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Friday, August 26, 2011

5 Ways To Use QR Codes Effectively For Your Business

Scan and see where you go
First you may be wondering what a 'QR Code' is.  'QR' stands for Quick Response.  These are those boxy-looking square graphics you see popping up on various print materials, products, websites, signs, etc. (like the one pictured to the right).  The purpose of these are that when scanned with a smart phone using scanning app such as Shop Savvy or Google Shopper and the phone's camera, it will direct the phone to do a number of things such as:

  • Add contact information to the phone
  • Initiate a phone call 
  • Initiate an email
  • Direct you to a website, video, or other media
  • So forth and so on
They are easy to create through free services such as KaywaGoogle's URL Shortner, or  Pretty nifty, huh?  The Google's URL Shortner is my favorite because once you create it under your Google Account you can always go back and get reporting of the number of scans and when.  So you might already be thinking of some ways to use them.  The problem that many are experiencing is ineffective uses because they are either placing them in the wrong spot or directing the user to a destination that is unusable on a mobile phone.  So how do you make these little codes effective for your business or organization?  Here's how:
  1. Place the code in a relevant spot to the user.  For example, if you are placing them on a business card which contains your contact information then create a code which directs the phone to add your information to their contacts. 
  2. Provide clear direction near the code as to why someone should scan.  This should be to get further information provided in a mobile-friendly manner.  For example, "scan here to get our mobile app for your phone" and it directs them right to the app in the appropriate market place.  "Scan here to find us on Facebook".  Too often we see these with no wording and I guarantee there are a lot of people you are missing because of that.
  3. Make sure you are sending the person to a mobile-friendly website.  Not all websites are mobile friendly or have automatic mobile versions, and if your's isn't then all you are doing is irritating the user on the other end.  For example, if I'm in real estate and I place a QR code on a sign to allow the "window shopper" to get more information; the destination should be a nice mobile display.
  4. Avoid overuse.  These are great and free most of the time, so it can be very easy to overuse them.  Again, put them in relevant spots without overdoing it on any print material.
  5. Make sure they work!  Before putting out any QR Code on anything, test it yourself.  This way you know what the users are seeing on the other end.  
There you have it.  It's a great technology that has a lot of uses.  But it's also one of those things that can end up detracting from your brand or reputation if used incorrectly.  For example, if I have a great looking ad and place a "Scan for more information" piece that directs the user to a non-mobile website; I've accomplished nothing.  

So how are you using QR Codes?  What questions do you have about them?

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Palm Coast commemorates the 10th anniversary of 9/11

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of September 11th, remember the lost lives and to unite in patriotism, the City of Palm Coast Fire Department will host a commemorative event on Sunday, September 11th. Seating will begin at 8:00 a.m. in Heroes Park and the program will begin at 8:30 a.m. to prepare for a coordinated National Moment of Silence.

A special presentation of colors will be presented by the Palm Coast & Flagler County Fire Departments, Flagler County Sheriff's Office and the New York Fire and Police Departments.

Commemorative speeches and a musical presentation from the Flagler Youth Orchestra will follow. Circuit Court Judge Zambrano will play taps and the County's Fire Flight helicopter will perform a solemn fly-over during the ceremony.

Heroes Park is located one-half mile west of the Flagler County Library on Palm Coast Parkway westbound. Parking will be available at the Flagler Technical Institute, across Palm Coast Parkway from Heroes Park. In case of rain, the event will be held at the City's Fire Station #21, located down the block from Heroes Park, at the corner of Corporate Drive and Palm Coast Parkway.

Join your fellow Palm Coast citizens so together we ensure that the lessons of September 11th will never be forgotten.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Matanzas Woods Residents Upset With Sawgrass Villas Proposal

Over 200 attended the Public Meeting for Sawgrass Villas
On Monday night, over 200 Matanzas Woods residents attended the Public Meeting presented by Putnam Bank for the proposed Sawgrass Villas project in the neighborhood.  The project plans are for a proposed 50 unit townhome-style community in between a portion of Lee Dr. and Leidel Drive.  The community would be surrounded by existing single family residential homes.  The residents unamimously expressed disapproval for the proposed project since the housing style is vastly different from the surrounding homes and many fear that it will further impact already reduced property values.  

What became truly apparent during the meeting is the confusion over zoning of the area between the City of Palm Coast and what is displayed as public record on the County's Property Appraiser websites leaving residents unaware of which is correct.  According to County records, the area was originally platted by ITT as about 34 individual housing lots on a street to be known as 'Leighton Ln'.  Putnam Bank shows as the owner of record for each of those lots.  Around 2005, as it was explained by Putnam Bank,the City designated the zoning for the entire parcel as 'Multi-Family' which is what is displayed on the City's zoning map.  City areas designated as "Multi-Family (MFR-1)" at the City level do not allow for single family residences to be built on land designated as such.  Interestingly enough after scanning through the City map, Matanzas Woods seems to be the only neighborhood where a Multi-Family parcel is actually zoned in an area surrounded by single family residence zoned lots.  It would be the assumption that this is to be in accordance with the City's Comprhensive Plan (Objective 3.3.4) which aims to "Protect predominantly residential areas from the intrusion of incompatible or more intensive land uses." (i.e. 50 new homes versus planned 34 for an area).

The history of the proposed project began a few years ago.  Originally the bank backed Tideway Developers with the existing plan.  Tideway suffered financial losses during the housing market crash and the bank acquired the land and proposed plans in the loan default.  At this point the bank is attempting to acquire a buyer for the land and community plans as a package.  By assuring all of the proper procedures and approvals are in place, the offering is obviously more attractive to a would-be purchaser.  The bank would not disclose an asking price or if a developer is in-line when asked by residents.  

This is not the first time Matanzas Woods has been faced with this issue either.  A few years ago, a multi-story condominium complex slated for a parcel directly behind residential homes on Londonderry Drive made it's way through the Planning Board and to the City Council for approval.  After a handfull of residents took action and pleaded the issue with the Council over the obvious negative impacts, the Council denied the project to proceed further.  Mayor Netts at that time was blunt in pointing out the "incompatibility" issue with the developer of that project.  That parcel is currently owned by JBN Real Estate, Inc. of Lake Mary according to the Property Appraiser website.  

Residents of the Matanzas Woods community have done an excellent job of raising awareness to this current proposal as evident of the attendance last evening.  Pink "Stop Saw Grass" flyers are displayed in windows throughout the neighborhood, a website (, and a Facebook page have been put in place to help keep neighbors informed and continue to raise awareness.  The community has scheduled a residents-only meeting to be held at the Library on August 15th from 6:00pm to 7:00pm to consolidate and coordinate efforts in opposition to this proposed project.

Matanzas Woods was originally a golf course community surrounding the once gorgeous and popular Matanzas Woods Golf Course.  The course was acquired by Landmar a few years ago along with the Pine Course and and Cypress Course to be included in what is known as the Grand Club.  After financial setbacks, the company abandoned the promised renovations and the course has since been closed and fallen into major disrepair.  The future of the course is uncertain at this time.  

For further information regarding Sawgrass Villas, please visit

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