I ran out of business cards a few months back and never bothered to get more. As such, I find myself in a spot when people ask for my card. Normally I take theirs and intend to email them when I get home. However, as with business cards since as far back as I can remember, its not that often it happens. Normally I put them down, get distracted with something else, and then forget what that card was about.
So now I either get peoples twitter name (and then follow them) or give them my twitter name (@perivision) and then look for them in the address book of twittFilter. A nice feature of twittFilter’s address book is that it shows you your followers and followies based on time. So that works out. Typically the Bio information and web link tells me WAY more then a business card can.
Not once have I asked for a twitter name and someone not have one. Now agreed I’m in San Francisco, so the odds are pretty high whomever I come across will have a twitter account. But its like linkedin and facebook. People almost expect that you have a presense somewhere and those services provide much richer information then a business card!
I should add (P.S.) that I not mean to imply business cards are on their way out completely. As Joel mentioned in the comments, there is something nice about getting a well designed card on nice rag. I think there could be a complimentary effect. Already we are seeing people put their twitter names on their business cards. I did that last year with mine. And if you ever exchange cards with people from the far east, there is something wonderful about the formal nature of offering and accepting the card. That is where I think what we will see card becoming more of, a formal addition to using social media to exchange information.
There is one thing about the iphone that really bugs me though, and I’m surprised is not solved. With the Palm, I could simply press the ‘address’ button for 3 seconds, and it would IR beam my information to another smart phone. The iphone is the first smart phone I’ve seen that lacks that. And we do not have a good replacement. I have 3 different ‘business card exchange’ apps on my iphone, and I never think to use any of them, nor does anyone suggest using them. Instead the most common solution to not having cards is: well, what your twitter name? I get asked just as often as I ask for it.
I think we are on to something here. How much you wanna bet someone will write a iphone twitter app designed to exchange information via twitter? … and I want a cut!