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Bitly QR codes

Bitly QR codes

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Published by Karen Workman

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Published by: Karen Workman on Apr 18, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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ly & QR Codes
Why to, when to & how to use them

What is bit.ly?


Bit.ly is a website that shrinks long URLs into short URLs

What is a URL?

A URL is an address for a web page

The oftenlengthy collection of letters and numbers at the top of a webpage is its URL or address. Step 1: Select all by clicking until highlighted Step 2: Hit copy

Why use bit.ly?
Bit.ly is used to shorten links for Tweets. Why? Tweets max out at 140 characters. Most URLs are longer than that, making them unusable in Tweets. A shortened URL allows you to send links via Twitter. There are several ways to shorten URLs. Bit.ly is the JRC’s preferred link shortener. Why? Bit.ly offers more than just link shrinking. It can also keep statistics on how many people have clicked on your shortened


How to use bit.ly
It’s easy to go to bit.ly (http://bit.ly/), paste in your link and hit shrink. If you do, it will look like this:


This is not, however, the best way to use bit.ly. You can get a lot more out of bit.ly by creating an account, and it’s free!

Create a free account by clicking on the orange “Sign Up” button

Setting up a bit.ly account
 Three
All you need to do is fill out (and REMEMBER!) three things: 1) Username, 2) Email address, 3) Password

simple steps

No more passwords, please!
The worst thing about the digital age may well be the overload of account names & passwords we’re forced to keep! I hate them as much as anyone.

Create a file to keep accts/passwords handy

Make life easier on yourself with a few simple steps

• Create a document to keep track of account names & passwords
(I created a group dedicated to that in my Mac address book)

• Select “Remember me” or something similar whenever that option is offered. Your information will be automatically stored and you won’t have to enter a password every time you log in to something.

Bookmarks may also be called Favorites on a PC

Bookmarks: Efficiency’s best friend
Bookmarks are a way to organize the websites you frequent. Put them in your bookmarks toolbar. If you have too many, organize them in folders. I have a folder on my toolbar called “Social Media.” I store links to Twitter and bit.ly here, so a couple quick clicks brings me to the page I’m looking for.

This is the “Bookmar ks Toolbar” My Social Media folder is a dropdown that saves links to Facebook, Twitter, Bit.ly and more

A bit.ly account gives you data & QR Codes

Why do I need an account?
Metrics, Metrics, Metrics

Why should I care about metrics?
We should want to know whether the work we’re doing is worth our time. Metrics let us know.

• Show you what Tweets work, and what Tweets don’t — You’ll learn how to better phrase a Tweet & whether the topic affects clicks • Show you what QR codes are most likely to be used • Benefit you by shaping your individual work, in turn benefiting the entire organization because if each individual improves, it has a collective impact on the group

Individual vs. Brand accounts
• Use an individual bit.ly account (one you set up for yourself) for anything you intend to Tweet with your individual Twitter account • Use the brand bit.ly account for anything you intend to Tweet from the brand Twitter account

If Tweeting from @TheOaklandPress, use The Oakland Press bit.ly account
Account name: OakPress Account password: recycle
Currently, The Oakland Press has only one bit.ly account. If you desire to make separate accounts for other brand Twitter accounts (@theopsports, @MIPrepZone, @Opopinion, @OakPressMarquee) feel free to do so.

Dissecting bit.ly
1 2 3
1: View of data over time 2: See most recent data 3: Access a variety of options 4: Paste links for shortening 5: Overview of clicks by week 6: Number of clicks to your link 7: Additional data per link, including QR codes 8: Time of link shortening 9: Share, copy, archive or edit


5 6 7 8 9

#1 — Analyze
Modify the timeframe: 30 days, 14 days, 7 days, past hour

Total # of clicks per timeframe

Drag mouse over bars to see clicks per day

From where online people are finding & clicking your links

From where in the world people are finding & clicking your links

#2 — Public Timeline

Access data on the most basic level: See how many times a link has been clicked on, what time it was sent and get access to more stuff (Info Page & Options)

#3 (oakpress) & #4 (shorten)

#4 #3
Under Tools, find bookmarklets that act as a shortcut to Twitter. Access your archive, change your settings, view help topics, etc.

Use this to do the actual shortening of URLs. Paste the link into the blue box, if not automatically shortened, hit “Shorten.” Copy and transfer to Twitter.

