What’s that square thingy? – Give it a Snap!

What the snap are Featured Places?

We thought you might have been wondering, since our new Featured Places window stickers with “snapable” barcodes may be popping up all over your neighborhood at your favorite spots. Yes, those great little family run businesses just around the corner that make your neighborhood great. To help make it easier for you to recognize these businesses, Judy’s Book recently launched Featured Places: a special badge of honor given only to local businesses that the Judy’s Book community has deemed worthy to receive recognition for being so great. Sent only to the most favored businesses (and only those in the Seattle area so far), these badges take material form as special window decals to help businesses proudly announce their badge of honor to the world.

The smarts behind the snap
The Judy’s Book Featured Places badge is a window decal that isn’t just another fish in the sea of window stickers (e.g. accepted credit cards, Chamber of Commerce awards, etc).  This sticker actually allows you to interact with it. Featuring the new 2D barcode technology, it can instantly be “read” via mobile devices.  So if your mobile phone/PDA is equipped with a built-in camera and special software, it can decode the contents of the barcode and instantly take you to a mobile page that displays Judy’s Book information about the business. Pretty snappy, huh?
Wondering which phones carry this 2D barcode “snap” technology? So far, we know that the iPhone and Google’s Nexus One phone support the technology, should users choose to download the app.  We’ve personally tested these free apps and can confirm that they work.

These are the apps we recommend (feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments section):

  • NeoReader (iPhone)
  • QuickMark Mobile Barcode (iPhone)

More about the 2D barcode technology >>

So…why should I give a snap?
Here are a few examples of what you might see when you “snap” the barcode of the Featured Places window decal.  This list may change as we continue to improve and tweak as we hear feedback and come up with new creative ways to solve problems:

  • Basic business details and contact information
  • A link to the business Web site, and other useful information about the business
  • What other people are saying about the business (menu recommendations, preferred products/services offered, etc.)
  • Discounts and promotions that the business is offering.  (Perhaps if you go in now, you’ll get an entrée for free?)
  • Information about complementary nearby businesses that might be a good next stop after visiting the current (Just had a great meal at this restaurant? How about a frozen yogurt at the stand around the corner?)

So the next time you see a Featured Places sticker, start snapping!

How come my favorite spot isn’t a Featured Place?

As with all things at Judy’s Book, Featured Places is about helping locals identify the most favored businesses, according to their fellow Judy’s Book fans. In short, the business has to be liked by its customers. (FYI, businesses are not limited to restaurants and bars – doctors, dentists, florists, real estate agents, and businesses in many other categories have been selected for this too.)

  • The Judy’s Book digital badge is displayed on the business Web site or blog.
  • You – the business’s best customers –  are actively talking about this business in online communities such as Facebook, Twitter, and, of course, Judy’s Book.
  • The business is being searched for online by many people.
  • The business upholds honest and ethical practices, even with simple things such as ensuring that the business name, address, and other contact information is accurate in its Judy’s Book profile.

In sum, the more buzz we pick up about a business, the more likely it is that it will be nominated to receive a Judy’s Book Featured Places window decal.  Our goal with the window decals  is to encourage consumer confidence in local businesses and help great businesses thrive.

Want to help get a local business nominated for a Featured Places badge? Start creating buzz about them on Judy’s Book!


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