Cellphone Apps Replace Business Cards

The value of networking is more important than ever. It is crucial to business partnerships and fostering new connections. But how information is exchanged is undergoing change, as online apps could eclipse the traditional business card.

LinkedIn’s CardMunch, for example, is a free app that takes a photograph of a business card and sends it to a service that transcribes the information and adds it to her phone’s address book, rendering the physical copy unnecessary.

Other apps bypass the business card entirely. Bump is a free app that lets users bump or tap their phones together to share contact information. If both users are signed into Facebook, a list of common acquaintances will be displayed. Other apps such as ContactsJournal helps users keep track of interactions.

Some users skip the business card entirely. They exchange LinkedIn profiles, Twitter handles, and even friend each other on Facebook. Using social media profiles to connect not only helps you put a face to the name later on, but also gives you access to a larger network of potential contacts.

There are definite advantages to paperless networking. No clunky Rolodex is needed, no scrambling in your pockets and purse to find that card you just had in your hand. Everything can be managed through your smartphone. Proponents argue it can improve your networking by helping you to remember the context and situation, rather than seeing a name on a card and struggling to remember where and how you met them.

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Source: New York Times