A new, Musical Chapter in Life

My life over the past few years has been quite the journey. Four years ago I was a 19 (almost 20) year old who was just about to start working at Best Buy for the Christmas season, and a few months later I moved to Boston to start at a tiny startup called gamerDNA. At gamerDNA I was the 8th employee and we worked from the CEO's kitchen table, grew to 20+, went through layoffs and lots of late nights, but created many great memories. Then for the past two years I've been living in San Francisco, working at various game companies, including Playfish for the past year, where I've been working with Facebook Game communities for The Sims and MONOPOLY. Life's been a fucking ride, man.
 

On Monday I announced that I was leaving Playfish and that I had accepted a Community Manager job at a small SF startup called RootMusic. This was the result of some soul searching, lots of hardwork, and it was a decision that frankly scared the shit out of me. At this point I'm pretty well connected in the video game industry, I've had the pleasure of working for some great companies with amazing people, and now I'm turning my back on all of that and starting fresh. Not only did I announce that I was leaving on Monday, but Tuesday was my last day at Playfish, and today was my first day at RootMusic. Intense, to say the least.

I'm extremely excited right now. It's currently 11pm, I got home just recently from my first day at work, and I'm honestly at a loss for words. I've got a huge amount of responsibility and a lot of people are looking to me to make some big decisions and be involved in many different projects. But this is what I've been looking for, I'll get to work at a music company that works with virtually every top Band/Musician in the industry, but also makes a product that a tiny high school garage band could use to great effect. The music industry is changing rapidly, and RootMusic will be there to lead the charge. To think that I've been fortunate enough to land a role at such a company just blows my mind, and I can't wait to spend many years with these great people and go onto this next chapter in my life journey.

This new job is going to be stressful, it's going to be really hard, and it's definitely going to be intense. But I'm really looking forward to a very rewarding experience, and I can't wait to make an impact on how Community Management is done in the music industry. This is very much like a dream job, a dream that I started to formulate recently as I prepared to meet Tom Delonge from Blink-182 and came up with a pitch to him/his manager for reasons they should hire me as their Social Media Manager. They didn't end up calling me back, but the important part was that it got my wheels turning in my head, and it got me to where I am today.

Today is a great day. I can't wait for tomorrow.

Happy 23rd Birthday to me!

It's my birthday!  Today I'm officially 23 years old, and very happy to be around for another year of adventures and great times.

Twenty Two was an interesting year for me; I moved to San Francisco from Boston, started several jobs and dealt with unemployment for a handful of months, had a lot of fun and made some great friends, and learned some good and harsh life lessons.  It was truly a rollercoaster, from moving to a city I loved but had a job I hated, to dealing with unemployment and went through some rough financial and personal times…and then it ended with me landing an awesome job with great people.

I'm really excited about being 23 and the year ahead.  I've got lots of goals, from big to small, and I'll be posting a New Year's Resolution post here soon.  From a career perspective, I'm looking forward to launching Monopoly on Facebook,  continuing to contribute to the Community Management tactics that Playfish uses, and continuing to learn more about my craft and get better and better at it.  Personally, I'm looking forward to exploring more of San Francisco, making some new friends, and hopefully meeting some new people that turn into meaningful relationships.  I've got a job that I love, in a city I love, and I feel like it's really time to start focusing a lot on enjoying life and sharing it with some great friends, family, and maybe even a girlfriend if I'm lucky :)

Right now I'm sitting in San Francisco International Airport, waiting to board a flight to London.  In about 10 hours, I'll be in London for a week for training at Playfish HQ.  I'll be learning how to launch Facebook Games, and learning what all is involved in being an Online Content Manager for an live Playfish game.  I'm excited and feel very fortunate to be traveling outside of the country for the first time ever :)

Thanks to everyone that has been a great friend over the past year and been supportive of me as I traverse life and my career.  It has been great so far, and I can't wait to see what 2011 brings me!

 

Thanks!

-Sam

Accepting a position at Playfish (EA)!

