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Remote Card Passing Technology Demo

We’re currently testing new technology that can make any website a BusinessCard2-enabled space for viewing and dropping digital business cards.  You can view a video demo below.  If you want to add this technology to your website, you can sign up at


BusinessCard2 Wins Social Business Innovation Award

Top Spot for Efficiency and Transformation Through the Use of Social Tools

February 15, 2010Minneapolis, MN, USA – BusinessCard2™, a web-based personal brand management, marketing, and social networking service, has been named the winner of the Social Business Innovation Awards.  The competition was established to recognize great work in open/social business and organizational design, innovation, transformation, and efficiency using social technologies.

“We have the best set of tools in history for people to find each other and act together to create and improve on the things that matter to them,” said David Cushman, founder of the Social Business Innovation Awards.  “I hope you will join with me to celebrate the best of them — and through this find a path to the communities-of-purpose-driven future of the organization.”

Social business is defined as businesses organized around social networks and the use of social technologies to support them.  The context for business has changed dramatically in recent years – a shifting global economic climate, accelerating need for sustainable operations, and a political and societal demand for increased openness and transparency in business.  The social business is an organization designed consciously around sociality and social tools, as a response to a changed world and the emergence of the social web.

“One of our core beliefs is that business is not just about companies, products, and services, but about meaningful connections between people,” said Lief Larson, co-creator of BusinessCard2.  “In the new social business environment, where one doesn’t get a second chance to make a first impression, it is incumbent upon professionals to manage their online reputation, their “personal brand.” BusinessCard2 users can easily manage, distribute, and market their personal brand by creating a compact electronic business card that can include a bio, images, files, videos, slideshows, podcasts, links to their social media sites, and more. The product allows users to have complete control over their online identity, and to distribute it openly across the web.”

“We are very honored and humbled to win the Social Business Innovation Awards,” said Larson.  “Our technology road map is focused on using the social infrastructure to build visibility within specific markets and help give our users the tools to form new connections. To have our efforts recognized is just an unbelievably great feeling, which we share with the tens of thousands of people who use BusinessCard2 and have contributed to our personal branding and personal marketing platform.”

About the Social Business Innovation Awards

The awards were established to recognize great work in open/social business and organizational design, innovation, transformation, and efficiency using social technologies.  You can view past winners and nominate those using social business by visiting: .

About BusinessCard2
BusinessCard2 is an online personal brand management, marketing, and social networking service that helps professionals network, exchange, and distribute content rich business cards online.  It helps professionals create, control, and leverage their unique professional online identity via a portable and interactive digital business card.  Anyone can create a free BusinessCard2 at

Me, Being Human Online

Whether you’re a developer, purveyor or consumer of web technology, there is one thing worth keeping in mind: right now participation in the social web dictates a form of multiple personality disorder.  Seriously, at my LinkedIn profile I’m the president of a company and have thoroughly documented my moderately successful background.  I have recommendations from commercial partners who have used words like “technical” “practical” and “dedication” to describe their prior working relationships with me.  I guess that makes me bonafide, right!?!

Now Facebook is an entirely different persona.  There I’m the hunting, fishing, outdoorsy guy who totally fits the lifestyle synonymous with the flyover country of Minnesota.  Yes I shoot and gut deer, yes I have chopped down a tree, and yes I have sat all day over a 10” hole on a frozen lake pulling out perch and drinking PBR.  Am I really some extremophile between technologist and entrepreneur by day and Jeremiah Johnson wannabe by weekend?

The dichotomy of my professional and personal selves online was nothing short of incredible.  So much so, that for years I was worried that my clique on one side might somehow come in contact with the other.  Then what would happen?  Would I lose my position in the business world because of the one time I pissed out my camping fire?  Would I risk favor with my woodsy clan because I’d gone to a business meeting in a suit and tie the prior day and talked about my concerns over what the internal rate of return would be?

Last year I decided to confront my identity crisis.  My self-imposed intervention was kicked-off with a slow and strategic merging of both of my identities: 1) I began using the same headshot of myself no matter what web sites I’m on, 2)  I started telling my business stories to my rural cronies and my outdoor tales to my urban colleagues, 3) I vowed to be a singular character who carries both parts of my life with me wherever I go, 4) I asked business acquaintances to go fishing with me, and my fellow redneck cohort to connect with me on LinkedIn.

The result, to my surprise, is that I’ve become more real, more human.  My online interactions with people now occur in a natural and linear fashion.  My life stream has blurred when moving from the authentic to the digital world. I feel much more comfortable in my digital skin.

