LinkedIn Solves the Business Card Challenge

CardMunch.com Logo

LinkedIn now has a solution for how to get all those business cards into a digital format.  As is typical of this social media giant, LinkedIn recently and quietly acquired CardMunch.com without fanfare or even an announcement on their blog to this point.

So what did they acquire? Simply put, CardMunch scans a business card, sends it off to be converted into a digital format and then comes back to you with 100% accuracy, placed in your contacts database.  With the release of version 2.0, you can also now send off an invite to connect on LinkedIn from within the app.  No muss, no fuss.

Here is how it converts the business cards you have in your hand into contacts in your database (21 seconds):

It is really that simple.  Your scanned cards are now included in your contacts database.  If you prefer, you can turn your iPhone sideways and flip through the actual business card images, similar to the way you flip through album covers now.

What I have found to be very helpful and a big time saver is the integration with LinkedIn.  You can now send an invitation to connect on LinkedIn all from the CardMunch app.

Here is how it works (60 seconds):

The app is free to download and is now free to scan cards.  Your total cost – Zero.

If you want to get even more from this app, check out this “follow-up” feature (62 seconds):

Even if you do not use LinkedIn, the ability to convert business cards in the field with 100% accuracy and at no cost is pretty hard not to get excited about. If you don’t have an iPhone, sorry.  I will guess that Android and Blackberry versions will be forthcoming.

By the way, I learned about CardMunch during the #LinkedInChat on Twitter Tuesday night evening from @truemc (Stephanie True Moss).  This chat takes place every Tuesday evening at 5:00 p.m. PST / 8:00 EST and is hosted by @LinkedInExpert -Viveka von Rosen.

If you do not know what a Twitter Chat is or how to participate, I have written about this terrific learning opportunity here and here.  Hope to see you on a future #LinkedInChat.

  • When is the Android version expected?

    • I have asked, will post a response here if/or when I hear back.

  • Card Munch is great to have when you are out of your own business cards! Make sure to add your business card to Card Munch. You can then “Share” your own contact info (vcard) – including the picture of your business card – with card munch.

    • Stephanie, What a great idea. Thanks again for sharing CardMunch with all of the participants during #LinkedInChat Tuesday evening. It is proving to be a big hit!

  • Excellent apps, both this and white board; thanks so much for the info!

  • Jim

    Worst application ever…..this app is free because the information they get off these cards is soooo Valuable. Can you imagine the worth of millions of accurate phone, fax and email addresses to marketing companies. People try so hard to keep this private and you just give it away to an Iphone app!! Shame on you!!

    • Jim, Thanks for adding your thoughts to the discussion. Privacy is something that we all cherish. I do not believe it is realistic to assume that the information on a business card should carry an expectation of privacy. By it’s very nature it is public. I assume and expect that when I hand my business card to someone that it will be used to contact me, refer me to someone else, or be stored for later use. If I want this information to be private I wouldn’t order 1,000 at a time and hand them to people I meet.

      This reminds me of the emotional debate that took place when Jigsaw.com first came on the market. One pundit went so far as to call them “evil”. If you are engaged in business activity, the basic information found on your business card can be found in multiple locations online.

      Your name, title, business phone number, company name and email address is available from numerous sources online. If you tell me it is private, I will treat it that way. The vast majority of business cards and their owners do not carry this expectation.

      Thanks for bringing this discussion to the surface, let’s see how other readers feel about this.

  • Rich

    If you, or anyone you work with, has ever registered for anything using your work email domain (trade show, newsletter, chamber of commerce, online comment, message board, etc), then you can no longer claim privacy! Give me a name and the company they work for and I can find an email address within 30-40 seconds using Google. I can hear the responses now…I can name that email address in 25 seconds. I can name it 20 seconds…

  • Jose Thomas

    If anyone doesn’t want their address and phone no. not to be shared to anyone, better do not share a business card, use other strictly private ways for sharing your contact.

    To me, this apps solves a major bottleneck we all face frequently, run out of business cards or handling the highly useful data on to a database properly. Kudos.

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