A Business Card in Multiple Dimensions

I have to admit that I’m not all that much a fan of business cards, nor the behaviors around them. You give someone a slip of paper, and the expectation is that the moment of putting that paper in their hand will give them initiative to reach back out to you. Then, there’s that matter of putting that information into some address book (paper, roll, or digital) – which is always a messy affair.

I find that business cards, amongst many other aspects of paper-trails, are too one dimensional, and pretty antiquated. So, I’ve decided to change a few things – and/or just step it up.

I start as usual with the print business card. The business card however has a QR code on it. Using a barcode/QR code reader on a mobile device, a person can read that code which would take them to a link to download my business card information.

Now, that business card information isn’t saved on the card. It sits on my mobile device, encoded (secured, managed, etc.) on my personal mobile web server.

If you were to go to the page directly, it would look like this:

ARJW Business Card and Landing Page

Which is all well and good, but this could mean nothing – unless you wanted to connect. On this page there are primary links to connect with me, and to view aspects of my social graph which are worth sharing (meaning that I respect my own privacy and don’t share everything).

With this, we’ve taken the humble business card, and given it relevance within three dimensions:

  • paper
  • mobile via camera
  • digital via downloadable data

In addition, I’ve expanded the use of someone’s mobile technology (they need to download a mobile app to read the barcode, they learn that webpages can do almost anything, etc.), and increased my own ability to be responsive to those who visit and wish to communicate.

Data, at least data like this, deserves to have more to it than one dimension. In keeping with the intention of passing a business card, we can address this layer of interaction, and empower folks to do a bit more than just see contact information.

Side Note: adding the functionality to bump my mobile into another’s device (without using an application to do it) and transfer information would take a few steps out of this, and add some neat possibilities.

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