Ditch Business Cards Forever with DUB

Last Updated Feb 18, 2009 10:07 PM EST

I have a box of business cards collecting dust in the bottom drawer of my desk. After all, why would I lug around a stack of processed trees when I can use DUB to connect me with key contacts instead?

Suppose I'm at a conference and want to exchange contact information. I just whip out my phone and send my new associate's e-mail address to DUB. He'll get an invitation to join the service (it's free), and then, after entering the equivalent of a business card's worth of information, we have access to each other's contact info via the DUB contact list. If either of us changes our data, it's instantly updated with everyone we're sharing in DUB.

It's kind of like a cross between Plaxo and Dropcard. You remember Dropcard, right? Just send a text message that includes someone's email address, and he or she will instantly get a message with your contact information. The difference here is that instead of only sending the info one way, contact info is shared.

It's a cool idea, but DUB still feels like an early beta. You can't share both personal and business information, since your virtual business card only accommodates one or the other. And most of the really cool stuff on the Web site, like an iPhone app as well as LinkedIn and Facebook connectivity, is "coming soon." And when I tried installing the DUB app on my Blackjack, it required installation of the .NET framework -- which it failed to install, apparently for lack of storage space on my phone. And the Web site itself is poorly designed. Once you log in, there's no easy way to get to any of the instructions for using the service. That stuff is oddly only available to visitors that haven't logged into their account.

Then there's my biggest concern with DUB: Using it requires coaxing everyone you meet into signing up for this service themselves. They can't even see the contact info you've offered them without an account. That's not a showstopper, of course; you had to sign up for LinkedIn and Facebook once, too. But it lacks the immediacy of a tool like Dropcard, which doesn't force your new contacts to dance for your phone number.