Saturday, December 6, 2008

Why making mobile barcodes for facebook is a good idea

To try these codes out on your own phone, text the word "scan" to 70734, or navigate on your phone's browser to

I've recently become a big fan of facebook. I'm one of those old guys who became familiar only in the past 6 months. It's fun because one by one my friends from past lives are signing up and finding me. We don't always have a lot to say, but I am certain my contact information won't get lost when the next high school reunion roles around.

I think there is a match between facebook and mobile barcodes because it is not always easy to find people. I have a pretty common name, and people from high school may not know where I went to college, where I now live, what my married name might be, etc.
Imagine the high school reunion scenario where I've come across someone and I don't want to lose touch again: "Just look me up on facebook, John Smith." How would you even articulate which John Smith you are?
So check out this code. It's a web code that points to my facebook mobile web profile (btw, you can navigate to facebook on your mobile at Someone I want to reach me will scan this code, which reaches my profile site. If we are not already friends, then the person can add me as a friend. If we are already friends, then you go directly to my profile.
Here is the rub, and I'm hoping someone out there can help: It's kind of a pain to make: Here are the steps:
1. Get a friend to navigate to their own facebook page on the mobile, sign in, and then view your page. Write down the web address as it appears in your friend's mobile phone.
2. Navigate to scanlife ( on a browser and set up a personal account. Create a web code and type in the URL you previously wrote down. Then publish the code.
It's step one that I think can improve. Problem is, there is a wireless web address that is different from the regular web address, and the profile address (when someone else navigates to your site) is different from the address when you yourself navigate to it. I've had a hard time predicting what the wireless web address will be.
There are applications that can be developed by people more adept than me. Seems like it would be easy for facebook or someone else to invent a utility for high school reunion goers to stay connected. Is this not a worthy cause?

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