Archive - Apr 2011

April 10th

Road Trip, Day 2

The drive south was uneventful. I did not tap Fiona on the knee and shout “Red winged Blackbird”. We were riding in a Prius and could talk at normal voices, and not on Pirsig’s motorcycle. We were going to see Fiona’s sister. My ex wife would be there and while it very different from Pirsig going back to his earlier life, this was not Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

It would be an eight hour drive. We had various books on tapes to listen to. Fiona had her video game to play. Yet, instead, we spent time talking. We crossed the Hudson River and talked about New York City, about my family and their travels.

We stopped at Dietrich’s meats to pick up some local soda. We passed by Harrisburg and looked down the river towards three mile island. We headed down Interstate 81 where there were many signs for gun shows. In Virginia, the Blue Ridge Mountains were shrouded in fog and we eventually checked in at our hotel.

I could write more about this, but the day is beckoning.

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April 9th

Road Trip

In an hour or two, my youngest daughter Fiona and I will set off on a road trip. We are driving from Connecticut to Virginia, where my middle daughter Miranda will be giving her senior piano recital as her senior project in ceramics is on display.

It has been a long time since I did a long road trip like this. The price of gas cuts back on my interest in these sorts of trips, and having a nine year old in the car for eight hours is also daunting. However, road trips can be great fun, and hopefully, a good experience for Fiona.

We’re going to be driving straight down today and straight back tomorrow. Not a lot of time to dilly dally and check out different places along the way. We might stop at one or two places to get a little local flavor, but it seems as if this is harder and harder to do.

Local flavor is has mostly been replaced by national franchises along the way. I thought of this yesterday as I stopped for some BBQ in Meriden CT. It was authentic Carolina BBQ served from a trailer of a man who cooks it for the love of it. You could taste the smoke in the meat, and it was nothing like you get at a large chain.

So, we prepare for the road trip and hope to get some local flavor along the way. Tune in tomorrow when I hope to provide an update.

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April 8th

#FF @RobQuigley @NickDawson @JMSCHC @NBNinc @donechute @bfowlersc @astyaep

Well, this week, I’m pretty tired, so I’m writing a Follow Friday post listing the seven people I’ve followed most recently.

Starting off the list is @RobQuigley Rob followed me recently and I followed him back. I’m not sure if Rob is related to @RichQuigley, but about the same time Rob followed me, Rich retweeted a message I had sent. Rich lists himself as “Award Winning Media Strategist & Exec Producer @NBNinc,” and Rob lists himself as “Directing social media for Source Interlink Media - 75+ magazine brands & websites. Former New Media Director for Gov. @Schwarzenegger.”

@NBNInc describes itself as “Since 1968, the leading producer & distributor of branded content for PR & marketing, including, media tours, RNRs, MVRs, PSAs, News Media, Corp News & Video.” They are currently running a contest where a nonprofit will receive a free radio news release. (Click on the contest link for details.)

One of my coworkers speaks highly of @NBNInc, and suggested we should try to get people to nominate CHC. I posted a tweet about it and followed @NBNInc and they followed me back.

@NickDawson starts his Twitter description with “Hospital administration, passionate about patient experience, maker of bacon”. He wrote an interesting blog post, Meaningful Use guidelines for Social Media in Healthcare. “Meaningful Use” is a term of art in heathcare technology, and Nick has written a great blog post.

@JMSCHC is the Joseph M Smith Community Health Center in Massachusetts. I believe we met through the weekly #chcchat and I look forward to talking more with them over the coming weeks.

@donechute is a blogger I met through EntreCard or one of those networks. He recently followed me and I followed him back.

@bfowlersc is a “Health Policy and Advocacy for SC Community Health Centers and the National Association of Community Health Centers”

Closing off the list is @astyaep who attended a discussion I lead about social media and families.

So, that is my list for this week. Happy Follow Friday everyone.

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April 7th

QR Code Adoption

Lee Odden over at ToPrankBlog put up a blog post today, Will QR Codes Gain Mass Adoption?.

His post ends,

as creative and interesting QR codes are, I’m a bit skeptical in terms of mass adoption. For some reason, I can’t imagine consumer behavior changing to start scanning codes for things when they could just search or enter a URL. There’s also the technology that needs to be adopted by more devices.

Granted, I was a bit skeptical of Foursquare and Twitter too, but also Google Wave and Second Life.

What do you think?

My regular readers will recall that I've talked a lot about QR codes, as well as Google Wave and Second Life. So, I wrote a fairly long comment, that stands pretty well as a blog post of its own:

I am an innovator/early adopter in the technology adoption lifecycle, so I've always been a fan of new sites and new technology, whether it be Foursquare, Twitter, or Second Life and Google Wave, so it should come as no surprise that I'm QR Code believer.

First, however, let me offer a brief digression about Second Life and Google Wave. I don't believe either of those ideas failed. What failed was the companies efforts to promote it. I've spent a lot of time in Second Life and alway felt it was seriously mismanaged. I started talking a lot back then about the importance of open source virtual worlds, and just as we see Second Life dwindling, we are seeing more and more interest in OpenSim, an open source version of Second Life servers. While I have less for criticisms of Google, I find it interesting that while Google has stopped promoting Google Wave, they handed to code over to Apache, and there folks working on various open source Apache Wave servers. (I've run both OpenSim and Apache Wave servers).

Okay. Back to QR Codes. People need a reason to scan a barcode, whether it is a one dimensional or two dimensional bar code. In supermarkets, where UPC codes have been around for a many years, and during the early years, were rarely scanned, it is only in recent years we have gotten to the point of consumers scanning bar codes as they check out. They get something in return, a shorter wait in the checkout line. (At least in theory).

If people will scan UPC codes for some value, they will scan QR codes if value is presented to them. I've seen small specialized cases where that value exists: Scanning a QR Code at a museum to get information about a painting. More information for those who scan QR codes. I've heard stories of people scanning QR Codes in Japan to request taxis pick them up at a taxi stand. Better service for those who scan QR codes. I've heard stories of QR codes on Real Estate ads as a more efficient way of asking for information about a house for sale, but I haven't seen that and don't have details. That said, the QR Codes that I've scanned in magazine articles have not provided me any benefit.

So, will QR Codes make it? Yeah, when some creative people find ways of using them to provide value to customers that they can also profit off of, and I'm sure there are some creative people out there that can pull it off.

April 6th

Wordless Wednesday



Wizard of Oz, originally uploaded by Aldon.

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