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With Jim Collins

Best-selling author of Good to Great

With Jack Welch

Former CEO of General Electric and best-selling author

With Patrick Lencioni

Best-selling author of the Five Dysfunctions of a Team and other leading management books.

George Levy featured in Computer World magazine.

George Levy Speaking at World Innovation Forum

With Miguel Bose

International Spanish music superstar

With Calvin Klein

Fashion designer and CEO – Creator of one of the world’s leading fashion empires.

World Innovation Forum 2011 is taking place next week on June 7-8 at the Best Buy Theater in New York City and the entire HSM team is working around the clock making sure we put on an amazing event.

As I type, I’m taking a quick break away from last minute preparations to publish this blog post. With an event the size of WIF11 (around 900 attendees) – there are many moving parts and individual elements which need to be work in perfect harmony for the live event to be a success.

Many of these components take place behind the scenes (cameras, speaker entries and exits, backstage interviews, video content on monitors, etc.)

For instance, at this moment I am actively working on customizing the virtual auditorium for the World Innovation Forum 2011 Webcast which will effectively open up the 900 people event to a worldwide audience who would otherwise not be able to participate due to travel constraints, budget or even scheduling conflicts (the Webcast is available for 30 additional days post the live event for On Demand viewing.)

This last week prior to the event is crunch time and all of us at HSM are working around the clock to squeeze in as much as we possibly can into the 2 days the event takes place (we just added a surprise brand new mobile component to the event which was beautifully conceptualized and successfully launched in less than a week.)

Ok… gotta get back to business and finish the Webcast environment with the InXpo team (our partners for the Webcast technology.)

Hope to catch you at WIFNY either Offline or Online ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

QR Codes (QR is short for Quick Response) are a special type of code that can be read by special QR Code readers and camera enabled mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

If you look around, you’ve probably seen these “dot-filled” square codes popping up in printed advertisements in magazines, on movie posters, in newspapers.

These codes work very similarly as going to pay at the supermarket and the cashier scans the bar-code on the items you are purchasing. In that case, the cash register translates the bar-code into the information corresponding to the specific item.

With QR Codes, the camera on the mobile device serves as the code scanner, and the code instead of having vertical black lines, the code looks like a bunch of black dots against a light background – all nested inside a light colored square frame.

To read these QR codes, your device needs to have a QR Code Reader installed. Once the reader software is installed, it’s then simply a matter of pointing your camera at the code and depending on the reader, possibly taking a photo of the code. The QR Code Reader software will translate the code into a specific set of instructions that your mobile device will do.

 

So how do I get the reader on my mobile device?

Although many mobile devices now come with QR Code Reader software pre-installed, there are still some that do not.

First, let’s address the top two most popular types of devices.

iPhone and iPad:
There are many QR Code Readers in the iPhone App Store

The two most popular are:
QR Reader for iPhone – TapMedia Ltd

QR Scanner – Grip’d LLC

 

Android:
If you have an Android based smarphone or tablet, the first thing you should do is do a search for QR Code Reader in the Android Market

There are many free options you can download and given that new apps pop-up every day, I would recommend you guide yourself by the highest rated reviews and most downloads.

 

Other popular QR Code Readers include:

BeeTagg available for a large number of mobile devices and reads QR-Code, Datamatrix and the proprietary code BeeTagg.
Compatibility Download Instructions

 

QuickMark available for a large number of mobile devices and reads QR Code, Datamatrix and the proprietary code QuickMark.
Compatibility and download instructions

Kaywa available for a large number of mobile devices and reads QR Code and Datamatrix.
Compatibility | Download Instructions

 

Most QR Code readers are self explanatory and it’s merely a matter of installing the code and then taking a picture of the code you are interested in reading. The device will then interpret the code and perform the action related to it.

 

 

Riding Ruby on Rails in Soho

Posted by George Levy in General Online |

I just got back from an informal meetup in a coffee house in SoHo for Ruby on Rails enthusiasts, in a group called Ruby Nuby.

Ruby Nuby is a Meetup Group dedicated to learning and sharing their knowledge on Ruby on Rails programming, related technologies and entrepreneurial skills in a collaborative, cooperative manner. The goal of Ruby Nuby is to teach Ruby on Rails skills to disadvantaged and at-risk youths.

If you are not familiar with Ruby on Rails, it is an open source web application framework for the Ruby programming language and one of my personal areas of interest.

Ruby on Rails, “Rails” or RoR as it’s often called, is a rapid development language extracted by David Heinemeier Hansson from his work on Basecamp, a popular project management tool by web app development company 37signals which allows developers to quickly create and launch fully functional web applications. (BTW, I’m a big fan of 37Signals and if you have an entrepreneurial vein in you – I highly recommend reading “Rework” by its founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeir Hansson.)

Some popular websites built on Rails include daily deal giant Groupon, 43Things, Twitter (Note: Twitter has recently moved away from Rails to address some scalability issues) and Basecamp among many, many others. The Rails web development framework is a favorite among entrepreneurs and web developers as it allows for very quick development of robust, fully functional web apps.

Having come from a background working closely with and managing projects with PHP, ASP and Cold Fusion developer teams, I’ve found Rails so far to be a very intuitive and powerful framework to build new web apps on.

Although I still have much to learn about coding on RoR (I’m still a self-declared “Rails newbie”), I’ve found that having even a basic-level knowledge of how to code on Rails, it’s fairly easy to develop and launch a fully functional database-driven application.

