Above: David Fisher (middle) is awarded $5,000 for having 50 people scan his unique tag during SXSW.



During SXSW Microsoft Tag held a very cool contest. People were able to register into the contest and grab their own unique Tag. Their task was to get as many snaps of their own Tag as possible. Contestants were able to see real time standings online. The person with the most scans on Monday March 15, 2010 won $5,000.00! Not that hard right? Well it was close competition between two contestants. Throughout the contest they were usually only 5 scans away from each other.

The big winner was David Fisher with a total of 50 scans! We conducted a quick interview about his experiences with Tag and the contest.

1-      How did you hear about the contest?

I was walking by the Microsoft lounge at SXSW and I saw someone with a shirt on that said, "Win $5000, ask me how". I approached them and asked. When she filled me in on the details and showed me the app I thought, "I can do that".  


2-      What was your experience of downloading the app, scanning it, etc.

Downloading Tag Reader on the iPhone was an effortless process. I was able to get people going with the app in less than 30 seconds.  

3-      Have you seen Tag before, have you seen it after the contest?

I'm pretty sure I had see Tag before, but I wasn't sure how it was different than other 2D barcodes. I'm still catching up after SXSWi and haven't seen them around yet but they will catch my eye certainly in the future.  

4-      How did you go about getting your scans?

Around 80% of my scans came from walking up to people in person and getting their attention. You'd be shocked at how willing people are to help another person win $5,000 if their effort is minimal. The other 20% came from hitting up some of my friends and coworkers on Skype and getting them to scan my tag from the computer screen. I thought about posting it to Twitter, but Twitter is just too noisy. I have a strong following, but people rarely do things unless you reach out to them personally. 

5-      How did people react when you introduce them your contest Tag? 

 People were mainly curious of how it was different from other 2D code readers- the main differences that people grabbed onto were that it scans a lot faster than others, and the location awareness opens up lots of possibilities. 

6-      Were you nervous that there was someone in second very close to your number of scans?

I wasn't nervous as much as just more driven. I went to a lounge where I knew there would be a reasonable amount of foot traffic, but people would be relaxed and not doing anything specifically. There were groups of 3-4 people talking and I would just approach them and try to get all of them at once. Since Tag Reader is on almost every platform, and not just the iPhone, it wasn't difficult to get people onboard. 


7 – Do you plan to use Tag from now on? If yes, How?


Definitely! When I come across a Tag, I doubt my curiosity could stop me from seeing what it holds. 


8-  Where would you like to see Tag in the future?


I'm hoping to see it in magazines and newspapers, but also in storefronts. Since the Tag is location aware if I scanned an item, I suppose it could even tell me where I could buy one locally. 


9 – Something to add?

Standing out during SXSWi is rather difficult but Microsoft did a great job of standing tall even with the heavily Apple and iPhone-centric crowd. I picked up a demo of Expression Studio and it seems very likely that my company, imVOX, is now going to move over to it for our application development and design for Windows.