About My LinkedIn Replacement

Like many, I have a LinkedIn account. I don't use it at all but, for that matter, I don't use any social media (besides Reddit and Youtube if that counts). In a longer blog post I'll probably delve into my reasons for such a choice, but here's the gist:

  • LinkedIn profiles are boring and unimaginative; if I want a boring and unimaginative description of someone, I'd rather just see their resume in a single page.
  • I have NO desire to see basically any content on my feed. It probably hurts that most of my peers are not yet 'professionals', so most of the content is very distantly related to me.
  • I care about my direct connections from IRL interactions, or from those I interact with online during a shared interest, like on coding forums or open-source. Connecting on LinkedIn usually feels super contrived; again though, this may lend itself to my position as a student.

I'm not sure that was the most clear dissemination of thought, but you get the point: I hate LinkedIn.

That being said, I do think that having an online presence is close to a necessity for success as a business and certainly a huge help for individuals. This is why I have decided to design my own platform to service this need, in a format that I believe is more 'single-purpose' and effective than LinkedIn.

Enter: My LinkedIn Replacement

(Still working out the name)

Okay, so here is my vision:

Digital Business Cards

What is wrong with the business card format? No, I'll answer for you: nothing.

The beauty of the business card is the duality of its purpose and function.

Its purpose is to share necessary information about yourself, things like your name, contact, info, and work. Boom. Simple. Just the essential info that is useful for just about anybody you meet and want to stay in touch with. If one of us wants to share more about our selves or know more about the other person, what then? Where's the post history? What??!?! We just say what we want to share, or ask our questions, right there, face to face.

Revelatory stuff, I know.

The business card's function is a marvelous duality with its size. A business card must be easy to care with you, and share with anyone else--it should fit in a pocket or wallet--therefore it should be small. Because it is small, a business card forces one to limit the information they share to the essentials.

I can't talk about Snoop Dogg and share selfies on my business card, because I don't have space.

The Actual Experience

Now that you understand my love for business cards, I'll explain my user experience.

  1. Sign Up
  2. Pick from a selection of Themes (templates)
  3. Fill out a Brief Form

Let me explain.

There will be a selection of themes/templates, which will be static HTML pages (to start) that have designs ranging from eye-catching to afterthought. You can think of these as business cards, that will fill up a phone screen or computer monitor.

The forms will be used to collect data that is required by the templates. Generally, most will probably have your name, contact info, and similar, but some might ask for other things as well.

Once the template has the necessary info, a static page is generated and hosted for free at a custom URL: http://my-app.com/my-static-page. It would be trivial to have things like share buttons and give out QR codes as well to user's custom links.

Themes could probably be lightly editable as well, for example fonts and colors.

I'll probably charge for things like premium themes, and would like to eventually support a theme marketplace so designers can share themes (they are just simple HTML pages, so they would be quick to produce) and sell them. I would also like premium themes to come with extra goodies like

I specifically would like to not have any way to randomly come across/search for people on here. The whole point is to replicate the function and purpose of business cards, as close as possible, in the web. Of course, anyone can do this for themselves. If they know how to code at all this is quite trivial but for someone who doesn't spend an unfortunate amount of time in front of a computer like me, designing an attractive and responsive HTML page is a herculean feat.

Anyways, that's the gist, if I had a comments section on the blog I'd say leave a comment below (maybe this is the time to think about adding one). Instead feel free to send me an email if you have any questions or ideas or want to help out!

-Peter V.