Hello everyone!

Great news! Today I'm accepting at position to work at Playfish full-time as an Online Content Manager in their San Francisco office.  The Online Content Manager is basically a Community Manager, handling all community efforts for their particular game, and I'll be working on the games coming out of the SF office.  This comes with just about a week left before my prediction of getting a job before December would be void – I sure cut it close!

Playfish is a Facebook game company that was acquired by EA a year ago for ~$300 million,  and the company has created about 20 Facebook games over the years.  They're probably most famous for titles like Restaurant City, Hotel City, Pet Society, and most recently have recently released EA IP titles like Madden and Fifa.  It's very exciting to see the opportunities that Playfish has, to leverage both original IP, as well as EA portfolio IP's when creating new games.

While Playfish is owned by EA, they still manage to preserve a lot of the startup feel and atmosphere, and in general they're going to just trust me and expect me to do great work.  There won't be a lot of hand holding, just the expectation that I'll be creative, collaborate with the team across the board, and do great work.  This is what I LOVED about gamerDNA, and I can't wait to do it in a company that still has the backing of a company like Playfish/EA.  It's a great opportunity for me to learn more about community in the social gaming atmosphere, as well as a great opportunity to learn more about building communities at a large scale via social media and traditional community efforts.  Not to mention the Facebook casual gaming demographic is pretty new for me, so there will definitely be a bit of learning curve that I will have to adjust to.

From the first call I had with Playfish, things felt right.  All my conversations with the SF Playfish people were great, with very intelligent and easy to talk to people.  You can tell everyone is very talented and passionate about doing great work, but at the same time they want to have a good time doing it.  I've even been contacted by folks on the team already, urging me to accept and congratulating me, saying how excited everyone is to have me on board.  It feels great to be working at a place where people want me to be there and are excited about working together.

I should be starting next week, and I'll be working from the Playfish office in downtown San Francisco.  I'll also get to work at the EA Redwood Shores office occasionally, which will be great because the campus is great and I've got a lot of friends that still work at EARS.

This is just a quick post that I wanted to throw up since I literally just accepted on the phone.  In the future I'll be sure to post some more detailed blog posts :)

October/November 2010 Update

Hello everyone!

Thought I'd jump in and give the blog a bit of an update, since some cool things have happened lately, and I thought it would be nice to balance out my kind of a bummer post from last month.  To clarify that last post, my goal was to describe the unemployment process that I've been through and experienced, while also giving an update.  In general, things are getting better every day, and lately things have been pretty great, all things considered.  I still don't have a job, but I've had an interview (if not multiple interviews) every week for more than a month straight.  It has been great, and it seems like things are starting to go in my favor.  As one opportunity drops out, others have popped up in it's place.  This unemployment situation will go away soon (I feel confident about this!), and in the meantime I'm trying to spend time with friends and my roommates, learn about community/social media, and enjoy myself.

I love San Francisco, and one of the best things about the city is that everyone here loves to party and loves to get together and celebrate something awesome. Whether it's Pride Week, Folsom St Fair (which was…interesting?), Love Fest, or the Giants winning the World Series…people in this city really come together and have a good time.  This week it was the Giants winning the World Series, and yesterday I had the pleasure to join 1.4 Million people in downtown San Francisco for their ticker tape parade, as well as the Key to the City Ceremony.  The crowd was MASSIVE, and it was amazing to see such a diverse group of people all celebrating something and getting along.

I started watching Giants games during the playoffs, mostly because everyone in this city really gets behind the Giants in force.  Everyone wears Giants shirts/hats, watches the game at bars or with friends, and you can always hear yelling/cars honking after every run scored and every game won.  My neighborhood went completely nuts when we won the World Series on Monday, even leading to some riots on the west side of the Mission.

Yesterday was a beautiful day with not a cloud in the sky, and it was great to be in the company of such great fans to celebrate a great team.  I've come to really love the Giants players and their personalities, as these are some really funny and interesting guys.  Brian Wilson, Tim Lincecum, and Buster Posey are three of my favorites, but guys like Uribe and Aubrey Huff are also tons of fun to watch.

