This Week’s Top Tweets (April 30)

1. Google: The new approach to how we work with advertising agencies

Citing the growth and evolution of the ad business, Google is making big changes to the way it works with agencies. This article talks about updates to Google’s AdWords Certification and Certified Partners programs and the introduction of AdWords API pricing.

Takeaway: All in all, these changes are designed to offer agencies better training and more rigorous certification in AdWords proficiency, giving more weight to that certification. The changes are also intended to lower costs for consultants who help advertisers get the most out of AdWords. Finally, Google is making it easier for advertisers to find certified agency partners to work with them on digital advertising.

2. A new global visual language for the BBC’s digital services
by Bronwyn van der Merwe, Head of Design and User Experience, Central Team, BBC FM&T

In this must-read post for anyone in digital, BBC offers a compelling look behind the curtain at the evolution of its brand.

Takeaway: For one thing, it’s nice to see that a global multimedia brand like BBC has experienced as many changes as the little guys. The key is that the changes have been made not for the sake of change, but as part of a well thought out strategy for reaching and engaging BBC’s diverse audience in meaningful ways. The post provides a lot of insights into the thought process behind BBC’s brand and all of the elements that must be taken into account when you serve a dynamic, global audience. What can you take away from BBC for your business?

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QR Codes: A Mid-nineties Technology Finds 21st Century Applications

What They Are

A Quick Response (QR) Code is a two-dimensional bar code used for encoding information. QR codes were originally created by Denso Wave in 1994 to track parts and packaging for manufacturing and production purposes, but businesses are increasingly finding new ways to use the technology.

When QR codes were first created, Denso Wave made the code open-format and the specifications were available royalty-free. This helped make QR codes popular in Japan and allowed easy adoption by industries beyond manufacturing. Before long, Japanese phone carriers agreed to implement QR software natively into camera-enabled mobile phones.

The matrix itself is an array of black and white squares where data is encoded. The most visible parts of the matrix that distinguish it from other two-dimensional symbologies are the three squares at the top and bottom left corners of the matrix. These squares are used to determine the positioning of the code, allowing 360 degree readability and high speed scanning. This image, courtesy of Wikipedia, dissects a QR code and provides more details on its structure.

One of the advantages of the QR code is the amount of data that it can encode. Compared to other two-dimensional symbologies such as Data Matrix, Maxi Code and Stacked Barcodes, the QR code packs the highest capacity for the smallest footprint (up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters).

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