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Mar. 4 2010 - 10:55 am | 10,685 views | 1 recommendation | 8 comments

Business card: ‘I’m on Facebook’

business card i'm on facebook blurred name

Business card for the socially-networked generation

Nowadays, if you’re not on Facebook, it’s possible you don’t actually exist. There was a time when we had to exchange phone numbers or email addresses to keep in touch with a new acquaintance. Now, we usually just head to Facebook and friend them.

Given this new social etiquette, a New Yorker has decided to make it easier for the people she meets by handing out the business card above. Lara, 29, doesn’t want just anyone friending her so she asked me to leave out her last name.

David Lat's life in business cardsLara is just using the cards socially. But given how often our generation skips from job to job — see my colleague’s life in business cards, at right — this wouldn’t be such a a bad idea for work purposes (depending on how well manicured your Facebook profile is).

Unfortunately, if you have a name like “John Smith,” your card is going to be far less effective.

I’ve never come across an “I’m on Facebook” business card before, so I interviewed Lara — by Facebook message, of course — about how she came up with the idea to do it:

KASH: What inspired the cards?

LARA: I came up with the idea while I was G-chatting with a friend of mine before a party. He mentioned that there would be lots of guys at the party so I jokingly asked if I should bring cards with my name and stats. Then that joke quickly evolved into asking my friend to make a card with my full name and “I’m on Facebook.” Just about everyone is on that site in some capacity anyway – and people tend to look each other up on there whether they are invited to or not. For me, contact via Facebook is probably the laziest and least desirable way to have a new person get in touch, so it was really done as more of a joke than anything.

KASH: I know you’ve only had them for a month, but who have you given them out to so far?

LARA: Well my friend only printed 30 for me, so I need to use them sparingly, but I have given a couple out to friends of friends. Usually when people hear about them they want one, but when they hear I only have 30 they back off.

KASH: When I looked you up on Facebook, I was surprised to find that your privacy settings are pretty high…

LARA: I keep my privacy settings high because I don’t think it’s always the best thing to have all of your information and interests and status updates out there for the entire world to see. Particularly now when people from all aspects of one’s life are adding each other as friends. Despite what it might seem like based on the way that “business” card looks, it’s not intended as a device to collect friends or get Facebook messages. It’s a goofy gimmicky idea that I thought people would get a kick out of.

KASH: How many friends do you currently have on Facebook?

LARA: 280

KASH: What’s happened with the people you’ve given cards to?

LARA: So far no messages or friend requests from the two cards I gave out.


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  1. collapse expand

    ” Particularly now when people from all aspects of one’s life are adding each other as friends ” I agree. I just had a harrowing experience. Still shaky about it. Will absolutely be more careful from now on. But for just that reason it doesn’t make good sense to invite strangers into one’s “friends’ group. Period.

  2. collapse expand

    I do get a kick out of that. Or I would if I existed.

  3. collapse expand

    Don’t know if I’d consider Facebook a replacement for my phonebook, or rather my Contacts in Outlook which is synced to my BlackBerry. Can’t imagine that other Facebook users are doing this either! While business cards are still being used, I have found that folks are using the Bump feature on their iPhones more. Personally, I use a Poken to exchange social media and contact info with other Poken users. It’s a fun way to do it and non-committal. If you don’t want to friend them on any of your networks, you don’t!
    You can check them out here: http://ClubPoken.com

    Very interested to hear what others have to say on this. Could use it in my upcoming book on relationships in this social media age.

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    I am a writer, reporter, editor and blogger. I'm an editor at Above The Law, where I blog about lawyers, judges, law firms and the legal industry. Here at True/Slant, I write about our changing notions of privacy.

    If you have story ideas or tips, e-mail me at kashhill@trueslant.com. I've hung out in quite a few newsrooms over the last few years. Currently, I can be found in Breaking Media's Nolita office. In the past, I've been found in midtown Manhattan at The Week Magazine, in Hong Kong at the International Herald Tribune, and in D.C. at the National Press Foundation and the Washington Examiner.

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