Next year I'm definitely going to have to go to as many games as I can, as the team is an amazing group of atheletes and I can't wait to see what they do next season.

Unemployment Trials and Tribulations

In my experience, being unemployed is a roller-coaster of emotions driven by an interesting pattern that I've seen both times that I've been unemployed. Almost a year ago exactly, I was laid off from gamerDNA, and now I'm unemployed after ending a two month contract with Electronic Arts.  I thought I'd write a blog post about the pattern I've observed and share some updates from my latest brush with unemployment.

When I found out my contract at EA wasn't going to be renewed (due to a lack of internal projects for me to work on), I started reaching out to people and publicly letting people know via Twitter/Linkedin/Facebook.  This time, just like last time, I was lucky enough to receive a great bit of support via retweets, introductions, emails, and general "Good Luck!" messages from friends and contacts in the industry.  The first couple weeks of this were great and things were looking up, as there was a time where I literally had at least one phone interview, if not multiple phone interviews a day with various game companies across the country.

The future was looking bright..but then the opportunities start to fall apart.  Some jobs aren't a good fit for me so I drop them, or maybe I'm not a good fit for the company, or maybe the company just takes a long time to go through the hiring process.  In some cases, I've been talking to the same companies for 2-4 months because timing just isn't/wasn't right at the time.  Just as fast the leads come in, they go away or die down, which can be pretty frustrating.

After this initial rush, I go right into the first month of being unemployed, which is arguably one of the most depressing periods of life that I've had to go through.  It's a time of constantly second guessing myself, my job history, if people like to work with me, if I deserve this, etc.  From what I gather from my friends, this is normal…but it still can be pretty hard.  It also doesn't help that this is also a time where hardly any jobs are posted, no one is getting back to you, and the number in your checking account is rapidly dropping every week as you buy groceries and have to pay rent.  This is exactly what it was like last time around, and this time it was the same..yet worse because I was going through some tough situations in my personal life.  If I never got back to your emails or was a total flake last month (September), I'm sorry. Shit was rough.

Then just as things seem to be getting worse and worse, you hear back from a bunch of people or a bunch of new opportunities come up.  This started a few weeks ago, and since then I've gone from no interviews, to sometimes multiple interviews a day with different companies.  There are still disappointments, like when someone doesn't get back to you/seemingly falls off the face of the earth, even when you feel like you hit it off really well and did a great job…but luckily other job prospects and general progress help make up for those lost opportunities.

And now we're where I am now…more and more job opportunities are coming up, including some jobs that I'm really really excited about, and some that I'm not so excited about.  My general policy is I talk to anyone (because who knows, right?), so there are several well qualified job leads that I'm in talks with right now, each one at its own stage.  Times are exciting, but also very frustrating…because by this time, I've been unemployed for long enough to drain a lot of my cash.  My checking account is like a fuse burning very, very quickly, and I need to find a job so that I can put the burning fuse out…or at least make it a longer fuse :).

This situation is the worst part of unemployment: Compromising for something that may not be the best fit/the job that you really want, but you still do it because you don't have any time left.  Some companies move frustratingly slow in the interview/hiring process, and some employers move very very quickly. It's frustrating to compromise and not take the right job for you, because I feel a job is one of those things you shouldn't compromise on, considering the amount of time and hard work that I put into a job…but I'm afraid that I might have to do just that.

But, who knows..jobs that might not seem like a great fit can turn into something awesome.  GamerDNA brought me in as an entry-level marketing position that wasn't a great fit, and it turned into an awesome Community Manager job at a company full of awesome people that changed my life.  Hopefully I can stick it out over the next few weeks (month?) and go through the proper hiring process with the people I'm excited about and land a great gig.  I'm trying to stay pretty optimistic…it's just a matter of time until I land something.

The good news is I'm talking to some really great companies that I'd be very excited to work at, and I've received tons of awesome support from friends and family. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  I feel fairly confident that I'll have accepted a job offer by December.