What is being human online like for you?

Need Testing Help

BusinessCard2 is testing new tech.  If you have a web site you’d like to test on it, please let us know.

The Limits of Social Business to Actual Business

Back in October 2009 I wrote the Post: Your Social Network is Limited to 150.  I grow ever convinced that to generate more business you are limited by this social theory, and thus need to find ways to connect with new nodes (those who you were previously disconnected with).  My industry colleague Stowe Boyd sees it different.  In his post, he dispatches the notion that Dunbar’s Number applies to anything other than the “largest stable social group”.  I guess Stowe and I can just agree to disagree.

This morning, Forbes published the article Friendships in the Digital Age.  In this article (in my estimation) they rightly cite concentric circles (surely one circle of which would apply to the stable social group) and Dunbar’s Number as the limits of individual organizational structure.  There are two points in this article that I’d like to hit on:

1. Detailed Personal Knowledge Missing

If you don’t know how a person thinks, acts, what they look like, how they behave, can they really exist in your social network?  Sure, you can plausibly contain that person in a contact list, but I would hardly say that the fact they follow you on Twitter qualifies that person as part of your social network.

2. The Attributes of your Personal Social Network

Trust, direct knowledge, activity, peer pressure, behavior, and motivation matter in qualifying the personal social network.  In short, if you don’t need to trust these people, if you don’t have direct knowledge of these people, if you don’t conduct activities (whether on or offline) with these people, if you don’t have some sense of peer pressure from these people, if you don’t consider your behavior around these people, and if you are not motivated about these people, then they are NOT part of your social network.

In both the real and virtual worlds, we have people coming in and out of our 150 circle all the time.  Some stay in the circle and never leave (a spouse, best friend, etc.) and some enter and leave quickly (a teammate on your softball team) and some are there, leave, and come back again.  For every person who enters your circle of 150, there is an equal and opposite reaction with someone leaving your circle.

The Rule of 150 is especially important as companies of all sizes strike out to find customer gold on the web by using social networking.  If you could do more business with your online network, you already would be.  Growing your business online is about connecting with NEW PROSPECTS AND CUSTOMERS.  Your professional life will be made much easier if you accept that your circle is limited to roughly 150, and you turn your energy from trying to tap the network you have to the prospects (nodes) that you don’t already know.  If you draw this in a communications model, you are a node and your customer prospect is a node, and the two of you are disconnected (the signal has not been tied).

To discover and connect with new customers, you need to think like an engineer.  The question to ask yourself is, “How to I build a bridge between two previously disconnect points?”  That is, how does someone that doesn’t know about you connect with you, and how do you connect with someone you don’t already know?  In the real world, it’s called leads and referrals.  On the web, it’s discovering prospects at the point of need.  In the highest percentage of web-based social networking this will not work, because of the Rule of 150.

In summary, despite my deep respect for Stowe Boyd’s wisdom, I’m still a firm believer that Dunbar’s Number applies and that there is a limit to our social network.  As it applies to business, one is best served by acknowledging these limits and not accepting the pretense that you can turn a contact list into a your social network.  Instead, you can work within the limits of 150 and strike out to form connections/ties with customers both outside of your 150 and even outside of your contact list.  These “ties” can be enhanced by treating the customer prospect in much the same way as you treat those who qualify in your 150: build trust, provide them knowledge about you, give them a way to interact with you.  However, don’t expect them to accept the same behavior you might use with your 150 (because although you’ve given them the power to form a tie, they are not and likely never will be part of your social network, but at best part of a contact/customer list.)

Create a Slideshow with BusinessCard2

Now it’s incredibly easy to create and display a slideshow in your BusinessCard2. Slideshow is the newest way to communicate and engage with people visiting your card. Slideshow is also a great way to tour prospects through your product or service offering.

Using strong visual elements, your Slideshow can help strengthen the way you present your professional self. You also have an “info” area for slide descriptions (so customers can read data while viewing your Slideshow).

BusinessCard2 Slideshow

BusinessCard2 Adds New Billboard Tool

The new BusinessCard2 Billboard tool allows you to upload a custom, full-size image to your card.  Here are some ideas on how to use Billboard:

  • Place images that attract customers.
  • Display customer incentives.
  • Customizing your card to your style.
  • Catch the eye of prospects.

Billboard is easy to use with the new image cropper tool. Simply find the image you want on your computer, upload it, and crop it the way you want it to appear in your card.

BusinessCard2 Billboard

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