I trade business cards like I traded baseball cards before the designated hitter and division play. So I get to see the broad diversity in how people arrange their information for public consumption.
There isn’t much under the sun that you can do differently with cards these days and for many companies — like mine — they are the only thing that actually gets committed to cellulose. So it takes a lot for me to comment on something as mundane as the business card but something occurred to me this week that got my attention.
At the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, I noticed that some companies were omitting some of their usual business card information. One card in particular that I received had no phone number, just some social and email contact stuff. Someone informed me this was a new thing. After years of adding various social handles and extending printing to both sides of the card, a small minority of companies has begun removing vital information like phone numbers.
Perhaps this is simply a way for a social company to eat its own dog food or to encourage me to do likewise, but I don’t like it. It seems like a form of self-mutilation. Removing information, making yourself harder to do business with is no formula for success. In a world of less is more, this less is less.
I have no problem with people attaching additional information like those funky square bar code-like things that I don’t even know the name of. But taking information away — especially when it’s human readable — makes no sense. So if this is a new trend, in all sincerity, stop it right now. Please.