LinkedIn purchased CardMunch

LinkedIn purchased CardMunch and the service is free. Take pic of card, send. A while later, it’s back in text as a contact. I’m loving it!

I read that and it sounds like one of those spam tweets where some tweets some commercial message for some free giveaway or a chance in the competition. It’s nothing like that: it’s just a service I just found out about – by reading that it had become free!

LinkedIn just purchased a company called CardMunch and have now made the app, and service, free. Meaning LinkedIn are paying for it, since it’s not without cost. Now I’ve used it for a two days, I wish I’d known about the service before. I’d have happily paid for it. (Previously $1.99 for the app and, I think, 15c a card ‘scanned”.

What else is great is that this app let’s you “quick connect” on LinedIn, which is why LinkedIn were keen to buy it, no doubt. Whatever. It makes my life easier, and it’s free. That’s worth some sort of shout out!

I regularly get a large number of business cards after a speaking engagement or conference presentation and typing in those cards – and I have been – just isn’t one of my favorite jobs. So, LinkedIn are now paying someone – via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service – to do the transcribe from card to data. As they say about the photo you take “If you can read it, we can read it”. (So get a sharp photo!)

The spiel goes that the data comes back “in a few minutes”, which may be the optimistic end of the range, but who cares. It gets done in a reasonable time, and it’s all automatic (although you do have to optionally send it to your address book, and link to the person on ├é┬áLinkedIn). I believe in building my networks and if it can be made easier, why wouldn’t I?

To me it’s a really good solution to a real problem I had, and the irony is I only now know about it because it became free.

It’s currently an iPhone app, with – according to their website – Android support coming soon.

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