Business cards are out of date. They’re paper, which immediately makes them dinosaurs. You get them, and have to figure out what to do – do you copy it all into Outlook? Do you use a Rolodex? It’s just not the best way to do it.
Thankfully, there are a growing number of ways to use the internet to create, share and use your business card. Using these services, you can send your card to others, get contact information in your email (where all your contacts are anyway), and have the business card work with your existing address books, which are increasingly online.
Although there are many, here are five ways to bring your business card into the 2.0 World.
is a business card, an “about me” page, and a signature to add to emails, blog posts, and anything else you can think of. When you create a card, you can embed it into emails, paste it onto your blog, or send it to someone. It’s a great tool for connecting with other people, and is very social-network heavy.
Retaggr lets you link to your profiles (on hundreds of sites), so you can find friends all over the Web. For more information, check out Kyle’s great article about Retaggr.
The thing I love about Dropcard is that it’s dead easy to use. While it doesn’t have any unique features to speak of, its delivery system is what makes it so great. When you meet someone, you send Dropcard a text saying “drop theperson’semail@theirdomain” and Dropcard sends all your contact information to their email. Most of us use contacts and email in the same location anyway, and Dropcard knows that.
There’s an iPhone version, lots of keyboard shortcuts, and a number of other great features. Another nice touch – you can have two different cards, a business card and a personal card. Customize them however you want, and give people only the information you want to.
is a fully-featured contact manager, but also works great for giving people your personal information. You can import contacts from Google, Outlook or Windows Live Mail, and then send your contact information to others. Create one card or many, and send them to other people. Cards can be organized into categories, updated automatically by Nuebbo, and even downloaded as Points of Interest on your GPS (an unnecessary, but cool touch).
If you want a full address book, and not just a business card, Nuebbo’s a great one to try out. If you’re just looking for a simple business card to send to people, Nuebbo’s good, but not the best of the group.
This one’s iPhone-specific, but deserves a mention. On your iPhone, boot. The application lets you send a business card or a picture to anyone else using the Handshake application, with the touch of a button. It’s a great way to exchange contact information with someone, right when you meet them.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see an application like this for the Blackberry or Windows Mobile in the near future. For now though, if you meet a fellow iPhone user, a simple Handshake is all it takes to exchange your contact information.
Plaxo remains the gold standard online contact-manager. Plaxo syncs with Outlook, Google, Yahoo and others, automatically updates contacts’ information, has an integrated task list, and keeps everyone in contact.
Sending your card is easy, and it works really well. Plaxo even has a FriendFeed-like feature called “Pulse”, where you can see what your contacts are doing around the Web. Actually, ‘Friendfeed-like’ is a misnomer, because Plaxo did it first. Plaxo’s a great utility, and becomes unbeatable when all your contacts use it.
No longer is the business card a tiny, index card-like thing you put in your wallet, sit on for a while, try to find, and painstakingly enter onto your computer. With any of the services above, bring your business card to the Web, and make the sharing of contact information even easier.
You do everything else online, right? Why not your business card?
How do you manage your contacts and business cards? Online or on paper?