10 Apps to Up Your Networking Game
Hash It OutMile-High MessagingMeet at the Bar(code)Reboot AIMReach Out From NearbyFind Your Meme MatchBump Up Your RolodexDuck, Duck, Goose!Perfect Your Phone EtiquetteNice to Meet You, Mr. Mayor
Hashable: Make an intro with a hashtag. This is one of the easiest ways to manage contacts and to facilitate meetings on the fly. Simply download the app, then use the hashtag to communicate messages via Twitter. Specified hashtags can introduce associates to one another—and if they don't have Twitter, it's OK: Hashable can send messages internally. Use the #intro hashtag to put two people in touch, or propose a #meeting at a #restaurant with a new acquaintance.
Planely: Are those endless business trips getting a bit lonely? Why not break the monotony with a little spontaneity? Planely, simply, lets you discover other passengers on your flight and allows you to facilitate a connection. Maybe the two of you can sit together on the plane, share a cab to the hotel upon landing, or...who knows what else? Planely is currently available through integration with the TripIt app. Register for Planely and "like" Planely's Facebook page for further directions on TripIt integration.
Jump Scan: The era of barcode networking has commenced. The QR code is everywhere now: You can even create your own. Use Jump Scan to encode all of your contact info and social networking data into a single digital imprint. Using the app, this image can later be scanned and accessed by your new contacts in one fell swoop.
AIM: This oldie-but-goodie instant messaging service is still alive and kicking. To keep in step with the technological advances since its inception, AIM now allows you to chat with contacts on other services such as Gmail chat and Facebook. You can also stream your Twitter feed through AOL Lifestream which can also be accessed via the app.
WhosHere: It's time to meet your match. Find other people in your proximity who also use the service and talk to them! It's as simple as that. You can also review the profiles of those nearest to you and hold out on an introduction until you find a subject with similar interests. Great for down-time at conferences.
StumbleUpon: Think of StumbleUpon as a cerebral Chatroulette for information taste-sharing. Not only does this service allow you to discover random content on the Web that may be of interest to you, you can also follow and contact users who share similar meme-loves. Think of the possibilities for establishing contacts in this context. You may just—randomly—locate your next company co-founder or long distance collaborator.
Bump: Bump isn't only used for swapping info with the mystery gentleman at the bar. Feel free to bump contacts at networking events and even in the workplace. Who's to say that fleeting connections won't materialize into bigger and better prospects down the line?
Collectivus: Although this app is still in the development stage, do yourself a favor and file it away for future use. This is a networking app of a different flavor (Translation: nerds, you will love this). Collectivus is more of a game, like Geocaching with a cell phone instead of a GPS and a rubber ducky instead of a box of knick knacks and a log book. Users can use their phones to locate strategically placed rubber duckies (a.k.a. "Thingys"), and to connect with other users who've already found thingys along the same path.
Google Voice: Do you maintain multiple phone lines for different purposes? Don't miss out on an important call, international or domestic, because you weren't available or failed to give out the correct number to a specific contact. Google Voice lets you link all of your private numbers to a single overlay number so that your calls are forwarded to one line. Google Voice also routes transcribed voicemail texts straight to your e-mail.
Foursquare: Sure, you can have your check-ins and make a dollar, too. Don't forget you can also use the Foursquare app to meet people who've checked in with you! Now, we're not encouraging stalking, but if you're both at the same symposium or networking event, why not introduce yourself and exchange some intel? Don't hesitate to put the "social" back in your networking.