Effective Networking (The Art of Finding People)

by Darius Kazemi on December 6, 2007

in networking

Here’s a brief scenario.

You’ve just come back from a conference, and you lost a business card for someone you really need to follow up with.

Or, you met another game developer by chance at the airport yesterday and neither of you had your cards on you.

The point is, you met someone interesting, but you don’t know how to contact them. Ten years ago this was a really tough problem to have. You were pretty much screwed. But now we have the internet! Here are a few tips on how you might reconnect with that person.


Obviously, you can start by typing random stuff about that person into Google. Okay, her first name is Delilah, and she works at Frazbiz Studios in HR? Well, search Google for “delilah frazbiz HR”. This is usually a shot in the dark, and probably works for me one out of every ten times, and only when that person has an unusually good internet presence.


Where Google fails, and it usually does, I turn to LinkedIn. If you don’t know it, it’s basically a networking site that is laser-focused on business. So instead of your favorite bands, you put your work history. It’s Pokemon for executives.

Almost everyone in the game industry has a LinkedIn profile, and you can enter “delilah frazbiz” into their search engine and you will almost certainly come up with her profile, along with a way to contact her. And if her contact info is private, at least you know her last name now, and can go back and refine a Google search.


You’ve probably heard of this one. Like LinkedIn, many people in the game industry are on Facebook (although in my experience folks are more likely to be on LinkedIn than Facebook). On Facebook I think you really need a person’s first and last names to do an effective search, but I usually give this one a shot if all else fails.


But wait! We don’t need no steeeenking technology. We have this thing called a brain, that allows us to reason, and perform neat tricks as a result.

Let’s assume you know Delilah’s last name is Boddington. And you know she works at Frazbiz. But you still can’t find her email address. That’s okay. You can guess. How about dboddington@frazbizstudios.com? How about delilah@frazbizstudios.com? If she works in HR and you really need to talk to her, maybe a polite note to hr@frazbizstudios.com will get you in touch with her. Or maybe it’s dbodding@frazbizstudios.com, because they still enforce an eight-character limit on usernames. The worst that can happen is a bounced email. Or you get a response from David Boddington at Frazbiz, which is really more funny than tragic.

It Ain’t Stalking. Really!

Some people feel weird about looking up this sort of contact info. I think that’s nonsense. If you’ve met someone in person who’s in the same business as you are, and you had a nice chat, you are well within your rights to find this person’s contact info.


Ian Schreiber December 7, 2007 at 7:55 am

The corollary to this, of course, is to have a good Web presence yourself so that when people google YOU, they can find you easily.

Darius is a pretty good example. If you type “Darius” into Google, you get… the historical figure Darius the Great. Okay, but if you type “Darius Game” into Google, you get… the obscure Darius series of side-scrolling shooters. Ah, but if you type “Darius Game Developer” into Google, 9 of the first 10 links are him, and you’ll find out his last name without even clicking on any of them :)

Brian Shurtleff December 10, 2007 at 1:47 am

Actually, you can search for a wider range of information about a person than just their name with facebook.
Of course, you have to hope that whatever info you have on them is information they put into their profile, making it therefore searchable.

Facebook sort of hides where this feature is. But once you do a basic search it takes you to a basic search page – and from there there is a (tiny) link to “Advanced Search” which gives you a larger handful of search criteria.

I’ve found people through knowing only their phone number, for example.

Actually, it might be limited to only networks you are part of, upon closer inspection…

Jacob True January 7, 2008 at 11:35 pm

I just finished reading this entire series on networking. Definitely a lot of great advice that I will be paying attention to carefully. Thanks for sharing your experience.


It depends on a person’s privacy settings. Almost every piece of information in a person’s profile can have a different privacy level so it’s almost impossible to make any generalizations about facebook. Just have to take a shot and see what comes up. :)

Ben Schiffler August 6, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Thank you, as well, for the entire series. Networking is a whole world into which I am just barely beginning to step. I feel like I will return here often.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: