David Wahl has my respect (mostly because he got to interview Alan Moore, which for a geek like me is just frickin fantastic – man am I jealous). Beyond that, he’s pretty smart, creative, articulate, and apparently likes us enough to put this up on his blog. Here’s a slice:
Zoominfo pulls up all the business articles for any name you enter. You can narrow the search for a specific industry, but typing in random names will give you great character details for fiction.
Of course the first thing you’ll do is type in your own name and marvel at the amount of information there is about you. But, after that, think about these as ways to build real characters. Typing a made up name into a few search engines can build a very complex and real person.