The digital revolutions rages on, taking casualties as large as old media empires and remaking new maps in a landscape in which new technology thrives. The world is practically saturated with mobile phones already and so the tablet dominates – both in volume of pills the over-medicated and the over-stressed pop, but also in terms of the post-desktop, post-laptop must-have. And yet. Some things stay the same. The business card has not died. And it exists primarily as it has always done, in print, exchanged by hand, face-to-face. The Eastern civilisations accept business cards with a great deal of seriousness and attach extreme etiquette to it. In Europe and the Americas it is much more transactional than culturally emotional. I have come to respect the business card, and its endurance as a good sign of intelligence exchange: I give you something of me to remember our connection by and we will talk more.
The same cannot be said of the name badge. How I hate it. It has no real use: You still peer at someone awkwardly and only catch a faction of its contents – the name, the job, the company, never all three. It never, *ever* looks elegant or distinctive and more often than not ruins a look (and often, if it has a pin which many still do, can wreck fabric). But mostly it is impractical. You need to say to someone ‘Hallo’ at some point and if you want to follow up with the business card then that is up to both of you. Yes, it can be a talking point but frankly if you are absolutely unable to talk enough even to ask someone’s name then you need more than a badge to help you out (see http://www.editorialintelligence.com).