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I was recently on the Scoutmob website where they were advertising a deal for their new T-shirt. In order to get a shirt they write: “Unfortunately, you can’t order your Scoutmob shirt via the iPhone or Android app. This will only work the old-fashioned internet way. I understood that they are saying this in a joking manner, but the reality is that this description of the internet as “old-fashioned” is actually very true in many ways:
1) When was the last time you ever heard someone say “internet” with any excitement? Even a decade ago people were in awe about what the internet allowed them to do. Nowadays everyone and their mom (and dad, and grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers, etc) is on the internet now. At one point in time it was “new” and “revolutionary” to sit for minutes at a time (minutes!!) while your dial-up logged in on AOL. But now I see my grandmother getting impatient after 5 seconds of waiting for a page to load. Back when I was younger it was a big deal to be able to simply find out information (without Googling it…wtf were we doing back then?); I am only 22…that’s how fast things are moving.
2) While phones and tablets and game consoles are now jumping on the internet bandwagon full force now, it’s what is now capable on phones with things like QR codes and Stickybits, mobile shopping, social networking, etc. that are captivating the entire population. The internet is now just a means to an end, rather than the innovative service that once was.
3) The internet has simply become so mainstream that simple use of the internet is no longer an action. With words like “Google” “Youtube” and “Tweeting” becoming verbs, simply logging on isn’t a big deal. The realization of something like the internet being taken for granted is pretty profound if you think about the hundreds of millions, or billions, of people who use it daily. “E-mail” and “screen names” are not obsolete, yet, but they aren’t the go-to choices for communication for many people.
What does this spell for the future of communication? Something as revolutionary as the internet is now an expected luxury, more of a right instead of a privilege. This isn’t meant to preach any morals or points of views specifically, it is just an observation of how fast our world has progressed even in the new millennium. It’s astounding how quickly societies can evolve, and its a great testament to human willpower and ingenuity don’t you think?
Ask yourself this and I bet you can’t remember: When was the last time you went even one week without being on the internet? Post your answer in the comments.
A couple of months ago I was fortunate enough to get my hands on my very own HTC Incredible. This is by no means a review of the phone, but I will say that it has completely lived up to its name…and then some. It is also my first smartphone experience where I have all the access I want: Internet, Android apps, email notifications popping up at 3am, and everything else that’s good and bad about smartphones. My new favorite toy, well function, is the bar code scanner. I recently saw an article on Mashable about creative social media friendly business cards that featured one card that I became obsessed with; number 8 on the page.
Note: If you don’t get what a QR code is I would check this out for more detail.
If you are involved in social media or marketing at all, you realize the potential for these little black and white squares. I personally followed the business card idea, and integrated a QR code link on all of my emails; scan the code and you’ll get my contact info as well as my LinkedIn profile and Twitter page links. I think it’s just the beginning of this as well. Sites like Stickybits are utilizing these bar codes in a way that allow you to have several documents including a resume, cover letter, and portfolio all in a small bar code.
The potential for these codes goes beyond just what can be contained within them. Users scanning these bar coded are actively engaged and will pay attention to what they are viewing. This puts these codes ahead of television commercials, online advertisements, and print advertisements. Imagine walking down the street and seeing a big QR code with a very intriguing tagline underneath. Scanning the code takes three seconds and the information you may be missing out on is something you can’t resist. You scan the code, find a store special or sale. This type of situation won’t be uncommon, or nonexistent for long. Advertisers have been looking for ways to get consumers engaged and attentive since the invention of DVR and pop-up blockers, and here it is.
Another example, something that I discussed recently with a couple of people: You go to a grocery store/supermarket and are looking for a nutritional bar. Scan the bar code on the shelf, not the product box but the one on the actual shelf, and you are immediately given customer reviews and nutritional information that you can compare to other bars (stuff that’s been done before), but then you are able to see pictures of celebrities eating the bar (automatic celebrity endorsements that are free…what now?) as well as any other documents or pictures one decides to attach to that bar code. Does this not seem like something consumers would love to have?
If you aren’t buying into the bar code craze give it a try, then let us know what you think in the comments.