It’s time I let you in on a secret weapon for professional networking

You may not know that I write a monthly personal technology column that appears in the Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Monthly.   The best place to keep up with this is on their websites, but I thought I'd give you a taste of the column here. If you like this sort of thing, then you can check out the archives.

Not all iPhone cases are made alike. While there are myriads of inexpensive ones to choose from, many either fail to provide any sort of meaningful protection, or through a failure of design diminish the elegant beauty of the iPhone itself. The cases I received this month from Musubo are something different altogether. They are beautiful, artful, and offer varying levels of protection for my expensive smartphone.

My favorite is the retro. It’s a combination of a hard polycarbonate case around cushioned silicone lining. The silicone cushion protects your phone that could be caused by the case itself. The hard shell is the bit that gets sacrificed should your phone take a tough tumble. The retro is clearly more than simple protection. It lends your phone the classic look of a 1950’s microphone and is available in red, blue, black, or silver. The case is slick enough to make your phone easy to slide into a jeans pocket while the ridges provide a great place to keep a grip on the phone, hopefully helping you (and me) to avoid any accidental drops. The case also comes with a handy little stand for your phone, perfect for a desk display. I mean, if you’re going to have good looking phone, you might as well have it out on your desk where people can see it.

It’s time I let you in on a secret weapon for professional networking. I am always out looking for tools to give my networking an edge and the one that’s getting the most of my attention and doing me the most good is called CardMunch. While the name may be a bit whimsical, the app is amazing. With Cardmunch you take any business card you’ve received at a networking event, lay it down on a well lit table and then take a picture of it. In a few minutes to a few hours you will have all of the information on the business card typed in and then you can press a button and either add them to your address book or send them a LinkedIn connection request.

If that’s all it did, this app would be magic, but it actually holds on to the picture of the card and the contact information so that you can then forward it to someone else should the occasion arise. I use Cardmunch not only to increase the touch points with new contacts that I’d like to talk to, but to hold business card and contact information of friends I recommend all of the time. If I need to give someone contact info, I like to send them the info from Cardmunch because they not only get a .vcf file which is easily imported into their address book, they also get a photograph of the business card, which may provide them with additional useful information. It’s a little bit of magic that gives you an edge in the networking game. Run, don’t walk to and get yourself a copy.

This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Monthly magazine.

About Phil Yanov

Phil Yanov is a Technologist, Columnist and Public Radio Commentator.

He is the founder of Tech After Five as well as the founder and President of the GSA Technology Council and the IT Leadership Council.

His personal technology column appears in Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Journal.

He co-hosts the Your Day technology shows heard on NPR radio stations across South Carolina and is a frequent contributor to technology stories appearing on radio and television.