SMS Business Cards


SMS Business Cards

On Monday, I was out for drinks and met a guy who’s working on some similar stuff.  He handed me his business card and asked for mine.  I told him I didn’t have one on me (truth is, I haven’t had a card since I left Yahoo! and I never carried them with me then anyway).  Instead, I said, “Just text joelaz to 41411”.  A second later he received a text message on his phone like the one above with my name, address, email, website URL and any other contact info I wanted to share.

It took just a few seconds to create this using a simple, free service that I recently heard about from Russell Beattie called Textmarks.  After learning about Textmarks in the comments of a post on Fred Wilson’s blog, it occurred to me that you could use the service for text message business cards.  Here’s how to make your own:

  1. Go to the “create” page on
  2. Pick a unique keyword for yourself (I used “joelaz”)
  3. Enter up to 120 characters of contact info in the “Respond to keyword with text message:” field
  4. Click the “Create” button
  5. If you haven’t already done so, create an account on Textmarks (if you skip this step, your keyword will expire in 24 hours)
  6. Click the “Manage” tab and then click the “Edit” button next to the keyword you created
  7. Click “Edit” Configuration and uncheck all the boxes under “Messaging Options” and uncheck “Subscribable Textmark” (those options are for more advanced uses of Textmarks, but not needed for your SMS business cards)
  8. Tell new friends and business contacts to “text your_keyword to 41411” (replace your_keyword, duh)

That’s it.  It’s free, simple to use, environmentally friendly, and you’ll be the envy of geeks everywhere.

I never thought of using something like this as a business card!  Brilliant! is another service like this – although in beta – seems pretty good so far too.


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