Wednesday, February 25, 2009 by Dave Blum
One of things I love about this weird wired age we live in is that you can find almost anyone online, write or call them, and very often they’ll contact you back. This just didn’t happen back in the day, when people used phones or even letters (you remember those?) as their primary method of contact. Nowadays, your access to people is more direct with their email addresses often posted publicly. In other words, you have a real shot at getting a response from almost anyone — all it takes is a little chutzpah, and really, how hard is it to write an email?
A couple of examples:
A few weeks ago, I finished reading a marvelous book called Sacred Games, by Vikram Chandra. When I heard that the author was an alumnus of my university (Pomona College), I simply looked up his website, found his contact info, and sent him an email. A week later Chandra wrote me back, we chatted a bit online, and our pleasant correspondence has continued. I’ve even suggested he help me develop a scavenger hunt list for Mumbai.
Then, last Thursday (as you’ll recall from my blog post on that day), I was reading about these great treasure hunt clues being developed by an artist group in Tucson. Googling them gave me their website, which I followed up with a call to the organizer, Julie Ray. Lo and behold, Ray phoned me back yesterday and we had a fine great conversation about treasure hunt clues and scavenger hunt formats. Although they already had their scavenger hunt ideas in place, I was still able to answer Julie’s questions about how to run successful hunts, which I hope will help them to perform a great event.
So here’s a crazy suggestion: make a list of the five people you’ve always wanted to speak with and try writing them an email. As long as you’re sincere and cordial, who knows, you might just find yourself gabbing with Gorbachev or jawing with the Jonas Brothers.