CARDMUNCH: WHO NEEDS A ROLODEX?
“Hey, it was great to meet you. Here’s my card. Let’s stay in touch.”Sounds like a typical networking exchange, right? Now imagine you hand your card to a new contact, and he takes a picture of it with his iPhone…and then hands your card back to you.
Thanks to LinkedIn’s CardMunch app, you’ll no longer have giant piles of business cards to bring home from meetings and conferences. In fact, once you use CardMunch you may find yourself tossing your old-school Rolodex in the trash.
You need a LinkedIn account to use CardMunch. Fortunately, membership is free – and if you’re an entrepreneur you should be on LinkedIn anyway. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’re ready to go. Simply take a photo of a business card, make sure it’s legible, and upload it to the CardMunch server.
Unlike other card-reading apps that rely on Optical Character Recognition (OCR), CardMunch employs real people to review each uploaded card and manually enter contact information to be sent back to you. Although the time between uploading a card and receiving detailed contact information varies from twenty minutes to a few hours, the information you receive is far more accurate than what you’d get from an OCR-dependent app.
When you view contacts in CardMunch, the data you see depends on the contact’s LinkedIn status. If your contact is not a LinkedIn member, you’ll simply see the information from your contact’s business card and a “Connect” button that will send an email invitation to join LinkedIn. If your contact is a LinkedIn member, you can see your contact’s full LinkedIn profile, an indicator of how closely you are connected and a list of contacts you have in common.
Through CardMunch, LinkedIn has taken a huge step toward upgrading a traditional approach to networking with its fresh, digital platform. The app is currently only available for Apple devices, but an Android version is reportedly in development.