Personal SMS Business Cards via TextMarks


Yesterday at Mobile 2.0, I realized a couple things when talking to people about Mowser. First, I really need to get a Publisher FAQ written and published, as there's a bit of confusion of exactly what I'm doing, why, and how others can use the service. That's understandable, actually, as most of that info is spread through a half a dozen blog posts. The other thing I realized is that I need to have business cards... But wouldn't it be cool that instead of giving someone a business card, I could just send a message to their phone instead? Especially at a Next Gen mobile conference of all places, no?

I've been thinking about making a service like this for a while, but I got an email today from TextMarks talking about some updates, and it dawned on me that I could use their service to create what I wanted really, really easily. So I just created my own personal business card using their service. Simply text RUSS RUSSB to 41411, and you'll get my official Mowser business card and contact info. Cool hey? Additionally, I'll also get alerted that you requested the info and I'll get your phone number too. This only works here in the U.S. for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Virgin and Alltel customers, so in an international setting, you'll have to actually pull out a chunk of dead tree from your pocket and hand it to the other person, but I think in general the idea is great.

TextMarks, Facebook, LinkedIn or someone else out there should really go with this idea. Imagine being able to not just return a chunk of text, but a richer MMS message with a picture, colors, style, etc. (like a real business card) or even just a link to an online profile formatted for mobile phones. The key is to enable a simple social networking system, so that instead of just getting the phone numbers of the people who requested your mobile business card, you would get their contact info as well automatically if they were also already a part of the system, or if not, they would be prompted to respond with their name and info, so that you're not left with just a phone number. I think a system like this would be perfect as mobile is integrated more and more into our daily business lives - and since each card request is essentially a viral invite, every time there's a tech conference, you'd get bunches of people promoting and signing up for the service, growing it exponentially.

Okay, enough thinking about *new* business ideas, I have one that's currently in progress that I need to get a FAQ updated for ASAP.



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