Take it or Leave it: The 411 on QR Codes

Everyone has seen a Quick Response (QR) Code, but most people don’t know what they are. First let’s get a clear definition:

a QR Code is a machine-readable code comprised of an array of black and white squares generally used for storing URLs and other information. The camera on a smartphone that has a barcode scanner app installed reads QR Codes. According to CBS News smartphone statistics report that over half the adult population in America owns a smartphone and is capable of reading QR Codes. However Forbes reveals that QR Code usage exists in only 17 percent of smartphones in America.
Although QR Codes were developed in 1995 they still have yet to see the light of popularity. But as more businesses embrace this technology, QR Codes are projected to increase in popularity. But those who already know about the existence of QR Codes are asking this question: are QR Codes good for business?

The Pros and Cons

There are a number of reasons why some dislike QR Codes. Many refuse to put them on their marketing materials because they label them “ugly” and claim they distort the brand’s aesthetic appeal and make it look “cheap.” Others refuse to use them because they feel the functionality is too limited. For example, it can be rather difficult for a QR Code to connect a Facebook ID with the end users and provide or track appropriate content. Finally, the user experience is drastically low and many people feel QR Codes are not worth the bother or worth “defacing” their marketing materials.
If used correctly QR Codes can build customer relationships, help with SEO, boost blog traffic, and aid in targeting specific audiences. They are also extremely easy to use and don’t monopolize much time. But before you start developing your QR Codes you need to make sure your website and its content is worthy. When you hire your SEO specialist make sure to communicate your intention to use QR Codes and ask what components should be QR Code readable.


Multiple businesses struggle to get clients to complete surveys regarding products. When handed paper surveys most wind up in the trash and those sent via e-mail find their way into junk mail. However, QR Codes can provide links to surveys that can easily be completed in line at the store, while waiting for a medical appointment or seated at a table in a favorite restaurant.


QR Codes can add fuel to your SEO fire. When using a social graph stuffed with music clips, images, videos and content a QR Code can enhance your social media and search engine optimization. Traffic can be easily increased to these searchable items through QR Codes as a PLATFORM for encouraging sharing. Even printing a QR Code on the back of your business card that links to a You Tube video posted to your website can enhance visibility and encourage sharing via social sites like Twitter and Facebook that will lead the multitudes to your URL.

Proper Usage

If you decide to implement QR Codes into your marketing endeavors make sure you use them correctly. Nobody is going to scan a QR Code from or on a moving vehicle. This means putting a QR Code on a public bench, a building or on a car is a waste of time and effort. QR Codes also have no place on banners or flags that flap in the breeze making a scan nearly impossible. Business cards, envelopes, letterheads, brochures and articles are acceptable and advantageous places to display QR Codes, if in fact you decide to take them rather than leave them.

One Way To Make Yourself More Congruent- The “Into the Forest” Phenomenon

What I want to talk about today is a reliable indicator of how far on or off the path of their own personal truth a person lies.

Personal truth is congruence, when someone feels like they truly belong in their own skin, both from the inside and outside, from oneself and from others.

You have certainly met someone in your life that is incongruent.

This will be very familiar to you. You see someone walk into a room. Immediately the reptilian part of your mind categorizes this person, whether your morals say that this is the “right” thing to do or not. You just do. Imagine a person. What kind of job does this person have? What kind of relationship do they have with the opposite sex? What kind of a friends do they have? Do they brush their teeth at night? Do they read books? Do they watch sports? Generally, our highly trained minds will somewhat accurately predict a person’s personality before they even say a word.

Have you ever seen a person, categorized them, and then they started talking andsomething just felt off? Not something so obvious as someone wearing a real mask, but a personality mask. An uncomfortable personality mask. One that says “I am really uncomfortable in my skin and this mask hurts?” Maybe it is just a nervous tick when you thought someone was really confident and grounded. Maybe you thought someone was a really nasty looking person, and when they talk they seem to reflect this, except for a little something, a little burning fire of friendship inside.

I believe generally our predictions from our gut are accurate.

Our modern technology oriented minds seem to get in the way as much as our morals, our ideas about how the world should be. This divide between reality and a dream is where I believe I see many people come to a Stop sign, and they stop! Not only do they stop, but they stay there! On the other side of the stop sign, it says “You should have kept going, fool!” The stop sign is on the path of congruence, of aligning one’s life so that not only do they feel comfortable in their skin, but others feel comfortable for them!

The next step is what I call the “Into the Forest” phenomenon. Think of it as a certain red vs. blue pill. Will you continue to stop and stay at the sign, or do you continue on through, knowing that for the rest of your life there will be stop signs, and you just have to KEEP GOING THROUGH THEM? The Into the Forest phenomenon is where someone’s idea about how they think the world should be is tested. Their ideals come up from a plush green field and suddenly are presented with a path into a forest full of mystery, darkness, wolves, and danger. One has only to realize that it is the ideals that we so stronly and foolishly cling onto that are in danger – it is NOT phsyical danger. It is a person’s ego, a person’s artificial values based on who and what they cherish. Will you seek personal truth, congruence, or will you stop dead at the forest and return to the plush green fields of hobbits, mom’s cooking, dad’s values, your friends’ ideas about what you are and what you will always be?

While I will save this for another article, my first crashing down of reality came from my own problems in the dating scene after college. Coming off a long term relationship, I was so uncomfortable around women I wanted to date, that they could sense it, they felt I was not congruent. My own inquisitiveness led me to a scene of individuals on the internet that sought to change this fragility of male ego. Pick up artists. Seduction experts. Psychopaths. Manipulators. Genuine self-help individuals. The whole gamut of human minds all focused on the goal of making their love lives what they have always wanted them to be. And within what I read people discovered absolutely blew my roof. Everything from my past relationships, for a moment, immediately I saw through shit colored glasses. My ideals bled to death.

How can this be? How can I live knowing this now?

Behind what you fear, on the other side of that forest, lies another, greener field. A better place. But there may be tears, there may be pain, maybe in some instances, death. But to die searching for what truly brings peace to one’s mind, one’s soul, is just as good in my mind as having achieved it.

Will your ideals stop you dead at the sight of something different, or will you enter the forest with your sword? Who will come out alive on the other side is an individual with less ideals, but stronger, more congruent, ready for a moment of repose before picking up one’s things and carrying on. With achievement comes temporary glory, but you must know that the forest will present itself again. This time, you are better prepared. This is the rune Wunjo in the Futhark alphabet. Find your temporary glory. Bask in the sun for a moment for yourself. Don’t stop, ever.