Somehow I'm going to get through this (financially and emotionally), as I believe everything works out in the end for the best.  I just might go crazy in the process :)

Haven’t we been here before?

Looks like I'm back on the job hunt again!  Yesterday I was let go from Perfect World.

It's a long story, but basically I wasn't a great fit for the company and they weren't a great fit for me.  We saw things quite differently in terms of social media, branding, and other areas..and (in my opinion) that lead to me no longer being at the company.

All in all, it's for the better, and I'm thankful for at least a few things.  I now live in San Francisco, which I love more and more every day, and Perfect World gave me the chance to do things that I hadn't done before.

In my next job I'm hoping to be more community management focused, while still utilizing social media to grow the fan base.  I want to build brand loyality for the game and the company/studio that I'm working for.  I want to do this usual the many social media mediums to give people access to the studio in new and exciting ways.

To echo my post last time I was in this position…I'm so thankful for my time at gamerDNA.  It showed me how a company should work and how people can work together, respect each other's opinions and expertise, and work towards a common goal.  The things I learned about web development, working at a company, branding, social media, and the game industry are invaluable.

Now I just know a bit better what I want in my next gig and some more questions I should ask next time I'm in an interview.

If you know of anything or would like to talk to me about a Community/Social Media position in the game industry, you can contact me on LinkedIn at Linkedin.com/in/SamHouston and via email at Sam at QforQ DotCom.

I'm hoping to stay in the SF Bay Area, but if something is exciting and the opportunity is great, I'm open to moving.

Thanks for your support everyone!

Just got back from E3 2010

Hello everyone!  It has been way too long since I blogged (as usual), but I thought I should write an entry since I just got back from E3..and since it's been over 6 months since my last entry.  Lots of things have changed since then.  I've moved to San Francisco, started the job at Perfect World Entertainment, went to PAX East and E3 2010, and even cut my hair (which I don't do enough!).

To pick up where I left off in my last blog post: Yes, I've started the job at Perfect World Entertainment as the "Senior Social Media Marketing Coordinator".  The transition from a small, very-flat (organizationally speaking) startup with little funding, to a huge Chinese MMO company with 80 employees (and 2k in China!) has been..pretty tough at times.  I'm not used to having multiple levels of people working on things, big departments of people – most of which I don't even know their names,  and in general the work environment/company is way different than GamerDNA.  

That's not to say things are bad..in some cases it's good, like having access to large budgets to do things like Facebook Games or Facebook Ads, where at a startup with a small amount of funding, you don't really get that kind of opportunity.  Working at a huge company like this definitely has its drawbacks, and I recognize that GamerDNA totally had me spoiled, but I've been given a lot of new challenges and tasks at Perfect World, and I'm going to come out of it with a ton of new experience.  I'm much more marketing/customer acquisition focused than I've ever been, which has been a challenge at times, but it's exciting to see how you can directly contribute to the bottomline with various initiatives.

Right now I'm working on a lot of different Facebook projects, one of which just launched – our Facebook Connect Project which rewards current players with in-game items if they promote our games to their Facebook Wall, similar to the way Facebook Games promote themselves.  You can check it out here:  http://www.perfectworld.com/blog/?p=62661.  We're also dabbling in Facebook Advertising, and I'm working on pushing forward a handful of other Facebook projects that are early on right now.  After we lay a great foundation on Facebook with multiple initiatives, I'd like to move into Twitter and other social networks.  Twitter's Ad platform has me pretty excited, and I hope to check it out later this year.

Being on a marketing team of 3 people (PR Manager, Marketing Coordinator, and myself), and being a guy that has no problem talking to press/the public, has given me the opportunity to represent the company at various events.  I went to PAX East (Boston) in March, and I just got back from E3 this week.  At E3 I did interviews with a lot of press that we couldn't schedule in for one of our product managers, and I talked all about Forsaken World, an upcoming high-quality Free to Play MMO that we have coming out this Winter.  It was great to do game demos and walkthroughs for press, something that I've seen so many times as a consumer, except this time it was me doing them!  It was great experience and I recognized how much fun I have talking to press about games.  Hopefully I can continue to do this at Perfect World and in the future.

