5 Ways to Beam Your Business Card

I’ve been looking for ways to better distribute my business contact information to others without the use of the traditional paper business card. Sure, I have really enjoyed handing out my varied and conversation-starting Moo cards at events, however, I’m often caught without my cards and always wonder if people really have a good business card management system these days. I haven’t seen one of those old Rolodexes with cards that have slits in them to hold business cards in eons. Personally, I have all of the ones I’ve collected over the last year in a shoebox.

Since I’m all about making my iPhone as efficient and useful as possible, I’ve sought out apps and services to help me not only deliver my deets to others but also gather and organize theirs.

Kevin Tofel wrote about DropCard in a previous post so I recently gave it a whirl. The set up was a cinch – a quick form to fill out including your mobile number. Then all you have to do is text the service with the message: “drop colleague@theiremail.com” and of course fill in the name of the person you’d like to receive your contact information.

The theory is that once I meet someone, I can simply text the DropCard service with their email address, and my info will be waiting for them in their Inbox before we’ve even left the event. They can then add your information to their address book. By adding a “p” after your text message (with a space before it), you can send personal contact information instead. Both profiles can include links to your social network profiles as well.

gmail-aliza-sherman-risdahl-beamed-you-a-vcard-mediaegggmailcomRmbrme by ChroniQL, Inc. let’s you customize and optimize your vCard with a photo and social networking links. Then you can beam your social media vCard from your mobile to someone else’s mobile via text message.

Or you can use their BeamMe app. This free app works with the iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Treo, wifi-enabled computers, and more. The recipient can then use the vCard to add you to their address book or even an application such as Salesforce if they are a hardcore CRMer. The vCard conveniently integrates with LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace and other social networks. Plus you can track every contact you’ve made.

Speaking of beaming content, the BeamMe app from ChroniQL should not be confused with the BeamMe from Beam Me Pty Ltd which is a nifty service for web site publishers where you can add a button to your site to have content “beamed” to someone’s mobile via SMS. Sounds like a nifty idea but could not get it to work at presstime.

gmail-doseido-sharecard-aliza-sherman-risdahl_s-vcard-file-mediaegggmailcomAnother vCard app for the iPhone is ShareCard which costs $1.99. For an app you have to purchase, I was surprised that Sharecard only gives you the option to email your stats while BeamMe also sends your info via SMS.

While I was sending my vCard from BeamMe, it allowed me to edit the content of my card after selecting it from my iPhone contact list, however, the changes I made were not permanent so I had to change them. Sharecard didn’t seem to let me do any edits of my contact information within the app itself. I had to exit the app, make edits in my iPhone contact list, then return to the app and turn on the details I wanted to send.

gmail-contact-info-and-vcard-from-aliza-sherman-mediaegggmailcom1Another free app, SnapDat calls their graphically-enhanced vCards “SnapCards” and provides 40 custom designs for your cards. Instead of the on/off feature of ShareCard to select the content you want to send, SnapDat lets you create as many cards as you like, each one customized for a different type of recipient such as the “I’m for hire and here is everything you need to know about me” SnapCard versus the “Met you at a networking event, here’s my email” version.

While I had to type in some registration information to get started with SnapDat, once I was registered, my first SnapCard instantly popped up, fully populated with the information from my iPhone contact listing, and with an edit button so I could customize it. I immediately gave it a name (Main Card for main business networking purposes) and was able to change the background design. Then I just tapped the finished card and was able to email it. The first option is to send to someone else with SnapDat but the second option is to email.

While all of these apps we pretty intuitive to get started with and use, I have to say so far I like the extra options SnapDat offers, however, I was surprised that when the SnapCard arrived via email, the pretty design wasn’t viewable in the email. BeamMe has the nicest looking email. ShareCard, for the money, just seems a bit lacking overall. DropCard is nice but lacks the fun iPhone app although it works with iPhone SMS.

What are you using to beam your biz card?

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