Ignorance Is Not Always Bliss ~ Dear Vancouver, you missed it.

Posted on February 13, 2011


I wanted to teach people a new way to connect so I designed an event to facilitate that process.

Stéphanie Lamontagne

Stéphanie Lamontagne knows QR

The idea was to invite people to converge in a public place and exchange information by scanning each other’s QR code.

Huh? Scanning what? With Who?

It’s obvious to me that despite having made a concentrated effort to advertise and promote the event it was inevitably destined to fail because a rare few in this grand metropolis even know what QR actually is.

Stéphanie Lamontagne knows QR.

She was the only participant to show up.  Well… her and CBC News.  She printed out her code for the Saint Valentine’s day MassQR and was ready to exchange with others.

I bet there’s a lot of guys sitting at home right now kicking themselves for missing the chance to meet Stéphanie.

Really the problem isn’t that no one wants to meet Stéphanie, the problem is that no one realized she was there for the meeting.  Who’s going to attend an event they don’t understand?

“Yeah, like, I’m going to this thing, and you take your phone and do something with it and like, then you get the stuff.”

No one wants to admit they don’t know the answer.  Most people just nod politely and say “yeah, yeah” smile and nod some more, while you point it out to them.  We see it in magazines and newspapers, at bus stops and on billboards but our brains don’t register the image because we consider it unimportant.  Our eyes are trained to ignore the catalog number or price sticker on a poster.

QR code is the  surprise that’s waiting to be discovered.  It’s surrounds us but we don’t see it because it doesn’t catch our interest.   In the same way that since bar codes are so common-place we don’t register them anymore.

But these codes, QR Codes, are different.

Marketers and advertisers have tapped into the explosive potential of instant-conversion of consumers that QR code offers.

ZR = Zero Response

Even the reporter from the CBC News did not understand the story potential of  ZR or Zero Response versus QR Quick Response.  The media got wind of the potential for a flash mob that was to converge near the skating rink at 3pm sharp.  They arrived at 3:40pm.  Waiting for a mob. At 3:02pm Stéphanie Lamontagne arrived.  Besides organizer Alison Richards, an international transmedia producer, and photographer Art Young, the CBC news team of reporter and camera operator were the only other people in area.

It’s heartbreaking  that Robson Square could be so empty at 3pm on a Sunday before Valentine’s Day.

Since no “mob” arrived the media sulked away to cover a story at a flower shop.  Stéphanie Lamontagne and organizer Alison Richards met to discuss the shocking revelation that Vancouverites need QR lessons.

They exchanged notes on a recently released  report by Mobio (Mobio Identity Systems Inc.) about QR code use in North America and how it increased 1200% over the last six months of 2010.

Both women agreed that anybody who doesn’t know QR, better start learning.  It’s going to become a HUGE part of our daily existence.

Alison and Stéphanie decided the best course of action is to produce a short series of videos to teach the values and how-to’s of QR.

If you have anything specific you want explained or investigated please suggest it in the comments.

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