I hate carrying business cards. There, I said it. While so much of my work-time is spent on-line or at various Wi-Fi shops with coffee coffee shops with Wi-Fi, carrying business cards is a necessary evil in our world. Seems like each time I don’t have any is the time I need to have them, so I don’t leave home with out a half-dozen or so.
Earlier this month at the Mobilize conference, I must have passed out a hundred cards; doing so reduced my weight by about 3 percent because I have the heavy stock card type. Towards the end of the event however, I witnessed “business card nirvana”. Andy Abramson and I were chatting about mobile technologies over drinks when all of sudden he whips out his BlackBerry to send a text message.
Note: we don’t recommend nor condone drinking and texting here at WWD.
Andy asked for my e-mail address as he’s texting something to 41411. Curious, not tipsy, I oblige. Less than a minute later, my iPhone receives an e-mail with all of Andy’s contact information. Even better, there’s an attached vCard containing that info, making it simple to import Andy’s details into my Contacts application. Drop. Dead. Simple.
Dropcard is the solution that Andy used and it’s free for a basic account. Once you sign up and enter your contact information in a virtual business card, you’re set. Using text messaging, all you need to know is someone’s e-mail address and then you simply text 41411 with a command like: “drop email@example.com”. The “drop” command tells the Dropcard folks to shoot your contact details to the e-mail address you specify. There’s even a few shortcut commands to speed up the process: you don’t have to type the “gmail.com” bit of an address, for example. Dropcard will assume that no domain in the address means Gmail.
The free account allows you to pass 15 virtual business cards a month, offers two profiles and includes an on-line contact list. $4.99 a month nets you up to 100 Dropcards a month, 20 profiles (for you secret-agent types) and a logo or photo on your Dropcard. Up the ante to $9.99 a month for unlimited Dropcards.
While I’ll still always have a few paper business cards on hand, it’s a safe bet that most people I meet have e-mail addresses. If they have one, I’ll hang on to the physical card and shoot them a Dropcard.