Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Chalk up another looming casualty of the Internet age: business cards. Ubiquitous as pinstripes, the 2-by-3.5-inch pieces of card stock have long been a staple in executive briefcases but Matt Stevens writes that to young and Web-savvy people who are accustomed to connecting digitally, business cards are irrelevant, wasteful — and just plain lame. "When I go into a meeting and there are five bankers across the table, they all hand me business cards and they all end up in a pile, in a shoe box somewhere," says Diego Berdakin, the founder of BeachMint, a fast-growing e-commerce site that has raised $75 million from investors without ever bothering to print a card. "If someone comes in to meet me, we've already been connected through email, so it really doesn't feel like a necessity in my life." Some 77 million smartphone users have downloaded the Bump app, which allows them to bump their phones together and instantly exchange contact information while others carry a personalized quick-response code that smartphones can scan like a hyperlink. At 36, Ralph Barbagallo is near the cutoff for Generation Y but despises business cards all the same. Barbagallo says he goes to three major conferences a year and has to distribute paper cards but lugging and exchanging fistfuls of them is a pain and it's hard to remember who is who. "When they run out this time, I'm not printing any more,"says Barbagallo. "They need to die somehow.""
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