Mar 17 2010

So Do You Bump Me Or Do I Card You?

Adding people you meet in the wide world to your social networks can be a chore.  Thankfully, the necessary information can be listed on business cards, but a popular mobile app now offers to streamline the process (at least for Facebook).  Which is better: paper or phone app?

In meeting a lot of people on set each week, I often hear and say, “Facebook me!”  That’s where the trouble begins.  Many of the names I’ve gone to look up when I later had the chance were spelled too uniquely for me to find, were buried in a list of common names, or were downright private and unlisted on the search results.

To combat this, Facebook now allows each profile to claim a unique username with a corresponding “facebook.com/(username)” url.  While this has helped tremendously in friending people on a regular basis, it is still a problem with standalone mobile Facebook applications – on which there is no way to visit a profile’s url.  Invariably, after searching full names on first my iPhone app and then theirs, my would-be Facebook friend gives up and says, “Give me the url, and I’ll add you when I get home.”

As if sent from an angel on high, the popular contact-trading app, Bump, now offers the ability to directly send a Facebook friend request upon bumping.  Even better, the software is available for both Apple and Android mobile platforms – meaning half of the major smartphone options can use it.  In addition to solving the problem of the messy Facebook add, Bump allows users to swap names, emails, physical addresses, pictures, birthdays, notes, websites, and anything else you’ve added to your contact file.

Bump by dedbeats

While this sounds like a replacement for the classic business card, I have found – I have both cards and Bump – that I use the cards far more often.  For one, it doesn’t feel quite as professional to ask an entertainment industry someone to Bump you.  For two, although Apple and Google dominate the artsy folk, there are enough Blackberries and Palms to frustrate any reliance on Bumping.  And when opportunity knocks in this town, nobody wants to fumble with unlocking a phone and loading an app.  I simply whip out my card.

Lastly, there is a huge advantage in giving someone a physical card that he/she will be moving from pocket to pocket or rediscovering in a wallet or on a dresser.  Your name and/or face are constantly being refreshed in a card-holding person’s memory, whereas with a Bump, your information has just been buried in a likely large contact list.  If they don’t remember your name offhand, they might not notice your info for a long, long time (if ever).  I can personally attest to the forgotten contacts in my phone that I might as well delete.

According to a recent Lifehacker poll, I’m not alone: around 70 percent of the blog’s readers say they carry business cards as well.  How about you?  Would you prefer to Bump or to Card?

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Photo credits: 381F8141 by crea-meeting
Big Red Desk Biz Card by jingman


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