Website with Semacode, Why?

Semacodes are pretty cool.

The all knowing Wikipedia with it’s dazzling array of cross-links describes a semacode thusly:

a URL can be converted into a type of barcode resembling a crossword puzzle, which is called a “tag”. Tags can be quickly captured with a mobile phone‘s camera and decoded to obtain a Web site address. This address can then be accessed via the phone’s web browser

In essence you take a photo of a thing (see top right) and your phone does something interesting.

In Japan (rumour has it) they’re very common. But they call them QR Codes. And they’ve started doing things like putting them on their business cards so that you can just photograph it and then get the contact information into your address book. Kinda Cool.


Where all of these sorts of innovation fall down is using them just for the sake of it. You’ve got to ask yourself that question, “wouldn’t it just be simpler to…?”. For example just taking a disposable photo of an address instead of bluetoothing it to my phone – see my previous post on Photonotes.

So I was puzzled to see this Nike site with a QR code on it:

I’ve sat and thought about it. In fact I’m still thinking about it….I’m sure I’m missing out on something because I don’t read Japanese. But in the best case it’s going to add something to my phone (a graphic, an application, a screensaver, a bit of video?) or, and I really hope this isn’t the case, it takes my phone to a web page. But either way surely getting someone to use their phone to do something when they’re already engaged on a website seems a bit odd.
Or even more bizarrely… If someone was accessing this website on their phone (as many people in Japan do). How are they supposed to take a photo of this QR code?!?!

Please can someone Japanese put me out of my ignorant misery, please. I’d love to know why this is there.

Flock Irony

Actually I’m not quite sure if it is irony. But it felt a bit like a kind of irony. I’m using my favourite thing of the day, Flock, to blog about my new favourite thing of the day, Flock. It’s basically a version of Firefox that’s been properly hooked up with lots of Web 2.0 services. Most importantly for your bookmarks, flickr for photographs, and your blogging software of choice. Then it has really neat stuff like being able to pull photographs into form fields to create the right HTML and stuff like that.

Flock — The web browser for you and your friends

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Feedburner – RSS + nice touches

feedburner page

I’m now going to attempt a cunning blog maneuver, I’m going to try and join two recent posts together (admittedly in a bit of a clumsy way).
Feedburner is a really cool service for bloggers or web site owners. It allows you to make your RSS feeds much more manageable and measurable. It helps end-users to subscribe to your feeds by creating a page that is accessible to almost any web browser, and then gives you a choice of how you’d like to subscribe to a feed. It handles this in a dynamic fashion: if your browser can deal with feeds it doesn’t get in the way, if it can’t, Feedburner steps in and helps.

Anyway, in my quest to make more sense of RSS feeds I was browsing through my Feedburner pages, and I chanced upon this:

feedburner dialogue box

I thought this was another really nice example of a charming (if very US-centric) dialogue box. Rather than saying ‘you must be registered to view this page’ and not letting me see anything. It dims out the underlying content (see main image) thereby teasing me in, as well as up-selling in an approachable human way.

I liked it anyway.