Last night I had dinner with a few new media types, including author Guy Kawasaki, interactive producer Catherine Faas, and mobile whiz Aran Hamilton. When I left the restaurant I was keen to send along a thank you tweet to each of them, since they're all avid Twitter users, but somewhere along the way from the cab to my house I got distracted and forgot (yes, there are times when even 140 characters is too much).
This morning I decided to try out a new tool to make it even easier to track dinners (and meetings) like this.
The service is called Hashable (not to be confused with social media site Mashable) and it claims to help you "capture awesome moments and track your strongest relationships." As CEO Michael Yavonditte said to me in an email earlier today, "With Hashable, you can send and receive contact info from any person with an email address or Twitter handle. They don't have to be Hashable users!"
In my relatively limited experience, Hashable is especially useful if you are on Twitter and understand the nature of hashtags (assign a keyword to a message, with a # sign in front of it, for easy searching). You can make a connection, using a tag such as #dinner, and then add a Twitter username to include that person in that post.
For example, my first Hashable looks like this:
@catherinefaas awesome #dinner /cc @hashable
The @hashable reference makes it easy for me to then go back into Hashable to track my relationship stream. Aside from a meeting, it's also easy to make an introduction between people you want to connect, again either via email or Twitter.
An introduction post on Twitter looks like this (keep in mind you don't have to write anything but the tag and usernames, the rest auto-completes):
@chrisdick & @michaelsnider #intro - meet each other. My work is done! /cc @hashable
Within the app (iPhone/Android), there is a networking feature that lets you send a "Just Met" virtual biz card, which saves you from carrying around the paper version. I attend a lot of conferences, so this option will come in really handy if I'm looking for a reliable way to track a connection. I don't know about you, but sometimes business cards collect dust on my desk.
While Hashable is still relatively new, after the SXSW conference in Austin, there's already enough buzz online indicating that it will likely experience a surge in popularity. To spread the love, the company has recruited 20 of their top users (19 in the U.S. and 1 in Canada) to attend the popular new media event - sans business cards of course.