Many of us have been to conferences and other social gatherings where we network with people in our industry. Business cards are the standard method of getting your contact information to other people. The problem with business cards are (1) they’re so old-school, (2) they’re easy to lose, and (3) they’re the equivalent of snail mail in an age of electronic communications.
DropCard is like a business card 2.0. Anybody with a mobile phone can use it. And damn if it isn’t cool.
DropCard works like this:
- Set up an account at DropCard.
- Enter your contact details, web links, whatever.
- When out and about and you want to have your contact info sent to a new contact, just use your mobile phone to send a text message to 41411. In that message, say “drop [email]”. So, if you wanted to send Joe Blow your contact info, text “drop firstname.lastname@example.org” and Joe will have all your contact info sitting right in his email inbox.
DropCard also maintains a database of your sent and received cards which you can access on the Internet in your DropCrd account. Under Settings, you can set options like Reciprocity (send your dropcard if somebody sends you their’s), get weekly updates (a weekly email of how many cards you received and sent and who they were), get confirmation emails and whether you want you card to be public.
DropCard is free to use, however they have a premium accounts available. The free account limits you to 15 dropcards per month. The premium version for $4.99/month allows you to attach a logo or image, attach files and documents, and get some analytics on your dropcard. This is actually a good idea. I have found that having a photo of myself on my business card is good for people remembering who I am after the conference is over. People are often better remembering faces than names. The premium account allows you to use 100 dropcards per month. The Elite account is $9.99/month and allows unlimited usage.
My gut tells me that the pricing might be a little too high. It is a very simple service and, when compared to some of the other web-based services with very reasonable yearly fees, this might seem a bit high. That said, it is only $60 for a full year and if you’re a heavy networker, it’d be more than worth it for you. The Elite account would run you $120/year. Seeing as this is a simple text messaging service which sends an HTML email, it doesn’t seem like it should be priced that high. Twitter does SMS for free, and I am reminded of Flickr which provides unlimited image bandwidth for only $25/year for the Pro account.
This service, though, is targeted towards the business audience and, as such, would likely be more than worth it for a heavy networker.
As a person who likes new technology, though, DropCard is interesting. In the age of the mobile phone, it is about time we start kicking this old thing called a business card.
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