I overheard people talking about business cards today which made me start to think back to my experiences at Drupal Downunder 2012 and the art of advanced networking.
In the space of almost three days I accrued a wallet full of business cards. I can only imagine some were interested in me as a client, others as an employee, perhaps some wanted to expand their twitter following and I'm sure there must have been one who just wanted me to have their number.
As if to personify the well known saying:
It's not what you know, it's who you know.
The business card is the old fashioned way to sequester another soul into your network. To create a connection which could have the opportunity of developing into a symbiotic relationship to rival that of rhinos and oxpeckers.
Does the business card still matter though? Can we not do away with these wallet fillers and instead connect on linkedin, twitter, google plus or simply by email? In so many ways but perhaps the most important when it comes to meeting people, we can. I would venture to say the only thing holding the business card's existence in its hands is the face to face.
Hiding being a monitor with faceless emails flying between parties can make it hard to gauge a person; to really get a measure of them. Tiny afflictions visible only when within the two metre comfort zone; true passion in the words being spruiked or merely a façade displayed in an effort to deceive; detection of 'chemistry' between parties. All of those and more are a result of the face to face.
Unfortunately, being in front of others does not come easily to some people so this rather intimate method is their bane. I'm a fan of it and enjoy the spotlight however, so perhaps I'll allow the business card for a little longer; its days are numbered though.