Among tech crowd, the paper business card endures

Alex Marthews, of Belmont, holds his business card before handing it off at the Venture Cafe in Cambridge, Massachusetts December 5, 2013. (Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe)
Alex Marthews, of Belmont, held his business card before handing it off at the Venture Cafe in Cambridge. )Credit: Jessica Rinaldi for The Boston Globe

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They came from tiny startups and established high-tech behemoths. They were mostly young and full of energy, part of a culture raised to embrace electronic devices of all kinds.

But the employers and job seekers gathered at this recent Boston networking event also carried something in their pockets a century apart from Androids and iPhones: business cards.

Yes, business cards — as in the small rectangles of thick paper — filled with phone numbers, Twitter handles, and other contact information. Of the many things swept away in the outgoing tide of an increasingly digitized economy, the lowly business card has been an odd and unlikely survivor. At conferences, trade shows, and private meetings all over the Boston area, new-wave technology is regularly juxtaposed against the swapping of those old-school communication tools.

“It’s actually faster to just hand you a card,” said Robin Johnson, cofounder of Boston app maker Storytime Studios.

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