Virtual electronic card based networking

  • US 7,921,167 B2
  • Filed: 12/21/2007
  • Issued: 04/05/2011
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/21/2007
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A computer implemented method of online networking based on exchange of virtual electronic cards between a plurality of users, comprising the steps of:

  • providing a computer system connected to a communication network;

    providing an online networking environment accessible through a graphical user interface of said computer system;

    accessing said online networking environment using an electronic device, wherein said electronic device allows a user to interact with said graphical user interface to access said online networking environment;

    creating a personal profile by said user for creation of a virtual electronic card in said online networking environment, wherein said personal profile of the user comprises user information and personal electronic card, and wherein said personal electronic cart is created automatically based on said user information;

    creating a company profile of a company by said user for creation of said virtual electronic card, wherein said company profile comprises company information and a company electronic card, wherein said company electronic card is created automatically based on said company information, and wherein said step of creating said company profile comprises;

    searching for an existing company in the online networking environment;

    associating the user with said existing company, wherein the user is an employee of the existing company;

    linking the virtual electronic card of the user with the virtual electronic cards of existing employees of the existing company;

    establishing a personal contact network of the user in the online networking environment, comprising;

    searching for a potential match from a plurality of users based on information in personal electronic cards of said users;

    providing a view of degrees of separation between said personal electronic card of said user initiating the search and said personal electronic cards of said users, wherein said degrees of separation indicates the smallest number of users that the user is away from said potential match, and wherein said users between said user and said potential match comprise one or more common linkers that are already in the personal contact network of the user;

    sending an invitation request to said potential match; and

    exchanging the personal electronic cards between the user and said potential match after accepting said invitation, wherein said step of exchanging further comprises linking the personal electronic card of the user with the personal electronic card of the potential match and vice versa;

    establishing a company contact network of the company of the user by exchanging company electronic cards between the company of the user and a plurality of companies;

    whereby said exchange of said virtual electronic cards enables said online networking between the plurality of users and said plurality of companies.

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