Whether you’re tossing them in the trash, using them to pick poppy seeds from between your teeth, or collecting them in a desk drawer somewhere, odds are you have come across your fair share of business cards. In today’s Digital Age, these 19th century relics have managed to hold on…but for how much longer? These free tools below all act as free virtual business cards. No trees were harmed in the writing of this blog post.
Perhaps the most Web 2.0-looking virtual business card on our list, Card.ly gives you a single page to display all of the assets of your online presence. Register for free, validate your email address, and begin adding social networks from a dropdown menu. Simply add your user name for each Website.
Sprinkle in the personal details you want to share, a thumbnail image and any additional links/feeds and you are on your way.
A series of skins give you a chance to stand out from the crowd.
Your Card.ly can be embedded on your Website, giving visitors easy access to a slick looking group of icons that link to all of your social network activity. You may also place a snippet of code that tells visitors of your vCard.
A premium account ($25 a year or $3 a month) gives you more skin options, zero ads, the ability to use your own domain name, unlimited RSS feeds on a page and a stat counter.
Sharing the same full name as tens of thousands of other people
is both a blessing and a curse in the online world. It’s great if you’re looking to remain anonymous. But if you WANT to be found, you can easily be lost in the crowd.
If the latter applies to you, we recommend setting up a free Google Profile. Where a search of my name in Google previously turn up results on the 20th page, I have now secured a Page One result!
Much like an online business card, a Google profile is very simple. It includes an optional thumbnail image, a brief bio and links of your choosing. A nice feature is that people can contact you via e-mail without your email address being revealed.
Create a page using your existing Google Account.
Create an attractive Profile Card containing all of your online endeavors. With more than 180 social networks and online services to pull from, Retaggr is an impressive calling card.
Visitors choose how they would like to interact with you (i.e. – social network, email, bookmark profile). They can peruse your blogs, view your personal information, check out your blogs or explore assorted widgets.
Retaggr is a useful site, but not very visually stimulating (it’s text heavy). However, depending on your audience, simple can fit the bill.
An awesome feature is Retaggr’s ability to double as an email signature. You can embed the information from your page and list your Web presence on every email you send.
As of this blog post, Retaggr is offering their premium version for free. The upgrade gives you more fields, greater control over the look and an optional larger profile image.
If you’re looking to send your contact details to any email via a brief Short Message Service (SMS) message, look no further than DropCard. The free service lets you create multiple contact profiles and then send your data to any new contact.
Pay plans, which are several dollars a month, give you access to multiple profiles and higher “drop” limits.
One plus here is that the system will let you know who opened your Drop Card and what information they viewed.
Simple and sweet. That’s the best way to describe Contxtxs, a free service that lets people access your contact information via text message.
Enter the information you want to share (you are limited to 140 characters) and include links to the major social networks you are part of, and people you invite can retrieve the info via SMS.
For example, to access my information, text Jobacle to 50500.
You receive a text message when your information is requested. The phone number of the person requesting your info can be viewed on Contxts.com.
iPhone Honorable Mention:
And the winner is? Buying your own domain name. Despite the plethora of tools out there designed to put all of your Web warez in one place, nothing gives you control and customization options like owning your own domain. With dirt cheap hosting prices and simple Web building tools, there’s really no excuse not to spend a few bucks a year to represent yourself in the best light possible.