Okay, it’s not what you think.
First, a little background. stickybits is another in a long line of social media apps such as twitter (Everyone’s thoughts! All the time!) and foursquare (Hey people, look where I am!) that actually has potential to be the next big thing in marketing.
With stickybits, the user can scan the barcode of a product (whether it be a can of pop, an article of clothing, or even one’s own business card) and attach a personalized message, link to a video, enter a contest related to the product, or link to one’s resume or social profile on a website like LinkedIn. The possible uses of stickybits are endless both for consumers and producers. Call it a more versatile version of Sprouter, Twitter’s entrepreneurial big brother.
So, what does this mean for the world of publishing?
Well, as of last month, Harper Collins Canada has made a foray into the world of social media marketing in the form of an interactive contest using stickybits technology. They’ve asked consumers to discuss and comment on four of their titles using the stickybits app with the carrot being a variety of prizes for participation. (See this article in Quill and Quire for more detail on the contests) Call it a pilot project of sorts.
However, as I see it, this could offer huge potential for authors and readers alike, notwithstanding the free advertising for publishers. Imagine being able to scan a barcode in a store and instantly have access to consumer book reviews, author Q & A’s, and maybe even video book trailers on your Ipod, Iphone or Android.
(For a great explanation of Stickybits and how it works, try “The Secret Lives of Objects: Stickybits turns Barcodes into Personal Message Boards” by Erick Schonfeld at TechCrunch)