What contact information is on your business card apart from your name and the name of your company/ business? Traditionally, it would most likely have been your job title, your real world address and your telephone number. In the ’80s, that new fangled technology, the fax machine, meant that fax numbers were then added to the card. In the 90s, that tiny bit of card had to cope additionally with website URLs and emails and mobile phone numbers.
Is it time to de-clutter, I wonder?
Recently, I’ve come across a number of business people exchanging their Twitter @usernames, in the way that one might exchange mobile phone numbers - or including those monickers at the end of their Powerpoint presentations.
I wonder if we could reduce the verbage on our business cards simply to our names and Twitter @usernames?
OK, for those who have not yet heard of Twitter, it’s an online micro-blogging site where you can post short messages of 140 characters for the world to see on the Twitter site - either via your mobile phone or your computer. Your Twitter username is a username of your own choosing. Mine is fusionview. To “hail” someone on Twitter you send a message - or “tweet” - with @ in front of their username: so “@fusionview” would reach my Twitter inbox.
If we minimised our contact details to our @username, might that also improve our communications with people we meet other than the obvious one of de-cluttering our business cards?
People can “follow” your Twitter stream by clicking “follow” on your Twitter page and you can “follow” them back - or you could choose not to. So new people you meet as well as your friends and associates could easily find and follow you online with just your Twitter username. You can have public discussions with them - and other Twitterers - or private exchanges, if you prefer.
You would normally include in your Twitter profile a link to your website so people can find your more detailed contact information via you website Contact Me page, if they need to. On you Twitter page, all people need is a quick snapshot of who you are / what you do. People can also see on your page the kinds of things you “tweet” about or what you discuss with other Twitter users. That can actually say a lot about the kind of person you are, what you’re interested in and how you engage with others. Might this then be an alternative and more informal way to let yourself and your business be more open and accessible to new acquaintances and lonstanding friends alike than your website?
I rather like the concept of a business card that just says:
… and a way for people to encounter me online at Twitter as they might encounter me - as a friend, a writer, an avid learner about all things social media, a reluctant gardener, an unfit runner, a lover of good food… and so on, as my Twitter stream evolves.
The only thing is that we’d all be dependent on Twitter to stay afloat into the foreseeable future if it became the norm to trust our contact details to it…
Or maybe the end result will be yet another new contact format to crowd into that little bit of card as we squeeze our Twitter @usernames into the last available blank space there…
Do you use Twitter for chatting, networking, making contact with people whether in a personal or business context? Do you think there’s potential for mass take-up of Twitter as a contact tool?
Image: thanks to xotoko from flickr.com (CCL)