Before I went to AltSummit, I knew about the business cards.
There are roundups of business cards, a Kirtsy-curated slideshow of beautiful letterpress designs, even a class on the AltSummit Channel about them.
There was an underlying message that upon arrival, trading business cards was going to be some sort of blood sport, akin to sticker swapping or pog trades. Your business card is supposed to be unique, memorable, and coveted.
I was a bit nervous--I thought about what I should do, how I should tweak my business card in order to keep up with everyone else, but ultimately, I decided that simpler was better for me.
As soon as I got to Alt, the business card trade was on. I quickly tossed the cool vintage-French poster-inspired business card case I use in my professional life in favor of ziploc bags, one for yours, one for mine.
I got some fabulous cards--so many I am still sifting through them all. There were beautiful letterpress designs, colorful Moo cards, complicated packets of pom-poms and glitter, even a card with a slide attached to it. All fantastically creative, and I'm sure, strong aesthetic reflections of the blogs these cards represent.
At first, I was slightly embarrassed as I handed my card over, self-conscious at how distinctly uncreative they seemed. In phase two, I tried to explain why my card folds, as if the added design would contribute blogger credibility. ("I'm known for giving people all sorts of resources--like books to read or blogs to check out, Now I can write it down for you on my card on the blank spot on the top.")
During the last day of the conference, after listening to multiple panels espousing the value of authenticity, I decided to own my folded-so-I-can-write-notes-inside cards. They are exactly the cards that reflect me perfectly.