Business cards have proven rather resilient in the face of technological change. But their shortcomings remain clear: They’re easy to lose and challenging to organize.
About.me, a personal Web page service that boasts over 4 million profiles, has unveiled an iPhone app that aims to tackle those problems.
“Intro,” one of the latest attempts to reinvent business cards, lets people convert their about.me profiles into digital business cards that they can share through their smartphones.
The app may have a shot at catching on in real estate. Several thousands about.me users use “real estate” or “real estate agent” in their profile titles, and nearly 10,000 people have tagged “real estate” on their profiles,” according to Jessica Kipp, a spokeswoman for about.me.
“It’s a great way for agents to give a background on themselves and what they do, give customers a centralized place to find contact info, plus link to all their social media sites and Web pages,” she said.
Users may tailor each card to a recipient, choosing whether to share information ranging from an about.me page and profile photo to an email address or mobile phone number. Then, they send the cards through text message or email.
Not only do the cards seem to give you a better shot of staying on someone’s radar, they also can paint a richer portrait of you than slabs of paper.
“We created Intro so that the first time you meet someone — the most critical part of building a new relationship — you can leave an impression that actually communicates your identity and is remembered long after that first exchange,” said about.me co-founder and CEO Tony Conrad.
The old-school business card doesn’t seem to have a very bright future ahead of it. Apps like Intro are gunning for it, and a number of technologies could pose an existential threat.
They include QR codes, which let you snap a photo of a barcode to visit a Web address; near-field communication (NFC), which lets you import or transfer information by holding your phone close to a business card or phone; and “conductive ink circuitry.”