Chances are the business card you hand out is that of your employer. It’s got your name, title, company logo and address on it, but does it really say who you are? The stuff you blog about, your professional tweets, where are they? Do you hand out another card with your personal details on it. Whilst at Leancamp, Nicky Smyth handed me her (BBC) business card. Alongside her BBC details, she’d used an ink-stamp to provide her personal URL and twitter account. I’ve not got round to getting a stamp created, but when we were blogging round the world, in Lijang, China I had a stamp made up with Dongba script, pictographics from the Naxi people and the dancingmango URL surrounding them. I’ve been using this to pimp the back of my ThoughtWorks business card.
…there are two things that are essential, the business card and the company chop. Every business meeting starts with the customary exchange of business cards, after a year in Hong Kong I have amassed a mountain of them that lined up end to end would get me a fair distance. And no official document is official without a company chop – ink stamp in any other language. Probably a remnant from British bureaucracy, a signature is not sufficient, no document is complete without a chop. The fact that you can get a chop made up at any stationers doesn’t seem to matter. In fact you’d probably get away with a potato print as a chop if you were that was your thing. The chop and the card are de rigueur, if there was something else I might add it would be the fax machine. It is not unusual to suggest correspondence via email to be told to send a fax instead.