Great piece by Harvard Business Review assistant editor Susy Jackson about her experience trying to hand out business cards at the South by Southwest conference:
I remember when I got my first box of business cards. They were white, a nice card stock. Embossed blue writing. I'd done it — landed a "real job" at a company that thought enough of me to pay for 500 little pieces of paper joining my name to their logo. Never mind that my title was wrong, and the only people who wanted to have one were my mom and dad. It was exciting. I could end important conversations with, "Here, let me give you my card." I had a stamp of authenticity.
But things are different now, sort of. I'm at the final day at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, and my business cards (now white and crimson, of course), have certainly been helpful. I've traded them plentifully and with promises — already made, kept, or broken — of follow-ups and check-ins. But in some circles, they haven't been helpful at all.
-HBR blogs, March 15, 2011