I am making a poster and I would like to add a document so that anyone who is interested can see further details. At first, I thought that using a QR code would make it look cooler, but after reading a number of comments on the internet, such as this one on Reddit, I think that it will soon be abandoned (relevant section quoted below).

I sent out over 50,000 mailings with QR codes on them to Real Estate agents. (They claim to love QR codes)

I did this to prove to my CEO that QR codes would be awesome.

3 people scanned them.

We don't talk about QR codes any more.

However, I need to add a link, and it seems that the only other way is by shortening it. This is what it could look like:

To view the full document, scan this QR code:


To view the full document, go to this link: bit.ly/doc_name

Which one do you think would attract more interest?

More info: I work in a science field and I'm making a poster for a conference to introduce/advertise my work to others. I want to add a link to my paperwork for interested viewers, but I don't have a company website (my work is stored on Google Drive). Also, I will have told the viewers what the content is, so I don't think they will be worried by it.

As PhillipW suggests, it is better to have my own website, which I will do, but in the near future as I don't have time for that now.

  • 7
    Why not use a full URL? Just set up a 'vanity' URL for the promotion. Something like www.your-company.com/superpromotion and have that as a 301 redirect to the actual full URL. The issue with short URLs and QR codes is that the user has no idea what it is they're clicking on. And that's a security risk (whether you intend it to be or not).
    – JonW
    Oct 13, 2014 at 11:59
  • I agree with @JonW. The other problem with short URLs is they aren't meant to be human readable. They will be hard to remember/write down. With a full URL it is, and the user may also remember your website URL and just go to the home page.
    – user31143
    Oct 13, 2014 at 12:16
  • I'd suggest the vanity URL as an answer.
    – PhillipW
    Oct 13, 2014 at 14:16
  • I'd probably just register my own domain for the occasion (often less that £10) and set up a redirect from it the posting on google docs.
    – PhillipW
    Oct 13, 2014 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


For starters, I dont agree with your response that you don't have time to set up a domain name. It takes like 10 minutes and would be a worthwhile investment on your behalf since the domain name would be so much more easier to remember rather than a bitly link or even a tr.im link.

My suggestion would be have a combination of both a QR code and and the URL (provide the URL below the QR code). Here is an example

enter image description here

This would handle the case in case the person doesn't have a QR code reader and he can then enter the URL below it and in a best case scenario he can just use the URL. The presence of the URL also enables users to be able to note it down as needed.

  • This answer has become something of a standard 9 years later. I would vote for this to be the correct answer.
    – Izquierdo
    Sep 26, 2023 at 14:21

For the scenario i guess you can go for a full stretch URL as a few have suggested provided you make your URLs as short and as readable as possible so that they are easy to read and understand and also mean no threat.


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