Rmbrme launches the mobile business card thing
I've actually talked about this sort of thing for years now, and since I wrote a post last year about using Textmarks as my mobile business card I've gotten at least a couple dozen emails and pings about the idea. And I think at least once a month, I get notified that Textmarks has sent my details off to some random phone number somewhere, and I after I wait for a bit to see if someone contacts me and never receive anything, I just assume that someone had just searched for the idea, found my post and wanted to try it out.
Well it looks like someone finally got off their rear and just did it: Rmbrme just launched today and it seems to work just like you'd expect it to with links to LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. and address info sent in vCard format, etc. More details here.
I had just assumed that someone like LinkedIn would eventually get around to doing the service themselves - but I guess not. The owner of the site is talking about monetizing by working with tradeshows, etc. which is a pretty smart idea. But the backend is going to need to have a more full-featured database and be regular bizcard friendly in order for it to really take off IMHO.
If you think of the use case carefully, you'll see what I mean: You go to a tradeshow, or even some monthly meetup, and you start to use the service, you're going to have to deal with an influx of digital contacts as well as old-school cards as well. Assuming for a moment that it works seamlessly (more on that below), you have to be able to manage who got your info, and what to do with their details that you might have received back as confirmation, and also to be able to organize this stuff with the dead-tree style bizcards too. Being able to store, manage and access the contact info online is also key as not every contact gets to have a place in my phone or simcard's addressbook either.
Now, having used my mobile bizcard thing in the real world, I can promise you it rarely is an easy process, even among mobile geeks! Getting people to pull out their phone to send an SMS is trickier than you'd think - having someone enter a phone number *and* keyword *on demand* can be painful. There's always distractions along the way... missed messages they suddenly see for the first time, people who aren't familiar with their phone, Blackberries that won't let them enter a number easily, network outages from being deep inside cavernous convention halls or basements, network delays ("did it work?"), and more. It's not as clean-cut as it sounds, mark my words, I've tried it.
Anyways, I agree with the founder completely when he says that bizcards are as antiquated as checkbooks - this stuff is a no brainer and I hope those guys have luck with it.