I had a very interesting meeting on Thursday. Along with some colleagues, I went to see Mr Mark Calleran of The Salvation Army (who incidentally is speaking at Lotusphere Comes To You) to talk about a particular Lotus solution. But enough of that work-related stuff, because as the meeting drew near it’s conclusion Mark (who is avid consumer of interesting technology) got onto the subjects of Pokens. He’d mentioned this before, I think during lunch at Lotusphere in Orlando, and I did look up Pokens on the Interweb later that week.

In Mark’s words, in the business world you hand someone a business card – in effect, a token. In the world of Facebook you can ‘poke’ people (personally I never have). So put the two together and you have a Poken. Need more of an explanation? I thought so…

Poken PiggyYour Poken is a small character which hides a USB input. Attaching the Poken to you computer allows you to access a web page where you enter your contact details and the social networking sites that you are a member of (like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Bebo, etc). Then you carry your Poken in your pocket and when you meet someone else with a Poken and want to swap details you press their palms together until they glow green (it’s called a high-four, look at the picture and you’ll understand why).

Back at the computer you re-attach your Poken and somehow (I haven’t actually done it yet) it manages the linking up of you and your new friends on the social networks you have in common.

Mark bestowed a wonderful gift upon me… a Poken Piggy. To me it looks like a baby because it’s sucking a dummy and wearing a nappy, but it is actually called a Piggy. You can also buy Fox, Panda, Geisha, Monkey, Bee, Alien and Voodoo, and searching the web also reveals designs for Ninja, Dracula, Elvis (Presley, not Costello), Frankenstein and Munch’s Scream.

If you’re at LCTY and interested in obtaining a Poken, have a word with Mark. If you already have a Poken, my Piggy is ready and waiting to high-four you.

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