Who cares about QR Codes?

I did a shoot the other day and afterwards we all went out to grab a drink.  The menu at the place we were at had a QR code on it and one of the guys said something along the lines of "these QR codes are really catching on and about to blow up."  To which those of us who work in the marketing world chuckled and said why's that?  He argued that when he starts to hear about something it's starting to get big because he's always the last to know.  Not bad logic, but in reality when have you ever seen someone use a QR code?  How many people do you even know with the app to read them on their phones?  It's an interesting idea but it will not catch on and is just another marketing ploy for agencies to make a couple extra bucks.  "Look at this!!!!  We can put these sweet QR codes onto stuff and people can just scan them in!!! How digital is this?!"  That's how I imagine those sell in meetings going.  They leave out the part where they rarely work properly, you have to download something to your phone to even be able to use them, and they're free.  You don't need to pay someone to use one or build one.

All that said, there is 1 place where I use QR codes and I think they're actually very helpful... real estate.  I'm not buying a house but I like to know what things cost in different areas.  Odds that I remember the name of the real estate company to go back and google it is rare.  And Red Fin can be hit or miss when I want it to find my location.  I will however scan a QR code if the sign has one and get the results I want.  But that's it.  Anywhere else a QR code is just a sad way to bring something into the digital age that in reality doesn't actually do that.

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People often ask me what use Twitter is. I used to not know how to answer that, but now I have solid examples of why I love the site. Sure there's the interactions with friends and followers and ranting and just feeling more self important than anyone should. It only takes a few days to get used to that, but there's more. In 140 keystrokes or less I'm in touch with people and companies that I NEVER could be in touch with in any other situation. Millionaire Mark Cuban is tweeting about how great HDnet is, I send him a @reply to find out what he's talking about and why I can't get it on U-verse and within seconds he and I are tweeting back and forth. He sings the praise of his network and tells me exactly how to get it on u-verse (I was looking in the wrong spot). This guy owns sports teams and has millions but takes a minute to explain HDnet to me because it's soo fast to do. I was looking to take my girlfriend on vacation to a beach for her 30th birthday. That was my only requirement but I had no idea where to go. What do you know, I follow American Airlines (@AAirwaves) and they randomly post a deal on a trip to Barbados. I check it out, make a call and it saves me $400-500 on the vacation I was planning. That's $500 saved by some tweets. Today I randomly send a reply to Legal Zoom (@legalzoom) a company I've looked at for incorporating many times but can't get over the cost (it's what it should cost, I just haven't been able to pull the trigger). I tell them "@LegalZoom u guys should drop a twitter coupon action for your followers on the fence about incorporating (aka, i'm gonna inc & wanna save)" 140 little characters, they send me a Direct Message with a 20% off coupon. Roughly that saves me $200.

Between Legal Zoom and American Airlines that's $700 I've saved via Twitter in the past couple months. Both would be great companies without the discounts, I have a new found affection for both after them. I've posted 1,136 tweets, I've saved $700. If you break that down to a per tweet number that means I've saved 61.6 cents per tweet I've posted. How can you not love something with a return like that?