This article was published on September 19, 2008

Stop the ruthless hitmen, keep business cards alive

Stop the ruthless hitmen, keep business cards alive
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

A few weeks ago, TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid invited an army of tech-savvy hitmen to work on a technology to kill the business card for “once and for all“. I know some of these ruthless killers personally and I can tell you, they’re about ready to hit. When these guys are not working on their brutal murdering techniques, they’re actually great company. Yet I feel I have to stop these fellas and plea for a world that embraces the little paper connectors for “once and for all”.

We Need To Kill The Business Card Once And For AllThe discussion on TechCrunch was pretty hefty, vibrations were getting nasty. Arrington chose sides of Kincaid and even posted a picture of the drawer in which he saves all the cards (pretty sight, uh?). Nevertheless, most visitors weren’t too fond of the whole death warrant idea.

Every now and then the Silicon Valley folks need to step out of their Tech bubble and interact with non-Tech folks to understand how the vast majority of the population works.

Look out for Arrington’s article tomorrow, “We need to kill the handshake, Facebook pokes via the iPhone are good enough”.

Really? Kill the business card? That would be really inconvenient for someone who works with consumers who can’t afford an iPhone or any other fancy smartphone, or who aren’t as immersed in this world of tech like we all are.

I don’t really care about what these guys are saying, I love my bubble. And most people who don’t master the new technologies but are in fact interesting don’t even have a business card. No, I need the business cards for other reasons. Karen from hyperart made an excellent point. She noted that cards are perfect for self-expression:

This is like saying canvas has to die because people can just photoshop.

She’s right! You know, I was going through my Web 2.0 Expo New York cards collection when I realized that the self-expression part is the very reason I care so much about the business card. Then I remembered the TechCrunch discussion and started reading the comments. I’m glad Karen and a few others think about it the same way.

Just look at these three great cards I got last week:

Great business cards

Sorry for the sorry quality, but I hope you get the idea. Here’s why I dig these cards so much:

  • The one in the top left was given to me by Jerri Chou from alldaybuffet, a social innovation brand for the creative mavericks. The line “You are connected to everything. Love accordingly” fits that company mission perfectly. The back of the card shows her email address in handwriting.
  • Brian Shaler has just put his name on his card. “I want people to Google me”, he told me at the TechSet NYC party. I can imagine, since this flash developer has some great stuff going on online
  • The card of this startup junkie reads “Hey, how awesome, we just met. my name is Andrew Hyde (we should keep in touch)” and depicts a great cartoon of his face. Enough said.

Business cards are here to stay, they’re great tools for self-expression during first impressions. And don’t you dare going green on me.

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