BusinessCard2 as a Part of Good Netiquette

One of the challenges, and opportunities, in making new connections on the web is being approached by, and approaching new people.  BusinessCard2 is different way to manage this challenge.  At BusinessCard2 we don’t see the web space much differently than the real world.  You want to connect with new people to grow your business.  You do not want to be limited by degrees of separation.  You do not want to have to pay to freely make connections with new people, especially when you’re doing the work to find them.  You are willing to be transparent about who you are, and you carry the digital version of yourself with the same decorum as you do in the authentic world.

Still, how is the other person you are approaching supposed to qualify you?  How are they to trust you?  How are they to know that entering into a new relationship with you is a worthwhile exercise?

These questions are the same ones we’ve had in mind for the last several years while engineering BusinessCard2.  The underlying premise and intention has been one of solving the problem of making online connections with those we don’t already know, but would like to.  The concept of the business card was a natural solution, since it has a 350 year track record of creating connections in the real world.

Historically speaking, the business card is really just the evolution of the calling card (also known as visiting card).  Calling cards were used by nobles as an essential tool for formal introduction.  A person would typically send the calling card ahead of a visit, thus introducing an impending arrival.  The calling card helped qualify the experience of entering into a new relationship.

What is so difficult today on the web is that we don’t know who we can trust.  Each of us carries around a certain level of suspicion about those we come across as we navigate the web.  Some of us choose anonymity in defense.  However, it is increasingly commonplace for many of us that we’ll give up anonymity (be identity transparent) if it means a greater likelihood for opportunity and success.  Still, it can be uncomfortable to be approached online by someone we are not familiar with; the internet does not convey human qualities such as facial and hand gestures, and tone of voice.

BusinessCard2 is specifically designed as your calling card for the web.  It is designed as a method of formal introduction.  It is also a firewall to protect against jumping into a relationship before knowing more about the other party.  It is a dignified and orderly way to expose you who you are, what you do, and why it matters.  It is a polite ice breaker for possible conversation, supported by ample data for due diligence.  It is your best foot forward to digital manners.  It is something more friendly than the impersonality of bits and bytes.

Netiquette is the set of rules by which we govern our online conduct.  Increasingly we are seeing BusinessCard2 used specifically as a convention of online conduct.  So, we thought it appropriate to start a short list of best practices for BusinessCard2.  Note: this list is not inclusive and only suggests ways in which BusinessCard2 may be more useful for both the card owner, and the intended recipient:

– Be honest and transparent in your card.
– Be professional in your card.
– Share your card where and when appropriate.
– Have a colleague edit your card, for thoroughness.
– If you want to be contacted, leave contact information in your card.
– Use information, pictures, files, and links in your card that tell your story.
– Share your expert knowledge in your card.

[If you have additional suggestions for best practices, I’d love to know.  Lief Larson]

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