Monday, August 20, 2007

Searching for people online

There are two new people search engines on the web and one is looming way above the other in quality! They are both in beta, so there are room for improvements, but, my money is still on Peek You. The other one is called Spock.com. Just to start off with, let me show you the pages on me from the two sites.

This first image is all the information they have on me at Spock.com:

Now this second image is the information they have on me at PeekYou.com:
There is actually so much information on me at PeekYou that it wouldn't all fit on the screen cap, but, you can click on the image to go to my page there.

When I first saw it, I had a bit of the 'tummy nervousness' - like a little jolt - eeks! Look at all that information on me! Yikes!

But then, I had to realize, that is all information that I myself have published on the web somewhere. The one thing that I did not like was having my town published on there - when friends told me about the site and told me that their locations were on their pages, I was a little irked. Upon finding my page, however, I found that they got my town wrong! That's funny, and a bit odd, because, I never actually give out my actual town. I will, however, list a nearby larger town, or an even larger city. Neither of those two that I use is Cullman, though. And should my actual town ever get listed on the page, I can edit it to say the larger city. That is one of the cool features of PeekYou that Spock does not have. Anyone can edit listings, add to listings, or even add people to PeekYou.com that are not already listed. Conversely, on Spock.com, you can add information, but, in order to get information taken off, it must be voted off by users. Users can vote for each tidbit of info. that is listed for a person, and if enough users vote 'no', then the information is removed. Beyond that, if you find something you are uncomfortable with having listed there, you will have to contact them to get it removed.

Once I got over the shock of seeing all of 'me' on that page, I was actually quite pleased. Just yesterday, I started building a page about all of my web-presence, because, I've joined a new group online and wanted to share with them where all they could find me. I didn't finish building that page, and now I don't have to. I can just send them to my PeekYou.com profile. On this line of thinking, there is one feature of Spock.com that I would love to see on PeekYou. Spock has a widget that you can grab the code for, to put on your sites, or maybe even in forum signatures - so you can send people to your profile to learn more about you. That is a great feature.

I will not, however, be spending much time at all at Spock. And the real clincher that made me decide this is some of their tactics, which I perceive to be underhanded. Well, I guess you would call it, one of their tactics. They created an application for Facebook, which in and of itself, would be a good thing. However - the app was a 'Mad Libs' app - and people had fun with it. I love Mad Libs myself. The bad part is that they used the information in the Mad Libs to tag people on Spock.com. So if it said, "Lisa works in a strip club downtown and owns a vibrator" - some of those words would be used to tag me. So, in searching for those keywords - results would come up with my smiling mug! (Actually, there are not very many pictures on Spock - another negative!) They even had one poor guy tagged as a pedophile! He is a blogger who had blogged about Congressman Mark Foley and thinks the Spock search engine just goofed up. And, in their defense - upon being contacted, they did remove the tag. But - the Facebook application? That's just not cool - and makes me not trust them!

I can definitely see PeekYou.com as being fun, and even quite useful - almost like a LinkedIn profile that I didn't have to put together!

And - it's a ton of fun - I have been searching all kinds of people on it all day! It can be quite addictive. If the people don't have much of a web presence, though, you are not going to find much, if anything, about them. Most people have something online, though - and even those little nuggets can be helpful in hooking up with your best friend from high school, your first love, or even an old boss you'd love to go work for again!

And hey! PeekYou.com added three years to my life! I'm only 34 now! Yep - PeekYou definitely gets my vote!
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