Sunday, February 5, 2012

Facebook and are giving away free - beautiful - business cards

Here's an awesome (relatively) new integration on Facebook.

If you happen to be exploring the "About" section of your Facebook Timeline - take a look at your "Contact Info" widget. You just might notice a small, vCard-looking icon next to the header.

What's this?
See that? " makes it easy to print your very own set of custom business cards. The first box is free." 

The first box is free? Too good. Let's check it out:

Clicking through the link, you're brought to a very simple, very basic editor that compiles info and pictures directly from your Facebook profile. The result is actually a very aesthetically pleasing, and clearly personalized card. If you picked a cover photo that represents you online, it certainly will do the trick given prominence on a business card.

The back pulls a quote from your "Favorite Quotes" section on your profile. You can edit this to say anything. Mine happened to default to a Steve Jobs quote that I love, so I'll stick with it.

It's not obvious on the surface, but consider this really interesting idea: the elements of this business card that are given the most prominence aren't typical business card data, but the quote, the profile picture, and the cover photo. 

A couple times, definitely not very often, I've come across a card with a quote. Never have I come across one with a photo. It's a bold personalization, one that contradicts most people's current assumptions about what's important on a business card, mine included.

Here, we're presenting two images that we've decided represent us the most. Two pictures - that's good for 2,000 words, right? And then the quote - something that conveys our core values and focus.

I appreciate this on a bunch of different levels.

As a concept for networking, the subtle change of focus from the contact data to the imagery and quotes is compelling. It really is a unique take on an ancient practice.

As a design concept, these make it really easy for regular folks to produce beautiful representations of themselves. Democratizing design for everyone.

As a user interface,'s simple business card editor is restrained, but intuitive and built for the everyman. Simplicity is the highest form of sophistication. And again, this is technology democratizing design for the masses.

And last, underneath it all, this is a beautiful execution of a business development partnership. A triple-win. Facebook is able to deliver a little bit more value to its users and extends its marketing scope into the real world. Moo expands its business. And the user gets a free, beautiful business card.

Couldn't be happier. I love the Golden Gate theme. It's on my Facebook, Twitter, and this Blog - and finally it's come to my pocket. It's subtle, but important. Having the unified theme is a cool way to stand out amidst a sea of aspiring hand-shakers, tweeters and connectors.

Good shit. Thanks Facebook. Thanks Moo. Go Giants!

[Edit 1 - Feb 5]
Just found the numbers that this promotion is limited too. Via Mashable:
From Wednesday onward, MOO will be giving away free 50-card bundles to the first 200,000 users. For those who struggle with math, that’s 10 million business cards.
A steady flow of free cards will be released, ensuring that the 10 million cards are not ordered within the very first hours of the promotion. For the next 10 days, 50,000 orders will be processed, followed by an additional 150,000 orders, says Paul Lewis, the head of marketing at MOO. Those first 50,000 will also have free shipping, but the rest will have a “small” shipping fee, so act fast. The promotion’s end date hasn’t yet been determined.