Getting ready for SXSW: Order your "geek cards"

SXSW 2011

Back in 2006 I wrote my “best practices” for business cards. That advice hasn’t changed much but the technology behind business cards and business networking sure has. To see just how see the Building43 interview with Hashable’s CEO. Folks over on Quora expect Hashable will be one of the most popular apps at SXSW in 2011.

But as cool as Hashable, or Bump, or similar apps are going to be, most of us will still use paper cards. Damn luddites!

But that doesn’t mean your paper card can’t be geeky! At SXSW this year two companies sent me versions of “geek cards” that they are pushing. You see those two cards in the photo attached to this post.

Who made these? Two companies:

1. Paperlinks.
2. AvaKard.

Yes, both of these are using standard QR codes, so you can scan them with any app but with Paperlinks you can use their iPhone app, which works really well. Shows you all sorts of detail that I can change. You can even get to my Quora page just by scanning my card.

Overall I like Paperlinks better. Partly because I’m just not sold on non-standard-sized cards. Makes it easier to lose and scan and stuff like that. Plus I like the iPhone app they made.

I do like having a photo on a card, though, makes it easier to remember who handed you the card, and where. I also like that Avakards uses a SXSW-specific URL. Paperlinks, in its defense, shows you “I met you at SXSW” which is very useful when you end up mixing up your cards with all of those that you got elsewhere. They are always fun to look back at too.

But, what about you? Are you ready for SXSW? Do you have YOUR geek cards ready to hand out?

By the way, you can scan the cards above using QR code software or Paperlinks’ iPhone app. It even works in the photo above.

One last thing, be careful when handing these cards around. Your corporate bosses might not like you using non-standard cards. In fact I’ll find these hard to use because they don’t even say Rackspace on them. Or, if I did use them I’d also hand you a Rackspace card, too, so you’d know my official work info. But these are fun ways to network with the geeks at SXSW who will be trying all sorts of new mobile apps to network.

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. Nice. I love the top one, especially. Might order myself some just for general use, you know, once Paperlinks is actually out of private beta.

      1. Yes, with Paperlinks, everything is totally flexible! You can generate a QR code through our system and deploy them for any use. You can get your items printed with us or anyone else. We have been printing for 42 years, but our focus is in creating a powerful platform for effectively and easily using QR codes.

    1. Avakards are explicitly designed on a case-by-base basis. Our idea is that our product is affordable and flexible enough that you can always have specific cards printed for specific events.

      We also offer lots of options for what you can put on the cards. We’re planning on offering a ton of different designs. You can have a more traditional card, with email address, phone, website, etc., or you can keep all that info on our mobile-optimized website, which is accessed by scanning the card.

      In addition to offering the physical cards, we see Avakards as a service to create permanent and meaningful connections. We offer a customizable website that people will see, along with a bunch of different ways for people to contact you, all of them with prompts to remind you (the person who gave out the card) where and how you met this person.

      The big caveat (right now) to all this stuff is that we’re still in beta. We’re a small team, and we’re working fast, so by the time anyone reads this, stuff might have changed, but right now our site is undergoing some big changes. We’re excited!

  2. sweet cards – though mine have a Microsoft Tag rather than QR code (I know you’d expect me to say that)…but the real benefit of Tag is the data you get for free on the backend which shows your clickthru traffic details etc).

    off to chat with the Tag team about who their business card partner(s) are :)

    Steve

  3. I tried to scan the paperlink one, it’s looking nice but i can’t download contact info on my phone.

    As for the second, site unusable with my phone, probably because of the avakard js overlay that block scrolling.

    So i think I’ll have to do mines myself ;)

    1. Sorry about that site!

      We have a really slick mobile-optimized site that we’re planning to launch in a few days. It allows you to get all the contact info downloaded to your phone, and also to easily connect to any social media the user has set up. It’s all customizable.

  4. Hey Robert, why not have your QR code point to an iknonique Profile?

    You know what? ikonqiue has a QR code-maker installed as standard. You can use it to let people connect with your profile or pubic chat from ANY QR reader.

    You could have RackSpace do the hosting in the cloud – you only need to install our FOS software running on any virtual linux server install to be ikonque.

    Then you could use Communicado, our server-to-server (request-based for security) real-time messaging to to your friend’s servers with ANY central server/hub (gasp). So there is absolutely NO spying from Google or Facebook et al.

    You can even delete or edit ‘sent’ messages with no copy of the original remaining.

    Distributed social networking controlled by the user?

    World-changing technology?

    S**t yeah!

    ikonique.net