Ever since Twitter made a big splash at South By Southwest in 2007, the micro-blogging site has seen a lot of milestones. The site has won support from celebrates like Oprah and Ashton Kutcher, signed search deals with Google and Yahoo!, recently hired their 140th employee, and even had the 10 billionth tweet sent out early in March.
But the hip, San Francisco company was missing something that, in the general business world, seems rather basic: It never had business cards. Employees just gave out their Twitter names instead.
But that, too, has changed. At SXSW this year, Twitter employees are handing out paper business cards just like the rest of us. Instead of eggshell white, the company went with an earthy brown color for its cards.
That may seem like a silly bit of news, but first consider the context. At SXSW, everything is going digital. Instead of handing out cards, many tech professionals just download a smartphone app called i-Nigma and then scan a barcode on other attendee's name tags. That person's contact info automatically downloads onto the phone. Others use an iPhone app called Bump, which, when two phones are tapped together, exchanges a business-card's worth of data through the air.
A Twitter spokesman poked fun at the idea of business cards even as he listed the benefits of paper-based networking.
"This antiquated thing called 'business cards' is a helpful way for some of us to bridge our online and offline worlds with potential employees, partners and the thousands of developers who make Twitter applications," said company spokesman Sean Garrett.
So, is paper really the new mode of social networking? Next thing you know, maybe Twitter employees will be spotted in ties.
Posted by: Eric Kuhn for CNN.comFiled under: Twitter
This is not news CNN.
Kim thought you might like this.
This is like the opposite of news.
As an advertising firm owner, using one form of relationship communication means that you put all eggs in one basket. That's a mistake. Twitter isn't the end all, do all tool for communications and sharing contact info and none of what's to come in the years ahead will be either. Even highly advanced, technologically astute people (and businesses) know that "one size doesn't fit all" and a world that is too often trying to use technology to avoid "people contact" is a world that won't work in the long run.
A simple business card still has value and causes a person to put it in the hands of another person...meaning, you gotta talk to someone or at least look them in the eye. For those who can't or don't want to do that, a card will never work. For those who have the personal character that allows the true meaning of "relationship" to be practiced, a card is another tool to be used while moving along the path of life. Technology for the sake of technology is a no starter and misses what life is all about. Put down the tweet and pick up the phone or go visit someone in person. What a strange and novel concept.
Get the card, use it as appropriate and don't make a big deal out of it.
Actually, if you're in design, marketing, or you are an academic following social media's impact on society, it is news.
Hear, hear RLA.
Irony. There's no way to tweet this article.
Is this a joke? Are CNN dollars actually being paid to someone for saying Twitter employees are using business cards?
Well, the tech sector has been trying to push the "paperless" society idea for the past 20 years. I guess with some success. Considering that many more people like reading e-books now rather than getting a hardcopy. But I don't see how you'll ever completely get away from a physical hardcopy to present information.
People will still drive cars from the 50's for nostalgia and because it looks "hip" to have a classic car. So, I could see the same thing for business cards, and who knows, maybe they'll start posting jobs in the newspapers again for employment and a larger level before Monster took over?
People, do you really believe that the overwhelmingly vast majority of what is posted online or is shown on 24 hour news networks is actually "NEWS"???
News today is primarily an entertainment/ratings driving activity and anything and everything that happens is tossed out there for whatever it's worth (or worthless). Ratchet down your expectations on this. Where have you been the last few years. The card story is just a basic common human interest story to fill space. There's not enough real news to fill the need to know so stuff like this pours out.
Don't be surprised or comment it isn't news as if that's an amazing revelation or that the news people don't know that it isn't news.
I've never considered Twitter of much value, and don't use it. Business cards, on the other hand, are of a lot of use. If you ever go to a trade show where you enter a drawing to try and win something, you need a business card to enter. For that reason, I use them.
so... it's a slow news day?
*coughcough*it says BLOG on top*coughcough*
It's naive to say print is dead. People still like to hold tangible, non-interactive media in their hands. Information overload is at an all-time high, and people are tired of all the social media and networking options.
Slow news yes, but relevant. Ironic thay you can't Tweet this article.
Technology is moving so fast – its refershing to see the new anchored with the past. Business cards will ever pass – but clearly the case exists for something to take its place. The sense of touch is very reassuring.
Hey, who took my Twinkies??
slow news day indeed. They also posted an item about the microsoft surface... that is just like the news, next the cycle will continue.. they will write something about Omega 3 and how it just might be good for your brain. or that coffee might not be bad for you. A year from now cnn will have a new group of 20 year olds who will repeat, omega 3 is good..., and actually think it is new and relevant. This business card thing is not news, did fox news hack into cnn. i am going to reuters.
I have had it with the media's obsession of trying to get everyone to click on popular keywords like Twitter. Guess what no one thinks this is news editors choose what you post more responsibly.
Yes, it's news, if you are in marketing or business development, it's news!!!!!
Latest info out of Deliver magazine:
Survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Earthtone, a firm specializing in comparison pricing for printer houses.
64% of employed U.S. adults say print media is easier to read.
