Sharing Information: It’s as Easy as Saying "Pound It"
As more people adopt smartphones, the ability to digitally share and organize contact information, resumes and business cards has become increasingly useful. Manually entering various numbers and addresses into contact lists can be cumbersome. An innovative solution to this problem is the application Bump, which allows for fast-paced, on-the-go connecting. With Bump’s customized profiles, users can instantaneously transfer and share information by touching fists.
David BenBassett, Coordinator Digital Integration and Innovation
Not too long ago at a family function, I was exchanging contact information with my cousin when she asked me to “Bump” it to her. While I knew what she meant, I’d never had much reason to download Bump and use it, but with the opportunity at hand, I downloaded the app. Since then I’ve incorporated Bump into my networking repertoire and after playing around with it, I must say I really enjoy Bump’s simplicity and novelty.
To start, Bump has users create individual profiles by combining elements of their professional and personal content. Bump then allows users to exchange these virtual business cards by tapping two mobile devices together, sparing users the hassle of having to type in extensive contact information. Bump also allows users to share content from a variety of popular platforms, such as: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles; as well as apps, music, and photos. In the latest version, users can interact with other Bump users from a distance, enabling them to send content and messages similar to a normal SMS.
Surprisingly enough, my favorite thing about Bump is the cheesy fun that comes with “Bumping” someone new; the novelty still hasn’t worn off. Other companies like PayPal, which allows users to bump money to one another, and Pulse News Reader, where readers can bump articles,1
Implications and Action Items have also seen the appeal of this novel technology and have incorporated it into their own apps.Implications and Action Items
Bump is a great app for fast-paced networking. Whether at a conference, bar, in class, or on public transportation, Bump means securing that new contact is never more than a tap away. But, as with any digital tool, there are specific keys to success:
- Tailor Your Info. Create multiple profiles so that only the information you want to send is sent. Follow basic digital etiquette rules2
- Follow Up. After you’ve bumped someone new, follow up with a message via email, Facebook, or LinkedIn, depending on what is appropriate. Don’t let that contact go to waste, and keep in touch to maximize your opportunities. (e.g., your new boss doesn’t need an immediate invitation to your personal Facebook profile).
- Simplify. When designing your app, try to build one that focuses on a common task (e.g. business card sharing) and makes it easier. Bonus points if, like Bump, you do it in a way that doesn’t require much learning or behavior change.
- Differentiate. Someone else may already have a solution to the identified problem. Make yours stand out with some unique features, like Bump’s “fist-tap to send,” that will really make it shine.
USA Today, “Bump App Becomes Surprise Hit,” April 19, 2011: http://tiny.cc/t3tvp2
RTCRM Perspectives, “Workplace Digital Etiquette 101,” May 2011: http://tiny.cc/29mcfDownload Bump from iTunes.