Regarding my move to San Francisco:  It's freaking awesome.  I've found a great house full of awesome roommates (and now friends), found a great group of game industry friends that I hang out with every weekend and even during the week, I love my neighborhood, and I love this city.  I hope to live here for a long time, as the area is absolutely fantastic for the tech/game industries, and I love the chill vibe of everyone.   No matter your lifestyle or your interests, it's cool here.  I really love the acceptance of people's differences here..something refreshing coming after growing up in a very conservative town in Ohio.  My transition to SF couldn't be better.  I'm so thankful for my friends here!

As things move forward this year, I still have a lot left I want to do.  I've got a burning passion to get back into music some how…I'd really like to join a band of some sort.  I need to figure out where my professional passions lie…is it marketing, or community, or a mix of both?  I sometimes really miss interacting directly with consumers.  I also may want to start up a video game podcast of sorts, to give myself another creative outlet outside of work.  And I definitely need to explore more of this city.

This week I'm planning to pick up the new iPhone 4, another notch in my bedpost of complete consumer-whoreism.  Earlier this year I bought an iPad, which has been pretty great for me (I don't need a laptop and it's great for reading the internet and watching video!).

Next month I'm going back to Ohio for a much needed week long vacation.  It's going to be my nephew Adrian's 3rd birthday and I can't wait to see him!

See you guys soon.  Hopefully I'll update more often as ideas come up in the coming weeks.

Celebrating my 22nd Birthday – A look back at 21

Today is my 22nd Birthday, and I'd like to take some time to reflect on this past year, especially since so many things changed in my life during that time.

In terms of a theme for my 21st, I'd have to sum everything up under "Friendship".  This past year I really learned the value of friendship, as I went through some great highs, got through some tough times, and did it all with the help and alongside some great friends.

Coming in close second to Friendship as a theme for my 21st, I think "Twitter" or "Social Media" would be suitable themes.  Social media has made a huge impact on my life, and pretty much everything I did professionally revolved around social media and Twitter in particular.

Everything really kicked off when I made my "Video Game Companies on Twitter", back on January 11th, 2009 (ironically, I start my new job at Perfect World on January 11th 2010!).  What started out as a blog post that I was writing at 1am while watching Edward Scissorhands…quickly grew overnight and later that day was up on most of the major gaming blogs.  It later lead me to create GameIndustryTweet.com as the permanent home for the list – a site that I hope to update sooner rather than later.

One of my favorite people of 2009/my 21st, is Gene Mauro, my former boss at gamerDNA.  Gene was a great boss because he gave me a lot of opportunities to do new things and put myself out there.  Not only that, but he taught me quite a bit and contributed many great things to gamerDNA.  Gene was the guy who helped me build off this new Twitter "celebrity" from GameIndustryTweet, and he gave me the opportunity to lead several projects that were based on Twitter and social media trends.

In March I went to my first GDC with gamerDNA, and we put on our first (the first?) GDC Tweetup, which had over 200 people in attendance.  It was a great event for us, and we went on to throw a similar event at (my first) E3 2009.  Both events were awesome, and I'm so thankful that I was given the opportunity to attend them.  Hopefully I get to go to these events and others this year!

At E3 we also launched TweetMyGaming.com, a site that tracks all of the video game mentions on Twitter.  This was a project that I co-lead from the beginning, from concept, through development, and then represented at E3 in interviews (both video and written form!) with gaming blogs and video companies.

Fast forward and later that summer I was promoted to Online Marketing Manager, took over PR for gamerDNA's Relaunch on September 2nd, and in late October – ended my journey with gamerDNA.

