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Business Cards Gone Modern

Instead of passing around business cards, you can create an online business card for free at about.me.

With all the modern trappings of society these days, your business card, email signature or even ending slide in a PowerPoint® presentation ("How to reach me"), can get pretty silly with all the lines of data. We're über-connected with so many ways to be reached, including email addresses, toll-free, mobile and land-line phone numbers, website addresses and so on.

I give a lot of talks and presentations, and it used to be that I'd give my phone and email address at the end of the talk. People would frantically scribble them down in case they wanted to talk to me later.

Today there's a new way that makes it so much easier. Claim your about.me page.

With your free about.me page, you claim your name and get your own single web page address. You can list a graphic background and some information about yourself.

This makes it one-stop shopping for people who want to reach me because all my web addresses, and even a link to email me (that the spammers won't get!), is right there.

Doing a little poking around, I found several Livermore folks who have their about.me page set up:

Browse through the about.me directory, and you'll find all kinds of clever and interesting personal branding images.

Personal QR Codes

If you want to get even more clever, create a QR code for your page. Those are the square bar codes you see starting to pop up. I saw one on TV the other day for the first time, too.

If you have a smart phone, you should be able to download a free QR code reader. The app accesses your camera to scan the QR code. This pops them straight over to your page.

Here's an easy way to create a QR code for any web page:

  1. Go to Google's URL shortener, http://goo.gl
  2. Enter your target URL, and click "Shorten"
  3. Once you have the shortened URL (like http://goo.gl/OcrcT), just append ".qr" to the end

As an example, the shortened URL with .qr on the end looks like this: http://goo.gl/OcrcT.qr. Google will display a QR code that you can copy/paste into your webpage or even print on your business card.

Now, you can have a clever conversation starter that makes you look super-modern, rather than having the same old boring business cards with four phone numbers, and email and web addresses.

Oh, and yes, you can reach me at about.me/tompetty or about.me/thomaspetty.

Mike Adams June 07, 2011 at 04:58 PM
The about.me site is suspicious according to my employer's web sniffer. Proceed with caution...
Thomas Petty June 08, 2011 at 03:27 PM
Mike, Thanks for your concerns. About.me is owned by AOL (the same company that owns Patch.com), and they acquired it last December. Its global rank of all websites worldwide is 2928 and US rank is 1688 (according to Alexa.com) - which is very high, especially for a site that's been around for less than a year. As of December, when it was acquired by AOL, there were 400,000 users. I can't find any stats now, but I'm sure it's in the millions by now. So I seriously doubt there are any problems in using the site as I described.
Bill Davis June 09, 2011 at 01:31 PM
About.me is totally legit. I suspect the employer in question has flagged it for some reason other than it being "suspicious." Perhaps their employees have spent too much time on the web or on that site in particular. The QR code tip is solid GOLD. Google could possibly upset an entire niche industry if they heavily promoted this free offering.

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