Steve Rubel writes on personal presence online, considering where to focus peopleâ€™s attention via the humble business card on where you are online.
I see lots of business cards and most have line after line of addresses of websites, blogs, one or more social networks, Twitterâ€¦ not to mention phone (switchboard and direct), mobile, fax (yes, some people still have those). Plus physical address which can add four or more lines.
Things get pretty crowded.
Steveâ€™s point is a good one:
For the last four years I had two URLs on my business card – my employer’s web site and my blog. But recently, when I went to order a refill, I changed the plan.
I of course kept the link to EdelmanDigital.com. However, with space limited, rather than directing people to yet another web site (this one) I indicated where they can find me on the sites where I know they are already spending time, Twitter and Facebook. So far, I am glad that I did.
He goes on to talk about how heâ€™s developing community in those two online places and what the benefits are to him and to his community.
I have a similar view, ie, the minimalist approach to business cards.
My current card, pictured here, has a one-line office address, two phone numbers that reach me directly (no switchboard filter), my Twitter handle and my email address.
Youâ€™ll note thereâ€™s no website address. I decided not to include any, neither my company nor my own, as the focus will be on Twitter as the single online presence to find me. Thatâ€™s the place I give more attention to than any other place online, and is my second-preference contact method.
Iâ€™ve also experimented with mobile bar codes with my previous business cards when I was an independent consultant. I found that experience more bleeding edge than useful. Plus, the codes don’t fit with the design of my current card.
If people want to connect with you online, giving them a single place to start with makes it easy for them and efficient for you, but only if you have your ducks properly lined up online.
So you may give people one, two places at most, where they’ll easily find you and where you tend to be engaged most. When they get there, you should make it equally easy for people to see how broad and deep your presence is elsewhere with links to other places you frequent or use.
A simple way to do that is with a Google Profile. Mine, for instance, shows almost every social place on the web where I have a presence (which isnâ€™t the same as where you can usually find me).
Whatever you do and however you do it, keep it clear and simple.