From left to right, Trapper Markelz (VP Product), Collin Waid (Interface Engineer), Steve Sopp (Data Architect), Antares Meketa (Engineer), Jon Radoff (CEO), Sam Houston (ME!! Online Marketing Manager), Russell Miner (Engineer), Sean Duhame (Creative Director).

GamerDNA made a huge impact on my career and my life, and gave me the opportunity to made a lot of great friends.   All the guys pictured above (and even the folks not pictured!) were fantastic people, and I'm happy to call them my friends.  Outside of the people I worked with directly, I also made many friends from all across the country that I owe a lot of gratitude to.  From letting me crash on their couch while I interviewed for my next job, to giving me advice, for being great friends on Twitter…I've met a ton of awesome people this past year and I'm seriously grateful for it!

Right now I'm just wrapping up my last few days in Ohio with my family, right before I fly out to San Francisco to find a new apartment and start my new job at Perfect World Entertainment.  In 2009 I started out the year as a Community Manager, went on to become an Online Marketing Manager, and I'm starting 2010 as Senior Social Media Marketing Manager for an online video game company.  I'm pretty happy about that! :)

I owe huge thanks to my family and friends, as everyone has been more than nice to me this past year.  It has been truly amazing, and I can't wait to see what a new city, a new job, a new company and team, and a new year will bring for me.  Thanks everyone!

This year I hope to find a great place to live, make some awesome friends in my new home of San Francisco, and knock the socks off of everyone at Perfect World and kick some ass in the game industry.  2010 and 22 should be great years for me!

Thanks,

Sam "QforQ" Houston

Moving to San Francisco and working at Perfect World Entertainment

I've got a job!

Senior Social Media Marketing Coordinator – That's my new position at Perfect World Entertainment, a video game developer and publisher in Redwood Shores (South Bay of San Francisco, CA).

After about two months on the job hunt and several interviews and meetings with various companies, I was able to find a great opportunity with an exciting company – Perfect World Entertainment.  I will be joining the Marketing and PR team in just a couple weeks, working alongside ambitious and energetic folks that are trying to take over the Free to Play MMO space in the US.

Perfect World is probably most commonly known as the developer publisher of Perfect World International, their main MMO in the states which gamers can play for free, but can also buy items in-game through their cash mall.  You've also probably seen the Perfect World cash cards at your local 7-11 or GameStop.

Perfect World also has two other games out now, Jade Dynasty and Ether Saga Online.  They've got a number of new games coming out next year, with Kung FOO! coming out very soon.  What most people probably don't know, though, is that Perfect World published the popular PC RPG "Torchlight", which is a game that released this fall and was developed by former Diablo/Blizzard devs at Runic Games in Seattle.

To sum things up – Perfect World is a very ambitious company that is very successful in China and they want to make a big impact in the US.  Their current games are doing pretty well (1 million active players across their three F2P MMOs right now, I read in an article most recently), and they've got quite a few coming out in the new year and beyond.  They're doing some exciting publishing deals (Torchlight for example), and I'm very excited join Perfect World as they transition into a new phase of growth and expansion.

As I mentioned in my last post, the prospect of focusing 100% of my energy on using social media to build game communities and market games is *very* exciting to me..and it is ultimately what made this position a real winner for me.  I'll be joining a great team with some big goals and a totally open canvas in terms of what we can do.

Perfect World has community managers for their games, and I'm very excited to work with them to help build stronger and bigger communities around their games. With three games out now (and more coming next year), we should have a wealth of content to share and talk about with our community.  I'm going to try to really push things forward in the F2P MMO space, which based on some of my research doesn't seem to get a lot of love in the community department.  I'm very excited to get on Twitter, Facebook, build our blog presence, and hopefully get into other mediums/platforms so that we can interact with our community in the places that they are online.

Ironically, the week that I accepted the position, Perfect World relaunched their web portal and launched a new company blog.  I encourage you to check out the site – Nice work guys!

This job successfully rolls up my passion for community, social media and marketing into one role – and I'm very excited.  I've got big goals for myself in the social media/game space, and I think this company and this team will help me attain those goals.  I'm looking forward to starting in just a couple of weeks!

