Last Sunday’s “Observer” magazine had a fascinating article called “30 Ideas for a Better Life” which I read with interest; instead of the usual January guff about losing weight and stopping smoking etc, it contained practical tips from a variety of gurus (many of them female) on frugal shopping, practical money advice, job hunting (hurrah), ethical living and lots more.
Many of the experts are on Twitter, so I checked them out, added them to the list of people whom I, as The Gender Blog, now follow and I’ve been reading their tweets with great interest this week. And, in the way of the Small World, I also discovered that one of them lives around the corner from me (we were comparing snow reports on Thursday) and I then saw Sarah Pennells of www.savvywomen.co.uk providing financial advice on BBC News 24 yesterday.
Twitter also led me to the Women’s Business Clubs website, which is a very user-friendly place for women in business to find support and network with each other. Founder Kelly Stevens posted a link to this article about a gadget called a “Poken” – described as a:
“… a ‘social business card’. It’s a small USB social networking gadget that you can store your own details on including your social networking profiles (Facebook, Twitter etc).
When you meet someone at an event with a Poken you simply touch the two Pokens together and your details are passed to their Poken, and theirs to yours. Then when you get back to the office you simply plug your Poken into your computer’s USB port, and download all of the contact data you have collected.”
Now, I love the idea of a gadget as much as the next woman and, writing as someone with a lot of business cards sitting in a drawer, filed only in groups (“People I met in India”, etc) and held together with bulldog clips, I think any gadget which can make this easier and more automated is a winner. But I’m just trying to imagine how it will actually work in a real life situation – how do you know who’s got one and under what circumstances do you bring a sentence such as “Please may I touch your Poken?” into a conversation?
Perhaps they should be sold with a lapel badge (“I’m Poken: Are YOU?”) so that the early adopters can find each other with ease and clunk click, every trip. I suspect that Kelly is right and that, in ten years or so, business cards will have gone the way of the floppy disk – but it will be fun to see if the curiously named “Poken” will be the tool to hasten their demise.