I’m very excited about today’s meetup and I found it a great opportunity to meet other RoR programmers and talk Rails.

I am now burying my face in and devouring Agile Web Development With Rails by Dave Thomas and David Heinemeir Hansson (an absolute must which I highly recommend if you are learning Rails), and I definitely look forward to future opportunities to share with the NYC Rails community.

Are you a Ruby on Rails developer or interested in learning more about Rails in the NYC area? Leave a comment and let’s meet!

 

 


 

Music video by Rancid performing Ruby Soho. (C) 2007 EpitaphRecords

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My wife Yvonne and I manage an online group on Facebook called “I Love Being Happily Married.”

As I write this post, that group has 7,783 members worldwide who actively share their lives, views, photos and their ups and downs. They regularly post, sharing with one another, and my wife and I love being able to have created the space for that to happen.

We regularly publish to the group inspirational love quotes, we post articles, videos and photos related to happy marriages. We also occasionally ask questions to the whole group which spark discussions, all the while letting the group members “shape the conversation.”

ILBHM, as the page is known on Facebook by its members, has a life of its own well beyond Yvonne and me, and many of the page members actively share their own love quotes, wedding pictures and bits of advice of how they manage to stay “Happily Married” through both the good times and the bad times. (Many couples in the group have been happily married for more than fifty or sixty years.)

Jump back in time and if you look at the group wall and follow the time-line all the way to the beginning of the group, ILBHM began with a simple post at 8:42pm on Tuesday May 11, 2010 which read:

“If you are happily married – regardless of how long it has been – Join this group! Invite your happily married friends to join as well! :)”

One simple idea which Yvonne and I felt like sharing with the world and which we were able to do so through Facebook.

The next day, we posted an inspirational quote about happy marriages and 1 person liked it – a new person we had never met (Note: ILBHM had 4 members by that point, 2 of which were Yvonne and me.)

Wanting to keep the idea alive, the next day, we shared another love quote and this time 4 people liked it… The following day, we repeated the process.

Cut to today and thanks to Facebook and the web, that simple idea has become an active part of 7,783 lives worldwide and spreading daily.

Ahhh… I love my wife, I Love Being Happily Married and yes… In a totally different way, as I’m posting on my blog at 3:26am – I love the Web. ๐Ÿ™‚

 




Music video by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performing I Love Rock N’ Roll. (C) 1981 Sony Records

Like This Song?

Get it from iTunes

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If you are a regular reader of the Wanted Dead or Online Blog, you may have noticed that I’ve added a QR Code to the top right portion of the page (it’s the white square with the bunch of black dots on it…)

You may have seen these White boxes with dots popping up all over the place… They’re on movie posters, in magazines, in the newspaper… Why is that?

If you are not familiar with QR Codes, they are similar to bar codes but they are meant to be scanned via a photo from a mobile device (to read QR Codes, you’ll need to download and install a QR code reader on your mobile device – if you don’t yet have one, you can get it at this link.)

By taking a photo of the code, a mobile device running a QR code reader receives automatic instructions from the design printed on the code to execute an action, much like scanning a bar code in a supermarket checkout aisle tells the cash register what is the item being scanned.

For example, taking a snapshot of the QR code on the top right of this page will instruct your mobile device visit the George Levy Twitter account (go ahead, aim and shoot ๐Ÿ™‚ )

At this moment, QR codes are just starting to gain traction in the USA but they can be found all over in Japan where they were originally invented back in 1994, and where they have already gained quite a large mass acceptance.

I’m a big believer in mobile and I am currently working on several offline marketing campaigns which incorporate QR codes as a way of “breaking the offline/online frontier” to take people from a flat printed ad onto an interactive multimedia video campaign via their mobile devices.

By adding a simple code, a flat, inanimate printed marketing campaign can more deeply engage the interested viewer and establish a more effective communication.

In a similar vein, Microsoft also has a similar technology called Microsoft Tag whichย accomplishes a similar purpose, although it has not gained as much acceptance as the traditional QR. Microsoft’s Tags have a different, multicolored pattern as seen on the image to the right.

With more smartphones being sold than PCs (smartphone manufacturers shipped over 100 million smartphones in the Q4 2010, while PC manufacturers shipped “just” 92 million units in the same period according to IDC.) – QR codes are an important vehicle to engage users.

Note…

QR Codes are not perfect.

For example, here in New York City, many new release movie posters are including QR codes which I assume will take interested individuals to a multimedia presentation of some sort via their smartphone.

Unfortunately, there is no cellular reception in most subway stations (Very frustrating… There’s been some great movies which I would’ve loved to see what was behind the code.)

Additionally, QR Code readers can be finicky and depending on the lighting and angle which you take the snapshot of the code, sometimes the reader will not pick up the instructions which can get annoying.

Still, these white and black codes are definitely a positive step towards further integrating the offline and online world, and for that I say they totally ROCK.

What’s your take? Have you read a QR code with your smartphone? Do you like this technology?

Go ahead, I invite you take a snapshot of the code on the top of this blog and follow me on Twitter.

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About Levy
George Levy is an award-winning digital marketing and CRM expert with more than 15 years of experience creating and executing online and mobile strategies.
 
He is the former Vice President of Online Marketing for World Business Forum (WOBI) and a co-founding team member of Yupi.com, an Internet startup acquired by Microsoft Corporation to become what is now MSN Latino. Continue Reading ...

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