The whole F2P MMO space is new to me, and working directly for a game developer/publisher…but I'm looking forward to learning what works, what doesn't, and taking the journey along the way.  If anyone has any suggestions/insights on F2P MMO community, please feel free to contact me!

On a different  note – I now need to find a place in SF in a very short period of time. If anyone needs a roommate, or knows someone that does, *please* contact me ASAP.  I need everyone's help, since I need to move cross country *very* soon.  Thanks for any help you can provide!

In summary…I'm scared, excited, and very anxious to start a new chapter of my life in San Francisco at an awesome game company and in a dream role of a job.  It was a great Christmas/Birthday present, and I want to thank everyone for all the encouragement, support, and help that got me here!

Thanks!

Sam "QforQ" Houston

Community Manager looking for job

As of this past week, I am no longer employed at gamerDNA and I’m now looking for a new job.  Myself and five others were laid off last week, freeing up the company a bit so that it can operate at break even and continue to do awesome things.  A news article about the situation came out earlier this week with some quotes from our CEO Jon Radoff, if you’re interested.

Working at gamerDNA was an amazing experience and has helped my career in huge ways.  I’m very thankful to Jon and the rest of the staff for giving a (at the time) 20 year old from Ohio the opportunity to work at a video game internet startup.  I came on board in March of 2008 as the eighth employee, when the company was still meeting at Jon Radoff’s house and our desks were his dining room table.  I saw the company grow quite rapidly, move into its first office, change our name and rebrand itself, and launch GamerDNA.com in early June of 08′.  I remember the meeting that we had where we decided on the new logo, the awesome work of art from the super talented Sean Duhame.  Everyone was always involved and kept up to date on what was going on in the company, and I came to love our Wednesday “Lunch and Learns”, where the company would have lunch together and update everyone on the progress that we were making and any big news or exciting projects.

I’ve been to PAX twice now, I’ve been to BlizzCon, GDC and E3…all because of GamerDNA.  Two years ago it was just a dream to be able to go to those events (especially E3..such a video game nerd’s dream!).  I even had the pleasure of launching a website at E3 and representing the company in interviews for MTV.com and Current.TV.  Most recently I put together all the PR for our GamerDNA.com relaunch on Sept 2nd, which resulted in the most coverage GamerDNA.com had ever received for one launch.

GamerDNA gave me a huge amount of opportunities and responsibilities, and for that I am very grateful to Jon Radoff and the rest of the team.  What started out as an entry level marketing position (“Game Talent Lead”), later turned into a Community Management role and then ultimately my role as Online Marketing Manager.  It was a great ride.

If you haven’t yet, please check out yesterday’s blog post which included a picture of the product team at gamerDNA.  It was taken last week at our company party at Trapper Markelz’s house, and it shows a great group of guys that have become my surrogate Boston family.

So what’s next?

Now I’m interested in going to my next dream job, a Community Management job at a video game developer or publisher.  I don’t have anything lined up just yet, so I’m still looking and applying to various job opportunities out there.  I’m looking to take what I’ve done at gamerDNA, take all my passion for Social Media and Community Management, and turn that into a career at a game company.  That’s my hope, at least :)

If you’re interested in finding out more about all the cool stuff I’ve done in my time at gamerDNA and more details on my experience, please check out my LinkedIn Page: http://www.linkedin.com/in/samhouston .  I’ve updated it quite a bit and it’s basically a web version of my resume.  If you’d like to get in touch with me directly, please shoot me an email at Sam AT QforQ dotcom.  I’m willing to relocate for a new job, and I’m especially excited about CM roles that will give me the opportunity to interact directly with gamers, as well as work with press and represent the company at events like PAX.

Other things on the horizon are a relaunch of GameIndustryTweet.com with updated pages and a new look….and some time relaxing and catching up on all these video games I need to finish :).

Thanks for reading this far, if you know of any exciting Community Management gigs in the game industry – Please give me a shout!

-Sam Houston