How to Email Facebook (and other tips from Seattle F8 2011) – The Story

Contacting Facebook is almost impossible. Imagine being one of thousands trying to make human contact every day with The Social Network. One sure way we discovered, however, was to go in person. It was a priceless, fascinating trip. And we returned with a deeper understanding of Facebook beyond expectation.

Our goal for the Seattle F8 Developer Conference was to network and make valuable contacts for the new company I’ve co-founded (exciting announcements to come). Sought after connections included business owners and representatives, but mainly developers that would want to join a new exciting venture – how naive! Almost every developer there was part of a big company; some of the developers we met were from Amazon, MSN, and Lululemon (the only other Canadian company in attendance).

While we may have not found any developers for the new company, we left with an amazing understanding of Facebook from a developer’s point of view. We left with invaluable nuggets of information for our social technology developments and social media and business campaigns. And we left with the Holy Grail, Facebook contacts (real ones).

Picture of Albis at the Seattle F8 Developers Conference

The customary way of contacting Facebook is through one of over 120 contact forms (broken down wonderfully by Mari Smith in How To Contact Facebook: A Directory of 120+ Forms). These forms require information regarding your challenges or concerns and provide a no-reply email with standardized answers in return. Standardizing the Q&A process makes things easier for Facebook, but you are never sure if there is actually someone on the other side of the curtain. So we are obviously very grateful for our new direct contacts within Facebook (and no we can’t share them with you; they were given in trust and will remain closely guarded secrets).

As magical and serendipitous as our trip may sound, we ended up contacting Facebook in person without even realizing it. During the delay of our clipper from Victoria to Seattle, we had brainstormed the signs for identifying developers attending the event so we could begin networking right away. The first one we spotted was a young man behind us during our hotel check-in.

With excitement, I approached him and asked, “Are you attending the Facebook conference?” He nodded naturally in return. I continued, “So are we, who are you with?” “Facebook” he replied with confidence and more than a little surprise. The only response that came to my mind was to say, “Cool!” and then turn around. It felt awkward like it was outside of my plan, or I should have known who he was. Thankfully, the front desk clerk called our turn.

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