In one of the various higher ed forums Lougan Bishop (@lougan) posted a query about QR codes (example to the right). Basically he was asking if any schools were using them and, if so, how they were using them. A number of responses came back but one of the most useful may have been from Cliff Jenkins (@cliffyballgame) who noted that you could use the URL shortener bit.ly to create and track QR code usage. This was something I already knew but figured others might find this tidbit useful as well.
Steps for Creating a bit.ly QR Code
Here are the pretty straightforward steps for creating a QR code via bit.ly
- Go to http://bit.ly/
- Enter in the URL you want to create a QR code for. For example I'd want one for the web address http://www.wvu.edu/
- Click "Shorten"
- The web address you just shortened should have been added to the list of other addresses you may have shortened
- Click on the link "Info Page" for the web address
- In the top right of the info page you should now see the QR code for the address you just added. If you click on the image you'll get a slightly larger version that you then can save to your desktop to use in printed pieces or wherever.
With bit.ly you'll get both your QR code created for you and a simple way to track the total number of uses of your QR code. If you're using Google Analytics you may want to consider adding the appropriate campaign tracking attributes to your original web address for more robust tracking (hat tip to Michael Fienen (@fienen) for that idea).
Are You Using QR Codes?
If you're using QR codes at your school please feel free to drop a line in the comments and share what you're using them for. We used them in our Big East campaign last spring.