• Thu. Nov 24th, 2022

Virtual Business Cards via QR Code

I admit, I am totally excited.
Mid-February 2022 and Europe is more or less reopening to “normal”

No, the real reason I’m excited is that I can look forward to that weird concept of getting further away than 25 km from my home (only people in Ireland will get that), to squeeze into an aluminium tube with wings that will bring me to some other place on the planet.

Face to face meetings and events are happening again. That excites me.

However, there is a thought crossing my mind that made me writing this up.

Hands up, who has one of these stashes like the one on the right.
A secret dusty stash that you only take out to make a photo (like me), but other than that probably never use ever again?

Let’s be frank, when do we have THAT business card of THAT guy we met ages ago who probably doesn’t even work there any more handy when we really need it and don’t have the contact in the phone already anyway where it belongs to.

Let’s face it, and start a conversation about the purpose and neediness of a business card at all in the year 2022 or are there more modern digital alternatives.

Spoiler alert, there are.

Disclaimer: In the following, I deliberately leave anything related to privacy concerns about contact sharing and GDPR out of this equation and leave that to everyone else’s decision and judgement.
This is a technical proof of concept.
I also declare that I have no affiliation to any of the vendors and products and I don’t use affiliate links. I just like the solutions, and for my needs and usage they were free to use.

So what are the options that are useable on the go from any mobile phone?

I will talk here about 3 options that work with any “modern” phone’s camera by using a QR code.
There might be more that I don’t have on my radar. What is a QR Code? You will find an explainer here

Nr. 1 – LinkedIn
This is the easiest, assuming you already have a LinkedIn profile you can share that profile quickly to someone else on LinkedIn, with a generated QR Code.
Using the LinkedIn mobile app, you tab the search bar and then the little QR code on the right.

That will bring you to the share / scan screen where you can either share your code over mail, on the screen for someone to scan it or save it to the gallery where you can share that code without the LinkedIn App.

The official LinkedIn post on that can be found here ..

Before I go on, I probably have to declutter first the 2 differences between vCard and vCard plus.

Using a QR code for a vCard is Serverless, all the Business card data is in the QR code and can be imported direct into the mobile phone’s contact book. It is just the facts.
vCard plus is usually redirecting to a webpage where all the contact details could be retrieved.
The advantage is the vCard allows for some greater design and additional details, graphics and so on.
I will share 2 examples below.

I chose 2 “free” providers, one for each. This is not reflecting any preferences, but what I saw is what I liked.

Nr. 2 – vCard by QR-code-generator.com.
This is a straight forward, simple QR code generator for creating a vCard where the code itself holds all of your provided data. The result looks like this to the right. .

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Nr. 3 – vCard plus by qrcodechimp
The vCard plus brings you to a webpage like in this case of qrcodechimp where your data is stored and presented for anyone with the code to be retrieved. This allows you to be creative with the design and showcasing your work and portfolio.
You could probably also work out to use your own Webserver or Website for this, but that would be slightly more work, which I’m not willed to do here.

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I hope you made it down to here and find a good use for this. Feel free to say Hello on any event where we both will attend.