Entries from November 2010 ↓

QR Codes

There are SO many people who have blogged about QR codes and have used them a LOT more than me. But this evening, I spoke to a group of young journalists who were really interested in how I put together my current business card. My QR code that takes you to the About page of this website. I use a WordPress plugin that helps mobile users view this site in a phone-friendly format. My business card gets a biographical enhancement for anyone who has a QR code reader on their phone. I’m including a look a portion of my card to give you an idea of how I it looks.

The Missouri School of Journalism’s student association held a really smart event last night. Professors and professionals from the area met with students for a “Networking Social.” The idea was to meet and greet and get experience talking to people you don’t know. I spoke to a number of freshmen, sophomores and juniors from the journalism school. We had all kinds of conversations. I loved it. Everyone introduced themselves, gave me solid eye contact and seemed to pay attention to what I had to say. Somehow, my experience turned into a mini-career counseling session to the many students I met.

After meet and greet time ended, the “pros” sat on a panel and gave tips on how to network.

My main tips:

  • Don’t stare at your phone all the time during conferences. I’ve made more contacts walking in the hallways and meeting areas by looking up and making eye contact.
  • Don’t travel in packs at events. Separate. Don’t see the people you know during a conference until at the end of the day during a conference. That way you have no choice but to meet new people during sessions and hallway wandering time.
  • Find creative ways to meet people. I bring power strips to conferences that eat up battery power. So why not share? During the SXSW10 conference, I came up with one simple rule: If you plug into my power strip, you need to introduce yourself. No requirement to trade cards, no further networking required. But by the end of the conference, I was using the #powerfriends hashtag on Twitter. Anyone who happened to use my power strip could network with me on Twitter thanks to the hashtag. It was fun. And nerdy.
  • Follow up. One you’ve made all kinds of contacts, follow up with an email. Make notes on a notebook or even the person’s business cards so you remember who they are when you send that note. You never know when one of those new contacts can become your new best friend. (By the way, I don’t always successfully follow through with this tip. I wish I was better at this. I honestly think I need to schedule full days away from the newsroom just to focus on networking.)

The big question at the end of the event was: How the heck did you make that QR code on your business card?

Here’s how I did it. First I searched “QR code generator.” That’s how I discovered Kaywa‘s generator. All you have to do is type in the information you want added into the code. (In my case, it’s a link to my website.) You can choose which size QR code you would like to create. Once you create it, you can embed it into a website. Or you can just save the image. Once I had my image, I went to Moo to create my ¬†new business card. The site lets you give it whatever look you want and you can attach an image on the details side. It isn’t that complicated, but it makes a clean looking business card that has a talking point the moment you hand it over to your new contact. (Plus it’s just fun to compare QR code readers and talk about tech tools that I like.)

Have fun!

Manning the election fort

My newsroom is buzzing around preparing for election night coverage. My nerd-self is buzzing about the cool ways you can participate in election day online. The one we’re looking forward to the most at KOMU is our CoverItLive chat we’re planning online tonight. We have experts, candidates and candidate representatives jumping in to give our online viewers a chance to ask questions and get a new perspective on election night. You’ll be able to view the chat starting at 7:00 p.m. CT.

If you use Twitter, there’s the Twitter Vote Report project. All you have to do is go to your polling place, tweet about your experience and add “#votereport” to your tweet to get registered onto a national map of polling places. The site is also asking you to participate even if you don’t use Twitter. You can send a text message starting with #votereport to 66937 (MOZES). Also, you can call 567-258-VOTE (8683) or 208-272-9024. There are even apps for iPhone and Android users.

Facebook is targeting all users ages 18 and up to vote. There’s a notice at the top of each person’s newsfeed reminding you to vote. You can also tell others you voted by posting a vote badge onto your wall.¬†Facebook also created a voter page where you can search for your polling place using Google Maps.

To top things off, Foursquare has created a map that tracks the number of polling place check ins across the country. It created a special “I Voted” badge and website for members to add to their collection. To get the badge, all you have to do is say #ivoted into the Foursquare message. You can also post it to Twitter by adding #votereport to include it into the Twitter Vote Report at the same time. (By the way, if you like Gowalla, you can get an “I Voted” pin if you use the word “vote” or “voted” when you check in.)

These are just a few of the interactive ways to share your participation on election day. I hope you get a chance to go out and vote!