Thursday, January 12, 2012

Do you have a blog card?

When I was a kid reading Sherlock Holmes stories, I was always fascinated by the use of calling cards. Someone would show up at 221B Baker Street, ring the bell, and hand Mrs. Hudson a card. She would send it up to Mr. Holmes so he could decide whether or not he wanted to talk to the person at his door, and at the same time ascertain from the card what part of the country they were from, what they had for breakfast, and their shoe size.

Decades later I became all-too-familiar with the intricacies of business cards, and the international customs involved in the exchange of business cards. (In this culture you present with two fingers, only after being offered a card; in this culture you use both hands to present the card, accompanied by a bow. Here's a video that looks at some of the subtleties of business card culture.) When I became a blogger I got to thinking: why not create a business/calling card for my blog, Another Monkey? It wouldn't have to be anything fancy - just a card with the name of my blog, the address, maybe a memorable picture. I already had the picture, and the card stock, so it didn't take much effort to create a card using a basic graphics package that I had picked up years earlier.

Years went by, and I handed out my card at various gatherings of bloggers. Then NEPA Blogs came into being, and later, the Blog Fests. I realized we had an opportunity to publicize NEPA Blogs to bloggers who might not be aware of it yet. Unfortunately by now I no longer had my original computer, or the installation disks for my graphics package (one of them went missing, rendering the whole shebang useless). But using the free program at avery.com ("Design & Print Online" under "Templates & Software") I put together a basic card. As Michelle took the site further and further into the social media world, the amount of information that needed to be on the card kept increasing. Finally it settled down to this:

So on one card we have the blog name, the shortcut address, the full address, the email address, and the names for use on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. It's a crowded card, but it works.

I carry a supply of both cards with me at all times now. Anywhere I go that seems appropriate I will tack up or leave one or both, or simply hand them out. I pass out the NEPA Blogs card to other guests at PA Live! who have blogs or are interested in starting blogs.

So what about you? If you're a blogger, do you have a blog card? The perforated business card stock is easily available at any office supply store, or even the computer paper sections of some retailers. Avery.com provides a broad range of free templates (including a blank one, which I prefer) to design your card.

If you're going to the Spring 2012 NEPA Blog Fest on March 20, you should consider putting together a blog card to hand out. NEPA Blogs will also have a card exchange table where you can leave your card and pick up the blog cards of other bloggers. Blog cards are a great way to express your creativity and advertise your blog at the same time!

6 comments:

Jill said...

I have blog cards! I made a post about them here (http://jillybeanstalk.blogspot.com/2011/07/will-you-join-me.html ). I got them because I wanted to start doing Scranton Street Style blog posts and wanted to hand them out to the random strangers I planned on stopping and asking if I can take their photo for my blog.. just so they know it was rather legit. BUT, alas, I haven't been able to do any of those posts yet (mostly don't have my camera on me when I see a stylish person). I will use them one day for that purpose, BUT for now my friends and family have them (and collect them.. if you read my post, you'll see why!).

-Jill
http://jillybeanstalk.blogspot.com

D.B. Echo said...

Awesome! I hope you can make it to Blog Fest to show off your cards in person! But one thing I'm confused about...what does "don't have my camera on me" mean? ;P

Jill said...

My camera is kind of big and clunky, so sometimes it doesn't fit in my purse! i know i could use my cell phone, but i guess it doesn't register in my head to use that when i see some randomly walking by. :)

Jill said...

p.s. i forgot to say i know it should have said "my camera with me".. but technically my camera is so large that sometimes it is literally on me (strapped around my neck), haha, but mostly with me in my purse.

Karla said...

I went green and in an effort to live as much of a paperless life as possible no longer have any kind of business card. How do I handle it? My electronic contact card has all the info you'll need except my shoe size and when I am at an event you just give me your email address and I send it to you right there and then.

D.B. Echo said...

Heh. Do smartphones have a linking feature (like the old Pokemon handheld games) that would allow you to "hand" someone your card electronically? More directly than, say, emailing it to the person next to you? Such a thing could be dangerous, I suppose.