Recently in Emerging Trends Category

Here's an example of QR codes being used in a way you might not have seen before:
http://wonder-tonic.com/books2barcodes/

From their website:
Books2Barcodes is an ongoing effort to convert all the world's great books to QR codes (2D barcodes). Each work featured here is the entire text of a piece of classic literature translated into several thousand barcodes. With a mobile device equipped with a camera and a barcode-scanning app, you can experience the joy of a great book as read through 800-character fragments on your cellphone.

My reaction:
You might see this and respond like I did, "Why would anybody do this?" Obviously, this is not the use intended when QR codes were first used at an automotive assembly plant to keep track of parts more efficiently; you can read more about their history at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code if you'd like. Considering that, I see this as a proof of concept, rather than an implication that this is the future of the medium.

It is possible, of course, that books and QR codes could be intertwined in a library or bookstore environment in ways that are more sensical. Imagine the example of walking out the door with synopses and citations without writing anything down. But the possibilities for text embedded in a QR code go on.

Perhaps consider a course syllabus stamped on the inside of a course text, letting the student recall today's class topic without fumbling through a folder. How about ingredient lists (or even a full recipe) under buffet tables? I could also picture easy-scan nametags at conferences, so you could scan one another's nametag and avoid the pile of business cards that get lost on the way home.

Have I missed anything? Feel free to add your ideas.

The tech that I'm currently culling have a lot to do with how to sift through and organize all the different information streams I have. Email, Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds all have their own home if you don't jump out of the services proper and into some sort of aggregator/facilitator.
I'd been experimenting with Tweetdeck (wwww.tweetdeck.com) for a while, which was nice for parsing my Twitter feeds into separate, themed streams and pairing them with Facebook, but I've sense found it too limiting. I'm currently trying to dig deeper into more capable tools like the following:


Flock (www.flock.com)
A web browser with social media arms that pulls from all the major sources and displays feeds in a sidebar.


Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com)
A cloud aggregator that lets you pars you feeds into collections for better organization and easier, more focused consumption. Has the ability to post out to the connected networks as well. I'm currently using this one as my primary aggregator, and it's working out okay, though I'm finding some annoying limitations. It integrates with OpenID as well (a plus for me), though that makes it's iPad/iPhone app unusable, at least for the time being.


Seesmic (sessmic.com)
I don't have a lot of experience with this one, but it's one of the most popular, from my understanding, and similar to Hootsuite in approach. It also has desktop clients for Win/Mac/Linux, and mobile apps that hit all the major mobile OSs.


They all have pretty similar features, but go about things somewhat differently.

I've yet to find an aggregator that can also serve as a capable email client, which I think would be one step closer to a holy grail. That's one think Flock has on the rest, not only is it a social aggregator, it's also a fully featured web browser built on Chromium (the core of Google Chrome). You can run gmail in it and have a one stop shop for all your communication needs.

Does anyone have experience with these, or similar tools?

How have you all found a balance, or are finding a balance, between acquiring great sources of information and communication while keeping the flow of content manageable?

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