Mind the Return on Investment

Thumbing through Information Week magazine I noticed three or four QR-coded ads in the first 10 pages. You know QR codes, those square, bar code looking thingies you scan with your phone, and they teleport you to a webpage or application. You can actually store more information than web addresses in them, a resume for instance. While cool and useful, they have been slow to take off with the general public. Information Week is a trade publication for the information technology industry. It’s very techy and jargony. Seeing so many QR codes there is an indication of their core audience at the moment.

Facebook has become the QR code of branding in my life. Although an article by literary agent Rachelle Gardner advises against substituting platform building for writing, I have spent a considerable amount of time connecting with other writers and generally learning about my potential audience. My Facebook page is one part of that equation. But the returns so far are meager for the investment, and Facebook is unpleasant enough to make me consider leaving the platform entirely. There’s great potential in it, but energy is always lost in the conversion from potential to kinetic.

It’s a good lesson to learn quickly, once I figured out that writing consumes more time and energy than I ever imagined. The temptation to pursue every form of social media known to man is powerful, but I’m probably going to wean myself from Facebook very soon. This is not an FB bashing post, just a reminder to dump what’s not working in life, regardless of how shiny it is. And keep an eye on those QR codes. One day they’re going to be bigger than fried pickles.

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