CyberMedia, a BSE listed speciality media company, has made its business computing magazine PCQuest interactive, by integrating QR codes. QR Codes, as we’ve explained before, are two dimensional codes readable by apps like i-nigma or the Kaywa reader, which displays either display text or hyperlinks on your mobile. About a dozen QR codes have been added in the March 2011 issue of PCQuest, pointing users to “video, web pages, data capture and a response form, a test site, as well as response capture for advertisements, a reader contest, discounts for subscription and events, and key announcements.

The announcement quotes Prasanto K Roy, Chief Editor of PCQuest, who points out that QR codes can help an advertiser measure response, which has been a challenge in print advertising. Cybermedia intends to introduce advertiser QR codes in PCQuest from April 2011. MidDay had also tried QR Codes in the past.

But What About Cybermedia’s Websites?

Frankly, it’s good to see Cybermedia looking beyond print, but why have they ignored their websites for so long? Design-wise, so many of Cybermedia’s websites look unkempt, and like they’re still stuck in the early 2000’s… just look at – PCQuest, DQIndia, Voice&Data, CIOL, DQChannels, DQWeek, BioSpectrum, BioSpectrum Asia. Sure, a few of their sites – LivingdigitalGlobalServices, Tech Review India and Dare have a design that is more contemporary, but apart integrating twitter, digg and reddit integration, most of their websites don’t appear to have evolved. In comparison, look at the a site like Network18’s BizTech2 site – a cleaner interface, easier discovery of content, more segmentation.

It has perhaps not had as much of an impact on advertising – with very India specific technology business destinations online – Cybermedia publications may perhaps be seen as default options in any biz-tech media plan, but I would assume that even advertisers would care about the kind of user interface that their ads are placed in the middle of. It’s just surprising that they’ve been left fallow this long.


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