#5 (overview) & #6 (clicks)#5
Appears above the list of links on the main account page or on the public timeline. Shows you how many clicks for the current week. The numbers next to the link show you how many times your link has been clicked on (top number) out of the total clicks for all bit.ly links generated for that specific URL. If it was “5 out of 20” that means the link you created had 5 clicks and 20 clicks were generated by other bit.ly links (from other bit.ly users) for that URL.


#7: Info page

(and QR code generator)
Click on the Info Page to access it

More data, including the allimportant QR code, is displayed on the Info Page.

• Full text of the tweet • Number of clicks to the link • Tweets and shares on Facebook • Bar graph depicting clicks over time • Info on where online and where in the world people are viewing the link from

#8 (time) & #9 (options)



By watching the time on your most-clicked or least-clicked links, you can gain an idea of when your Twitter followers are most active. • Select “Share” for options to Tweet directly from bit.ly. (warning: this will not retweet your original message, but simply send out your bit.ly link with the story headline. This is NOT recommended.) • Select “Copy” if you need to copy & paste for re-use elsewhere • Select “Archive” to add the bit.ly link & data to a permanent archive • Select “Edit” to make changes

What is a QR Code?
Have you ever used a price check machine at a grocery or department store?

QR codes are like the bar code that gives the machine the item’s price. Instead of storing price information, QR codes store webpage information. A QR code, once scanned, takes you directly to a website. It’s essentially a direct link to a specific web page.




Using a QR Code
    

You must have a smartphone (like an iPhone or Android) that has a camera Download a QR code app (like QR Reader for the iPhone) Open the app Follow instructions to take photo of QR code directly through the app Your smartphone will automatically take you to the web page linked to the QR code you scanned

Why is this useful?
It means no more typing in long URLs or searching the internet to find a website. Just click a button on your phone and be taken there.

    

It’s a service to readers. Rather than ask them to go online and either type in a long URL or search for a specific thing, you can give them a graphic that takes them right to the webpage. Remove the guesswork, remove the threat of human error. We’re not all typists … As a service to readers, it broadens and improves your overall story package. Allows us to interact with mobile news consumers, a quickly growing market. A QR code can introduce more readers to our website. It can showcase multi-media offerings in some instances.

When do I use a QR code?
 

FYI boxes. Rather than write “go online to www.destinationoakland.com” just use a QR code. Comments. On stories you know will be controversial, why not add a box that says “Join the conversation — check out reader comments on this story” and have the QR code underneath it? Related articles & related content. Make QR codes for background stories, additional stories that did not run print, Google docs, Scribd docs or other information available online but not in print. Facebook & Twitter, both general OP accounts & individual staff accounts.

When not to use a QR code?
Currently, most smartphones do not have flash capabilities. All of our videos are flash, so they are not viewable by most smartphones. Bummer!

No QR codes for video!

How do I use QR codes?

The Oakland Press has a standard procedure for the use of QR codes.
Editors & reporters will discuss what stories lend themselves to QR codes in the morning meeting.



Reporter will generate QR code through bit.ly account Copy Editor retrieves QR code, reduces file size, places code on page


Reporter places QR code into folder in Original Scanned, puts note on top of story


Generating a QR code
1 Log in to bit.ly account, paste in link to be shortened  Click on the info page next to the link data 2
Click on the Info Page to access it

Look, there’s the QR code! Click on it one more time. It will blow up to look like this



Now, click the code and hold while you drag and drop it to your desktop. Rename it, like: 3.23.11 Berkley crash

Saving a QR code

Make sure the QR code is saved to your desktop or somewhere convenient on your computer and appropriately renamed (ex. 3.30.11 GM invests) Click on your desktop until it displays the “Finder” toolbar at the top left of your screen Select “Go” and then “Connect to Server” You will see this:

 

Saving a QR code cont’d
 

If you see afp:// under “Favorite Servers,” select it and then hit “Connect” If you do not see afp:// under “Favorite Servers,” type that into the “Server Address” box and hit the plus button to save the server to your “Favorite Servers” list & connect Type here, then click this In the box that pops up, enter the name edit, the password is also edit

Saving a QR code cont’d
 

Once connected, a screen will appear Look for the “QR CODES” folder and double click it. This will appear

 

Drag and drop your QR code into the appropriate folder for the day you think your story will publish. Notify editors/copydesk by putting a note on top of your story with the slug of your QR code

Example story file


Now you know just about everything there is to know about bit.ly & QR codes.

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