by Birch himself.


4. No Facebook IPO in 2011


There have been countless rumors about a Facebook IPO since 2007. The media has been waiting

with baited breath for the day that Mark Zuckerberg cashes in on his baby and turns his company public.

I’m here to tell the media: Don’t hold your breath.

I could create a list of reasons the size of an SUV why Facebook and its billionaire leader aren’t going

to be raising money on the public markets. Here are just a few of them:

  • Mark Zuckerberg is famously uninterested in money. He believes in delayed gratification and has
  • lived in a modest home for years — he’s the opposite of the far more extravagant Larry Ellison,
  • co-founder and CEO of Oracle. In other words, he’s in no rush for a big payday.
  • Secondary markets like Sharespost have changed the game for cashing out on investments.
  • In the past, VCs needed to cash out on their investments by acquisition or IPO, but as Accel
  • Partners proved last month, VCs no longer need an IPO to do so.
  • Zuckerberg sees no strategic advantage to an IPO. In fact, it’s just a lot more paperwork, headaches
  • and scrutiny. He’d love to delay that as long as possible.
  • Facebook doesn’t believe it’s ready for an IPO: “Facebook would benefit from another year of growth
  • absent the added scrutiny that comes with a public listing,” Business Week reported earlier this year.

The result is that there won’t be a Facebook IPO in 2011. So long as the company’s growth metrics are

strong, Facebook has no need for the public markets. When it hits its saturation point though, that’s when

you should expect the social network to make its move. I predict that will happen in 2012.

Image courtesy of Charis Tsevis


5. Twitter Has a Very Boring 2011


While I don’t consider Twitter a social network, many people do, so it’s only appropriate that

I provide a prediction for what will happen to Twitter in 2011.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t come up with anything interesting: Twitter’s going to have a steady

and boring 2011.

Sure, Twitter will launch new features, and senior execs will continue to step down and new people

will take their place, but that’s what happens to any maturing business. Now that Twitter has new funding,
has launched its ad platform and has launched a complete redesign, is there an earth-shattering event

that could take us by surprise?

I don’t discount it; I just don’t predict there will be one. An IPO makes no sense with the new round of

funding. A redesign isn’t necessary. Really, Twitter is focused on its ad platform and will launch features

that enhance it. Twitter will slowly continue to grow, but I don’t expect Facebook-like hockey stick growth.

In 2011, Twitter is going to be one of the most boring social media services around. And I know

the Twitter team is just fine with that.


6. The Social Networking Trend of 2011: Mobile Photos


Pokorny was discussing during his Ignite talk at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. He argued that

publishing has evolved from the desktop (blogging) to the phone (tweeting) to the smartphone (photo-taking).

While social photography is nothing new (Flickr and Facebook dominate), mobile photography is just

beginning to blossom, thanks to apps like Instagram, PicPlz, Path, and Dailybooth. Other services like

Tumblr, Gowalla, Posterous and most recently Foursquare are only pushing the trend further.

2011 will be the year mobile photo sharing becomes all the rage. These services will hit critical mass as

smartphone users install apps in order to keep up with their friends. I also predict that Facebook will join

the fray and implement new mobile photo-sharing features integrated with its Places platform, bringing

the whole trend to another level.

This is retrieve from mashable.com

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Top 10 strategies for a successful E-learning

Education | 2010.12.17 07:48 | Posted by 스마트 안전보건

Many tasks, roles, and tools are required to design and develop robust,

effective e-learning.

By Mark Steiner

 

Today’s wide blend of technologies enables an extraordinary range of cognitive, affective, and social enhancements of learning capabilities. Advances in collaborative learning and experiential simulation enable a variety of guided and inquiry-based learning that cross the barriers of distance and time. Through a mixture of instructional media, learners and educators can experience synchronous and asynchronous interactions.

 

This article focuses primarily on asynchronous learning, specifically constructing self-paced e-learning courses, though these strategies could be applied to a variety of learning design and development situations. Designing and developing robust, effective e-learning is not easy. Many tasks, roles, and tools are required to complete the process successfully. Here are 10 of the fundamentals critical to success.

 
  1. Educate the client on the fundamentals of e-learning. Regardless of a client’s level of e-learning awareness or sophistication, an educational process must occur. This is true whether it is an internal or external client. Even among experienced professionals within this industry, individuals undoubtedly have varying nomenclature regarding roles, processes, and tools. It is essential to educate your client on roles, processes, tools, options, costs, feasibility, and consequences to ensure all parties are operating on similar assumptions and guidelines. You and your client should approach the endeavor as a partnership. Assist your client in realizing what an integral part it is to the process. Build trust with your client by providing it with sensible, honest, pragmatic expertise. However, don’t be afraid to exert control and don’t be afraid to say no. Remember it’s your responsibility to set and control the client’s expectations.
 
  1. Determine the actualtraining need or gap. If training is not the solution to the problem, you are guaranteed to fail. It is doubtful either you or your client desire such an outcome. To help ensure determination of the actual deficiency, perform a thorough analysis, working closely with your client. Begin your analysis with what your client thinks is wrong, then dig deeper, utilizing your previous experiences, education, and intuition. There are a variety of resources that can assist individuals and organizations in enhancing and strengthening their analysis process.
 
  1. Define your process and communicate it, focusing on key review points in the cycle. The design and development of e-learning is often a complicated collision of ideas, tools, roles, people, technology, and desired outcomes. You and your client want predictable results. A well-defined, reliable process is the clearest way to get the desired results. What activities are to occur? When will they occur? Which ones must be completed before other activities can begin? It is important to make your client aware of its responsibilities: specifically inputs, review cycles, and corresponding impacts

 

Mark Steiner is president of learning solutions firm mark steiner, inc. Visitwww.marksteinerinc.com for more information.

Read more at www.trainingmag.com


 

 

 

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