Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Thumb through the latest issue of Real Simple or O magazine, and you’ve probably come across a unique graphic such as this one at the bottom of an advertisement. This is a QR code.
A quick response (QR) code is a bar code that can be scanned with a QR code-reading app, or it can be photographed and emailed from a smart phone to a company’s website. Most are black and white but I’ve seen them in color. By scanning the code, your web browser is redirected to a unique url that promotes a company’s product, giveaway, or contest. They seem to be everywhere these days.
I’m always interested in the new next, so how can poets and poetry organizations use this latest technology? What if, by scanning a poetry QR code, a reader of a poetry publication could unlock poems available to subscribers only? Or, what if poets used QRs as a way of promoting their upcoming titles by releasing a few poems as a teaser? You can go to any free QR site and generate your own unique code. And there are apps that can do it on the fly. This generation of poetry lovers seems to appreciate the integration of hi-tech wizardry with poetry's low-tech aesthetic.
What other possibilities are available for QR codes and the lit world? If you have any ideas, or have seen these codes used by publishers, journals/zines, or writers, let me know.