I found something pretty cool last week and I’m pretty excited about it. I’m not sure whether it will have significant impact, but I’m going to experiment with it. What am I talking about? It’s called tag by Microsoft. Essentially, it’s Microsoft’s version of the QR code that you see on postage from the post office now days. It’s just a little cooler looking than the pixelated blob of black.

So, what is it? How does it work? Easy. On your smartphone, go to http://gettag.mobi. From there you can download the app for your phone (iPhone users, you can get it right here). With the app, just scan the tag… line it within the guides on your display and it immediately takes the action you set up for that tag. You can set it up to go to a webpage or download contact information to your phone. You can set it up to call or text someone. I’m not sure how much it will catch on, but the possibilities could be profound.

I decided to do my own little experiment. The camp postcard we are handing out this week has a tag on it. I anticipate that most people won’t have any idea what it is. However, there is a web address on it… like the one below, so I’m betting that some people will be curious and look it up, download the app and try it. For this weekend, I’ll have it setup to take them to a unique page on our camp website where they can watch some videos from last year or something. I haven’t decided yet. That’s the beauty of the tag… I can always log in to the microsoft tag page and re-task what each tag does. Tag keeps basic analytics of each tag, so I can know how many people scan the tag each day. So, I’ll let you know how many people actually use it.

Here’s why I think that people might use it. It’s different. It stands out. Many people will look at it and say, “what is that?” If they do know what it is, they may say, “I don’t see these very often” and then they’ll scan it. Last of all, my hope is that since someone is getting this at church (they’re not near their computer), so they’re more likely to dig for more info on that card right now as opposed to waiting until they get home and typing in a URL when they’re in front of their computer.

Last of all, here’s how I’m planning to utilize tag in the near future. Next year for my Illuminate Conference, I’ll put tags throughout the program booklet. So when they’re sitting in a breakout, they can scan the tag in their program for that breakout and it will download the breakout speaker’s notes. We also had self-guided tours around our facility. I’ll have my team make a bunch of simple videos over the summer about what happens in certain locations on campus. I’ll post tags in those areas, so as people explore our facility, they can scan the tag and watch a video about how we use that space. I’m event tempted into doing some kind of scavenger hunt around the facility where each tag tells them where to find the next tag. This could be fun.

So, go ahead. Give it a shot. Scan the tag below or above and see what happens (you can do it right on your screen).