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|Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011|
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In another blow to the rolodex industry, LinkedIn announced the new and improved CardMunch iPhone App – a new app that provides a home for that pile of business cards on your desk/in your pockets/at the bottom of your bag beneath the new Susan Boyle album. This is another significant step in reinventing not only how we swap business cards, but how we maintain information in general.
How it works
The user experience for the new app is simple enough – upon receiving a new business card, you snap a photo of it with your iPhone. The app extracts the information from the digitized card and links it to an existing LinkedIn profile, providing you with information on common connections, work history and whatever else is on the profile page. This is a noteworthy improvement from earlier versions, where you only had access to the information that was already on the card. If the situation arises where your new contact has no Linkedin profile, you have the option of sending an invite.
As you wait for your card’s information to be extracted, you can add little notes to each card like ‘follow up with this person regarding informational interview’ or ‘do not accept this person’s Facebook request’ (my personal favorite). This feature is particularly useful at networking events and basically anything else that involves a large group of people and lot of talking. Once your cards have been fully processed, the app will kindly growl at you – not a mean growl, but sassy enough to let you know the work’s been done. The user interface compiles all your new virtual cards and allows you to swipe through them in the same way you’d swipe through mp3 covers.
Why you should download it
Since the launch of CardMunch in December of 2009, there have been more than 1.8 million business cards that have been converted digitally. People are responding positively and appreciate the additional layer of insight that it offers. In the words of LinkedIn, you get to know ‘the person behind the card’. And on top of that, it comes with a praise-worthy interface that is completely user-friendly and intuitive of all our business card extraction needs. In the words of the Barefoot Contessa, “how easy was that?”
The juggernaut of all networking events will soon be rearing its head in Austin, Texas. Like Madonna and Cher, it’s only known by a single word, or acronym – SXSW. Business card makers rejoice as they brush the dust off the presses and begin hiring more staff to meet demand. The number of cards one receives at SXSW is staggering, and these are probably folks you’d want to keep in touch with. In this situation, the follow-up is important – the initial meeting is less significant if the relationship can’t be replicated back in real life. This is when the CardMunch app comes in handy – several real-life situations below:
Having the ability to use these features in the palm of your hand will prove invaluable not only at SXSW, but at any upcoming event that expands one’s network.
Disclaimer: As of current, the information extraction process is slow – very, very slow. You could probably power through a season of 30 Rock before you’re growled at. But of course, this is to be expected. The app is a recent launch and no doubt inundated with curious users. We would expect LinkedIn to update the app accordingly and have it up to speed in no time. Additionally, the app is only available for iOS. But as with all apps, new versions will come out in correlation with user demand.
What does it all mean?!
The new version of the CardMunch iPhone app brings into consideration the larger issue of content digitization. What exactly, is the necessity of having something like paper receipts? Some companies are now emailing them to their customers and others will hopefully follow suit. There are significant entry points to reducing the amount of paper waste we generate on a daily basis. As in the case of business cards, these won’t soon go away. There are situations where a paper card is necessary (ie, meeting with business prospects). But it’s interesting to imagine a situation where we decrease the amount of physical cards we carry around, having our devices communicate digital versions of our cards. Let’s see what happens…In the meantime, take a second and check out the CardMunch app in this video. - By Kevin Fu, Account Coordinator, Text 100 San Francisco
Don't miss these great posts on Hypertext! Have an idea for a topic? Post a comment on the blog, tweet us @text100, comment on our Facebook page, or send an email to Text 100's Global Community Manager, Amber Rinehard.
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