Summer Endings

Some more pictures around the downtown office.

It feels like summer has only just begun, and already it’s time to ship back out for school.

Summer 2010 was filled with authentic experiences – a rad internship… traveling solo… and so much more.

(Experience points +30! Level up!)

It’s been a good summer. : )

QR Codes as Conversation Catalysts

qrcodeImagine the power of placing instant, strategic information in someone’s hand.

Quick Response (QR) codes literally contain that possibility. By downloading an app on your smartphone, you can now scan this special, two dimensional barcode which then translates into information such as text, a url, contact info, etc.

So, for example, if you scan this particular QR code, it will automatically redirect you to my twitter page.

QR codes are essentially condensed information – compact and conspicuous for access on the go. For personal use, you could put a QR code your business card: instantly linking contacts back to your professional profile on LinkedIn. Or, iCandy specializes in loading iTunes playlists, videos, or photos to your code, too, while also enabling your webcam to scan the QR codes.

For businesses, QR codes provide a way to enable a potential consumer with instant accessibility to product photos, reviews, or specs. They can be placed on product packaging, billboard ads, purchased tickets — potentially providing ways to continue a conversation and further engage your audience.

Check out my presentation for some more examples of QR code possibilities:

You can also try making your own personalized QR Code with Kaywa.

What do you think of the possibilities for QR codes? Are they destined to become mainstream anytime soon?

Summer Intern Blogging – Video Networking

New blog post for Engauge, as part of my summer internship:

“Three Types of Video Networking Sites”

Here’s an excerpt:

“Sharing information is at the heart of social media. Today’s social networking sites harness the power of word-of-mouth and digitize it online. News, music, photos, videos, and more disperse throughout today’s social sphere as people discover and share their Internet finds….”

Study Abroad 2009 in Retrospect

As for myself, I got off that plane with expectations.

Or… presumptions.

“Greece” in my mind was a world of white – white marble, white houses, white togas.  But this real Greece, this true Greece of today? It is gritty.  The people, with genealogies old as the land itself, have that intrepid attitude, spirited and bold.  Their language, with its unfamiliar alphabet, grates against my unaccustomed ear.  The traditional marble, as indicative of Greece as any modern Hassapiko dance, is smooth and slick from countless footsteps — its crispness a memory faded.

And the houses — the vast, unending, crowded conglomeration of houses and buildings in Athens — are not white.  Graffiti invades everywhere; there exists no refuge from its presence.  These telltale marks of urban sprawl are not, however, strictly in Greek.  In fact, English words find home on buildings more often than any Greek scripts.  Road-signs and shop-names, too, appear in duets of Greek and English.

This duality of language, of two tongues coexisting juxtaposed, represents the contrast in Greece.  All around, contradictions battle for attention, and first impressions rarely reveal the intricate nature of Greek architecture, fashion, traditions, and life.  Clashing influences – ancient v. modern, East v. West, mythological Greek polytheism v. the Greek Orthodox Church – have shaped modern Greece.  And I had come to experience both these incongruities and harmonies.

More to come, stay tuned!

German Poetry, Anyone?

I like poetry.

I’ve heard that German poetry is really good. That there’s something about a cacophonous language with a bit of word order freedom that makes for unique verse.

That’s what people tell me anyway. Knowing about zero German, I read the words in translation. I love that translations of so many things are available these days, but the purist in me sort of wants to run out and learn German.

(I’ll put that one on the back burner.)

My fave German poem is by Rilke:

Spaziergang (A Walk)

Already my gaze is on the hill, that sunlit one,
Up ahead on the path I’ve scarcely started.
In the same way, what we couldn’t grasp grasps us:
blazingly visible, there in the distance –

and changes us, even if we don’t reach it,
into what we, scarcely sensing it, already are;
a gesture signals, answering our gesture…
But we feel only the opposing wind.

– Rainer Maria Rilke, Muzot, beginning of March 1924

There are lots of different translations out there for this poem. I don’t really know which is the most accurate, but I do like the rendering of this one.

To me, there’s a DIY element to any kind of lyricism – a poem rises to meet and fill out the particular parameters that each reader brings to table. The same set of seemingly rigid words flexes to convey different messages to everyone.

SO! For me, this poem conveys a concise message: hope, purpose. The physical imagery is of a person at the beginning of their path, with a not yet attained end in sight. I extrapolate, imagining the onset of a journey not on that physical path, but rather a path through life with a far-flung goal ahead of you. The distance between your first steps on the path and the hill – that’s the journey part, the game plan part.

It’s a poem of a win-win situation. Because even if you don’t grasp that goal, your plans and endeavors along the path change you.

For the better.

What do you think of the poem? Any other German lit favorites out there?