68% say they feel more comfortable reading something on paper
than on screen, suggesting that we associate things we can touch and feel as being more "real". More personal than a web address, etc.
why is this news? are they paving the way for brown cards? or are they saying business cards are OK? where i am from people still have business cards, and this is not a graphic design news story. it is a hyper nerd story almost mocking the fact that paper can still be used for personal advertisement, and (insert your religious deity here) forbid a pen and paper can be used to collect information, thoughts or send a message. paper is not dead, this is not a story. I thought maybe the cards had a chip in it that would be interesting.
How is this a news? I used to like CNN but lately they are publishing nonsense stuff!
i also find it misleading and irresponsible for cnn to use weblogs as a front page news. i reports come with a huge disclaimer that you have to click out of when you first go there. so yea this is a weblog, cloaked as news. dumb site wasting my bandwidth
"Next thing you know, maybe Twitter employees will be spotted in ties."
I shudder at the mere thought!
I use my Moo cards also showing only telephone number and tweeter account.
There are even free designs: http://www.flickr.com/photos/b4contact/sets/72157623333167072/
Two points. First, this is a sorry excuse for a "news" story. Second, I think my 2 year old could have done a better job designing their business card.
It's a blog, it's not claiming to be news. And regardless, it is a relevant piece of information.
I know this "service" will never go away... but I wish it would. Really, the name says it all, doesn't it? TWITter. I don't have it, and I never will.
Breaking news! Twitter offices switch to 2-ply toilet paper!
The hip, San Francisco company was missing something that, in the general business world, seems rather basic: It never had ultra soft 2-ply toilet paper. Employees just wiped with single ply paper instead.
But that, too, has changed. At SXSW this year, Twitter employees are wiping with 2-ply just like the rest of us. Instead of eggshell white, the company went with an earthy brown color for its tissue.
The above version is about as relevant as the original story. I'm in design and marketing too but that doesn't mean that I should think that this story is newsworthy. In fact, it's all the more reason for me to think the opposite.
twitter is the best but they need to increase the characters. 150 for me is not enough. LOL. oh well.... whatever. i loved to tweet and i alwasy tweeting even im on school or somewhere. twitter is my bestf friend buddy hahaha....
i have twitter mobile on my phone yayy!!!
This is not news. Neither is "Werewolf hugs at Twilight convention" or "Q&A: How serious is Beckham's injury?" Go do something useful with your lives, CNN "journalists" and "bloggers". Let the 15 year old bloggers handle this nonsense.
Dana... I've been in IT for over 30 years, and trust me, they have been talking about going paperless for a lot longer than 20 years... but like any other IT project, it is way late and over budget.
Sometimes, simple, low-tech solutions work just fine.
this is stupid news. I am a designer, and think this just a waste of web space.
Ridiculous! What a waste of trees! I can't stand Twitter... if these business cards are not made from 100% recycled materials, it will make me dislike it even more!
To those commenting on this not being news: You do know you're reading a BLOG, here, right? It's a blog on CNN, sure, but it's still a blog.
Wow like anyone cares what twitter is using for business cards......What a joke........Does anyone that goes to SBSW have a girlfriend to begin with? Yeah I doubt it too, maybe they should start there.....
did they seriously get 2 ply toilet paper at twitter? i recycle and reduce waste so well, i don't use toilet paper, i just squeeze my bunz tight, physics takes care of the rest. see cnn this is a news story, no TP just physics.
"This is not news CNN."
I'm always amused when I see someone who tries to define what NEWS is for everyone else on the planet and wastes the time it takes to make the laughable comment about their own narrow perspective.
I thought this was a cute article. I like the comment about bridging the gap between the virtual and real world. Good to know that people are still into business cards.
This isn't "news." That's why it's posted in the SciTechBlog section of the Web site.
Quite frankly, I don't think the NCAA basketball tournament should be considered "news." But just because *I* think that way doesn't mean everyone *else* should.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the blog entry. Soetimes, you can't replace paper.
It's a CNN Science & Tech blog, people... not the front page of the Wall Street Journal. If this isn't real news to you, then don't click the story and comment on it! You just make it more popular (and thereby tell CNN that this is important) when you do anything but ignore it.
Apparently there's no room in your world view for a news organization that covers some non-newsy stories now and then.
I am an owner of a speciality printing company called ALDINE based in NYC. We've been in business for 26 years and over the past 10 years have noticed a decline in the amount of stationary ordered, but quite the opposite regarding business cards. We have been printing more business cards then ever. It seems as though, the money previously spent on letterhead and envelopes has been been shifted to purchasing beautifully letterpressed, engraved, embossed, super thick, etc business cards leaving the recipient of the card with something impressive to hold on to with a lasting impression. Beaming your contact info into someone else's smartphone is pretty cool, don't get me wrong, but it eliminates the element of artistic character of yourself or company. So, I'm happily not surprised to hear about Twitter's paper business cards :-)
Paper is still the only way for two strangers to meet and exchange contact info quickly, using a universally readable medium.
I'm surprised we aren't doing this by Bluetooth handshake yet, but for now, business cards are what we've got.
Yawn...all these American "tech" companies still run like dinosaurs.
