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Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

One Day in the Life of a Mobile Smart Phone

October 22, 2010 1 comment

CC photo by Andy Mihail

It’s nearing the end of another (busy) day. For some reason, I began reflecting on my mobile phone usage today. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading and reflecting on the recent Bobbi Newman and Jason Griffey dueling blog posts about mobile phones and the digital divide. In any case, I decided to list the ways that I used my mobile phone since waking up this morning.

  • Checked email
  • Sent email (work-related and personal)
  • Added a November meeting to my calendar
  • Broadcasted a question to librarians on Twitter and replied to responses
  • Accessed content from my Evernote account
  • Searched the web to find a local restaurant
  • Used Google maps for directions
  • Called AAA emergency roadside service (battery died — all is well now)
  • Called home

For some, that may not be much activity at all. For others, I might be labeled as one of those people who is “always doing something with that phone.” Personally, I can clearly recognize a progressive increase in my use (bordering on dependence in some cases) of the mobile smart phone for many different tasks. For me, in other words, the device has crossed the line between “cool gadget” and “everyday appliance.” That is true for a lot of people that I know–but not everyone.

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Categories: Mobile, Technology Tags: ,

QR Coded

August 12, 2010 3 comments

I am finally getting around to sharing the QR Code that I generated for this blog. Here ’tis…

Speaking of Information Blog

Some time ago, I experimented with generating this odd-looking square barcode that is a matrix of black and white square boxes–a QR Code. QR Codes have been around for a while now. Perhaps you’ve seen one on an American Express shipment label. These codes are beginning to be used more and more in everyday applications centered around mobile phone users. QR Codes provide “quick response” (thus, QR) mobile access to information, such as a URL for linking to a website. Maybe you’ve recently seen one in a magazine ad.

And you can generate your own QR Codes. There are several free online QR Code generators available, as well as free QR Code readers (software) available for download to your mobile phone. I created my QR Code using BeeTagg.

What used to be a tracking application for manufacturing, distribution, etc. is becoming a mainstream tool for the general consumer with a mobile smart phone.

Point camera phone. Snap picture. Receive URL. Be whisked away to web content.

Don’t be surprised if you begin to see QR Codes popping up in all sorts of places.

CC images on Flickr (by avlxyz, GlacierGuyMT, goosegrease, and osde8info)
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Categories: Technology Tags: ,

Leveraging Location-Based Social Apps: A Foursquare Example

August 3, 2010 Comments off

I play around with a personal Foursquare account–partly because I enjoy experimenting with tech toys, partly because it is game-like (and I have fun with that), and partly in order to understand something about the service. I would like to be able to have an (at least somewhat) intelligent conversation should it ever come up in my information-consultant role as a librarian.

The other day I was checking-in on Foursquare at a business establishment in the city where I live and noticed an icon pointing me to a “nearby special offer.” I clicked the link to discover the following…

Here is a real-life example of a business where I live that is leveraging their presence on Foursquare to connect with existing/potential customers and draw their business. (For those who are not familiar with Foursquare, users check-in at venues with their mobile device and are awarded points and sometimes “badges” for reaching certain levels of activity. The person with the most check-ins at a venue at any given time is dubbed the “Mayor” of that location.)

So it goes like this: Visit McAlister’s (and enjoy a great meal) as many times as possible, check-in with Foursquare more than anyone else, and enjoy one of those great meals on the house. It’s incentive-filled. Friendly competitive. Simple.

Location-based social networking applications–like Foursquare, Gowalla, BrightKite, and Loopt–are seeing a growth in popularity. (RJMetrics tracks usage data for Foursquare and Gowalla.) Some in the business world have recognized this begun exploring ways to incorporate these social networking tools into their advertising strategy. Likewise, some of us in the library world are asking ourselves, “How can we use applications like Foursquare to connect with our users who are sporting mobile devices and enjoying a bent for social networking?” It’s not necessarily about new resources and services. It’s not even about the social networking app. It’s entirely about making connections–making our libraries relevant to users.

This topic has been discussed for some time and at some length among librarians. Cecily Walker (Vancouver Public Library) blogged about Foursquare and libraries. David Lee King (Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library) wrote a post on the subject and then a follow-up post. Kyle Jones (contributor to the Tame the Web website) told of the Darien Library experiment with Foursquare and their library users. And Jenny Levine (The Shifted Librarian) shared her Foursquare “a-ha” moment with us. These are just a few examples.

Take a look at these two libraries on Foursquare:

Librarians, is your library using any of the location-based social networking sites to connect with your users? What kind of things are you doing? Are your efforts strengthening, enhancing, growing, etc. your connections to your users?

Library users, are you using location-based social networking sites like Foursquare? How would you like to see your library using these social networking sites to make special offers to you and have some fun along the way?

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