When connecting with co-workers, friends, or anyone else by e-mail, it’s always good to have your contact information in someone’s address book.  You probably know just as well as I that most people won’t bother to take the time to add in your all-too-important website, postal code or work address information.  But what if all they had to do was click on a link in the email?  Alas!  The folks over at ContactMonkey have not only created such a solution for you, but they’ve done it with BlackBerry in mind!  Let’s take a look at how it works.

Setting up your Contact Card

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It’s all about creating your own universal business card in the cloud.  All it takes is for you to sign up at www.contactmonkey.com , and you’ve instantly got your own contact card to customize and share with anyone.

I’ve created my very own ContactMonkey contact card at www.contactmonkey.com/rosscheriton.   You can add typical contact information like e-mail, phone number, address, but there are also new fields from the 21st century!  You can add your Twitter site, Facebook site, personal website, Skype name, and—very important to us Blackberry users—your BBM pin!

You can also add any associates you know, further increasing your connectedness.  Adding notes to your profile such as “Red-headed guy with the mullet and Spice Girls tattoo” can really help people remember who you are.

Other customizations and features include an email signature with your ContactMonkey URL to add your outgoing emails, or attaching a QR code to your emails for a fancy click-free link.

Once you’re done, your contact card will look something like this when viewed on a PC.

And it looks like this on a Blackberry.

How does it work?

So how do you use it, you may ask?  Simply copy and paste the link to your contact card in any email you send.  For example, I would add the linkwww.contactmonkey.com/rosscheriton to the end of my e-mails.  The recipient of the e-mail just has to click on the link and they are brought to your contact card.  The great thing about ContactMonkey is that no matter what address book someone is using, it’s most likely supported.  Clicking on your link, they will see your contact card and options to add this information to their address book.

ContactMonkey will know if they’re using a Blackberry, and if they should be so lucky to own one, your information will be added to their address book with a simple press of a button.  Pressing the button that says “Blackberry”, they will see a screen like this.

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If a certain someone isn’t using a Blackberry, your contact information can be emailed to them and integrated into whatever address book they are using.

Notifications

Every time someone downloads your contact information from your contact card, ContactMonkey can let you know.

It tells you who added your contact information, when they did it, what city/town they live in, and what type of smartphone they have!  Creepy, eh?

What if I’m part of a company?

ContactMonkey is actually used by a quite a few companies as an enterprise tool.  For 3$ a month (or potentially even cheaper if you’re in a big company), the friendly folk over at ContactMonkey will work with your company to make a directory sub-domain for all employees.  Plus you’ll get a company-branded contact card! BUT, the first 100 companies to join ContactMonkey will get a free white-label account for life. Signup here: http://contactmonkey.com/offer?promo=n4bb

What else can I do with ContactMonkey?

You have options of course!  You can choose whether to share your information to the world, keep it top secret, or just not have it appear when using a search engine.  You can also change your ContactMonkey URL just in case you’ve come up with something even cleverer or cooler!

Other features provided are the ContactMonkey widget for a website, windows server integration and the ability to automatically update your contact information on someone else’s address book.

ContactMonkey provides a free contact solution for individuals and a powerful contact information solution for the enterprise.  Once you’ve gotten used to the concept, you can see how flexible and useful this can be.  As Blackberry users, we get access to the best possible ContactMonkey experience with support for our BBM pins and the instant adding of contacts from someone’s contact profile.  This is an extremely platform-friendly solution to getting all your information into the address books of others.  This is one of those cases where I’m proud to say, contrary to popular belief; “You actually don’t need an app for that”.