Over at Harvard Business Review, Susy Jackson published, just recently, one of those articles you know it fits quite nicely with the current times we are living in, specially, if, over the last few years, you have been living your work life online, and still do today. She basically shares some interesting insights on how little most of us, knowledge (Web) workers, seem to depend nowadays on traditional business cards to keep in touch. Yes, the paper based ones! To the point where for a good number of us they may all seem to be rather antiquated and obsolete and do present some awkward moments whenever someone hands one over to you. Well, to me, it’s quite the opposite. Nearly five years ago, I decided to ditch traditional business cards and, instead, present my most revolutionary one… The one that, 5 years later, is still very much en vogue: Google Me!
I still get a chuckle or two whenever I am meeting new people and by the time our conversations are over and we all need to go back, everyone else is busy exchanging business cards and whenever they ask me for mine, I keep telling them: Google Me! That’s my business card. Actually, that’s my living and dynamic business card. It keeps evolving, growing, maturing over time and in multiple ways, whether you are searching for Luis Suarez (Or Luis Suarez IBM), Luis, Suarez, or elsua. All of them will present you with my credentials within the first Top 3 results (At least, at the time I am publishing this entry…). It even lists my Google Profile.
“We can’t escape our online identities […] You are what you blog, so live with it“, as my good friend Susan Scrupski shared across a few years back and still amazingly accurate. However, it hasn’t always been like that. I still remember that painful experience, a while ago, where I lost my Google Juice and it took me plenty of time and good effort to get it back! Or how, just recently, and not sure why just yet, perhaps due to my lack of activity on that long hiatus I went through with my own blogging, I lost that Google Juice again vanishing completely into thin air. You start blogging again on a rather regular basis, and start engaging on a number of social networking sites and your Google mojo is back! As if by magic! Which is not the same I could say about other options out there, by the way…
The thing is that nowadays, everyone seems to be raving about their QR Codes and everything, as the coolest thing ever! And I still keep using, and relying, quite heavily on Bump, if anything other than Google Me!. However, while I keep thinking whether it makes sense to jump into the QR Code bandwagon, or not, I just can’t help pondering about one of Susy’s remarks on that HBR article:
“All of these methods allow people to keep in touch. But your preferred method says something about who you are, as much as saying it with funky fonts or trim sizes“
Perhaps I was never meant to go with business cards. As a starting point, I never had a business card during the 14 years I have been working at IBM (Just think of the thousands of trees one gets to save over the course of time! Ha! That is another advantage out there for you!) … and I am still planning on not getting any. I love the idea of having a poken, I still have it and all, my panda bear one, but unless other folks have it it loses its brilliance. I am not too sure just yet about the QR Code, would need to do some further thinking on it over the next few weeks, while I probably have to, finally, come to terms with the fact that I am a social online animal and would rather prefer not to have scattered around, all over the place, such information, if I can avoid it, and, instead, have it always available to me. And others. After all, isn’t that one of the main pillars behind building your own personal brand online, i.e. create, grow and mature your own voice and opinions on the topics you are rather passionate about?
What do you think? Are you sticking around with your paper based business cards, or rather your online social presence, or have you started already thinking about your QR Code? I am not too sure myself just yet, but it looks like I may be sticking around with my online social presence, since it seems that’s the easiest and, most effective way, so far, for people out there to find me. And probably to find you, too!