I have to recommend the practice of having calling cards made. I read the article when I first became familiar with this site, and thought it was a good idea. Coupled with my recent move after marriage, it gave me a good excuse to make some manly calling cards.
I used the Zazzle site, and designed my own, complete with my profile pic on the back. I keep them handy, in the car, in my Saddleback brief case, and in a compartment in my business card holder. Now, several times have arisen in non-business situations where I can hand them out. This practice is highly recomended.
My favorite expierence with them occurred recently when I met gentlemen who was a retired Army officer. He still used calling cards, and we were able to exchange them.
My friend and I were just talking about them the other night - we were having a discussion about etiquette. I made one a couple of months ago on Publisher just to see if I could make one. I'm going to see if I can cut and paste that design on to one at Zazzle.com.
What kind of info did you put on there, David? Name - address - e-mail - phone #?
On the front I have my full name (Middle initial) with "Distinguished Gentleman" below it
Then, I have my street address, home and cell number my personal non-work e-mail. On the back, I have the top-hatted man.
Laid out, mine is a portrait format business card (like a normal piece of paper) instead of the standard landscape format. The standard Zazzle paper is glossy, but very nice. From Zazzle, 100% costed me about $20.00 give or take.
As an aside, my wife and I just ordered another 100 for the both of us. We just got married in October, and are putting them in our Christmas cards, so everyone has our new address. We put a photo of the two of us on the back, and instead of our name in big letters at the top we put "Our New Address."
I've made up my own business cards for my web design enterprise; I just put everything together in a table format in MS Word, then printed them out on cardstock on my computer. I realize these are "business cards" rather than strictly individual "calling cards," but I think business is where cards are more expected.
These days, most personal contact information seems to be shared by plugging info into each others' cell phones. When you can send an entire cell phone contact from phone to phone with a click, it hardly makes sense to expend the effort of printing and carrying personal calling cards. Besides, I think it makes a person look slightly vain to go to that much effort on such cards these days. Not that they are vain, mind you; just that they appear so in today's culture, IMO.
I tend to disagree. Many people I deal with on a personal level do not have smart phones, and a card is still a nice visual indicator.
Then again, if sticking with an old tradition is considered vain, then I'm guilty of a lot of vanity, including wearing a fedora with my suit to work every day, wearing a suit and tie to work every day, keeping my hair neatly trimmed, giving firm handshakes, removing my hat for the ladies, etc.
I agree. I think that the calling card presents a unique format for someone to remember you. You could couple the calling card with cell phone if you wish, but I don't think a calling card is vain. Especially because a calling card can contain useful information on it that not many smartphones have an entry for.
For example, I am considering getting some calling cards myself, and in addition to my general contact information, I also plan on including my facebook address, my linkedin address and my personal website address. I would never consider putting that information on my business cards and given the mix of social and business links, I think the calling card is the perfect hybrid of a more formal, social exchange of information.
Doesn't have to be a smart phone; I've got a basic Motorola, and "Send Name Card" is a basic feature in the Contact List. I've got myself set up as a contact in my phone, so I can just send all of my contact info as one record. It's just easier, less expensive, and less effort than making up paper calling cards. Seems more in keeping with the times.
Traditions aren't vain by default, and I wouldn't consider any of the traditions that you mentioned to be vain; heck, I don't even consider paper calling cards to be vain. They're just a bit out of place in today's culture, so a lot of people would probably think it odd that you've gone to the trouble of printing up cards that affiliate you with...well, yourself.
To be fair, I think I'm making a mental connection to some douche cruising pickup joints and handing out "calling cards" sporting just his name and number. That narcissistic image is probably tainting my perspective on the issue a bit; there's obviously nothing vain about making up contact cards for newfound acquaintances to use in keeping in touch with you.
I don't realy think it is about the convenience, but the tradition and thought behind it. In this day and age we are moving way to fast and always taking the easy way. It is just a way to slow down and see the world around you. If you take the time to be thoughtfull. You will notice that life is alot more enjoyable outside fo the hustle and bustle. No need to discredit the gentlemen around here and what they do.
Jaime: As for you coment on sending an entire contact with a click. I work with computers and support the users every day. Out of all of the executives and people that i deal with. I don't think one of them knows how to transfer contacts with a click. Even if they did, they would probably not run in to anyone who would know how to receive it. Computers are beyond peoples' scope of understanding. Calling cards are tangible things that can be plainly exchanged between gentlemen.