Many businesses do not allow access to Twitter or Facebook, therefore handing out a Twitter name wouldn't be useful for making professional contact with the person.
In addition, it's very useful to have the paper card when you meet someone, especially if it is at a large meeting or conference. The benefit is that you can make notes on the back as to the nature of your contact. I find that notes to myself like: "email TPS report", "call for collaboration on X project", etc., helps me to facilitate connections and make my follow-ups more personal.
Honestly, I'm shocked to learn that Twitter HAS employees. When I try to contact their support team, it takes three months to get a reply, and even then, it's a form mail. Do autoresponders have business cards?
does this article/blog really demand this much commentary.
everyone, including me, has too much time on their hands.
Why is this an article? Has the media gone mad?
It isn't listed as "news"... its a blog.
[...] you have to go old school to rule new media. Heck, even Twitter employees are passing around paper businesscards. Send a physical mailing that includes a clear message of what you are looking for. You don't [...]
People will blog about anything.
"NEWSFLASH: Bill Gates likes pie! To counter, Steve Jobs take Bill's pie, adds whipped cream and sells it for 10x the cost!"
If you care about this you may also care about the new box of pens the kind folks at Twitter just ordered. Oh, and they got a fancy new copier. And electricity.
This just in....Twitter issues business cards. Are you kidding me CNN?
Another article that proves the complete obsolescence of cnn.com. Peace out.
Kind of funny all the commentors who have no use for this article, yet took the time to click on it, read at least a few lines and comment! I've garnered business by dropping my card in a bowl to win something where it was noticed by others hoping to win lunch or a trip for example!
Big deal. Clever. Snappy. Geeky. For shots around SXSW, including Twitter's Evan Williams and Twitterholic Ashton Kutcher... http://bit.ly/mbsxsw
Great card! I reblogged it on my business card blog http://www.businesscards.biz
Yea, it's true web addresses might be easier to remember than business cards, but come on, it's like having a hardcover copy of a book; it's always good to have something tangible in hand. I don't care how 'antiquated' Twitter's PR department says Business Cards are...they're TWITS! Of course they are going to say that. People still use cards everywhere including gift bags and trade shows.
To you who feel this is not news.... your right, its not... that why its on a blog page.
Hard to believe that CNN would feature this – as if there are no other technology news??? No wonder the whole network became an epitome of senseless sensationalism and forgot what it's like to actually report the news.
I think I just tweeted myself.
Seriously? This is considered news-worthy?
Since when does a BLOG post need to be news. Blogs on CNN are not for publishing news, they're for things that don't quite qualify as actual news.
That being said, I'd like to know if the Twitter business cards contain nothing but that person's @twitter name. :)
Hold on....I'm working up a care.....oops...sorry that was gas.
How is this considered anything near news? But then again that seems to be the ongoing trend.
[...] to CNN's SciTechBlog, 'A Twitter spokesman poked fun at the idea of business cards even as he listed the benefits [...]
[...] As an online community for the paper-obsessed, we at Felt & Wire understand irony so very well, and we would like to be among the first to welcome Twitter to 21st-century communication, in all its encompassing glory. Read the full story here. [...]
tweets are disposable. Cards stay in your wallet or Rolodex.
Each business card has a carbon footprint
The next business card you use may tip the balance to runaway global warming
We will all die, boiled by the rising oceans
Sequester business cards, store them underground, with radioactive waste !
[...] This is wonderful. From the SciTEchBlog, March 15: [...]
As a printer, if we can convince twitter to send out invoices and advertising literature by snail mail on paper, we can return to our roots and make some money again!
wish everyone here would read my blog or if they know anyone interested in getting married or having a baby christened here is the place to go
A very professional looking business card is really very important in promoting your business. It makes good impression among customers...`
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It's gonna be helpful for people who do not have iPhones or wi-fi phones i guess.
They it is better! Intelligent adult chat
[...] SXSW: Gasp! Twitter gives out paper business cards Posted: 09:56 AM ET Ever since Twitter made a big splash at South By Southwest in 2007, the micro-blogging site has seen a lot of milestones. The site has won support from celebrates like Oprah and Ashton Kutcher, signed search deals with Google and Yahoo!, recently hired their 140th employee, and even had the 10 billionth tweet sent out early in March. [...]
i love to make business cards at home, you can make a nice one by just using an inkjet printer.-`
That is actuality really surprising. You would have though that they would use some sort of new digital way to trade information but sometimes it is better to go back to the old ways. I guess it helps that people can keep the card but you can forget a name if you are asking everyone for names.
our business cards are very colorful but very professional looking,*;
This just goes to show that we are a long way off from the end of the traditional paper card. Twitter, just like many other online businesses are recognizing the value of tradition communication methods.
you can always create great business cards by just using adobe photoshop and some other photoediting tools *
[...] world, business cards are the real first point of contact with prospects and customers (just ask Twitter). Hopefully the card invokes a positive response and gets filed away to be used later to retreive a [...]
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[...] The third and perhaps the loudest shot fired in the Paper Revolution came today from Twitter, as reported in CNN's SciTechBlog: [...]
[...] delivered the scoop in a really humorous piece by Eric Kuhn. Check it out along with the photo of said business [...]
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