Forever and a day ago (or about 3 years ago in technology time), CardMunch was the very best card-scanning tool out there. The service let you scan a pile of cards in a few minutes, and someone somewhere would verify the info and send the contacts back to you. Then LinkedIn bought CardMunch and made it very easy to connect on LinkedIn with just a click.
Too good to be true, right? Yep, it turns out.
I have been waiting for CardMunch to disappear for quite some time because they stopped updating the app and their Twitter feed. That’s always a bad sign. And this week LinkedIn made it official that they will put CardMunch to sleep.
In its place is a new partnership with Evernote, which lets you snap a picture of a business card from the Evernote app then connect directly with LinkedIn. Here’s the Evernote blog post that explains the process. The concept is cool, but as this video shows, it’s just not as easy as it should be. Perhaps it’s because I already have a bias against Evernote, but I’m just not impressed.
I get piles and piles of cards at events, and I’ve long given up on scanners, mainly because they require me to fix all the OCR typos by hand, and I can’t just snap all the pictures at once and go about my day. These days I use Fancy Hands, my virtual assistant service, to extract the info from the cards. I snap two cards in each picture on my iPhone, then I send a link to the photo stream to Fancy Hands. Within four hours most of the time, I have a list I can upload into my newsletter database. MUCH easier than trying to do it all myself.
I have also used ScanBizCards, which has a manual card transcription service for a few cents a card. Or it had one. They were just purchased by another company, and I don’t see that service listed anymore.
Here’s my 3-minute summary of the hassles with Evernote card scanners.