Finding relatives and family members has become infinitively easier with the use of the Internet. In the days before Facebook, Twitters, Blogs etc, tracking down someone could be a lengthy and often fruitless process. Today, however, finding people is as easy as a click of a mouse, as long as you know which direction to click your mouse in!
An obvious place to start these days would be Facebook. Facebook allows you to search their database by inputting the name of the person you are looking for. There are 2 problems with this, however:
1) If the person is not registered on Facebook, you will come up short.
2) There could be thousands of people registered with the same name, and unless you have additional information such as where they live, what they do, or who they are now married to, you could spend days on end searching through thousands of profiles.
A website by the name of Pipl offers a search service whereby they will search through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, as well as directories, blogs and other internet entries. This saves you the hassle of having to search all of these avenues yourself. Again, however, if the person is not registered on any of these sites, you are not likely to find them.
Another online tool for finding relatives and family members is 123people. This site employs similar tactics to Pipl, and searches for data matching your search criterion through thousands of web pages. However, this tool has been reported to have a higher degree of accuracy than Pipl.
There are also tools specifically for searching through the less common social networks such as “Imeem, Yahoo 360, Flickr, and Zorpia”. Common tools such as these are YoName, Wink and Spokeo.
LinkedIn is a popular social networking site with a more professional focus. Here you can search by the person’s name, by company or job title, and can easily link up with them should you be able to find them on the system. Further to this, there are also numerous websites where you can search for people via the job they do, or even by the jobs they have searched for online.
Services also exist to conduct public records searches on people. Here, information such as employment, criminal record, driving record and sometimes even child predator rating is available. Normally you would pay for these services, and information should only be made available to those who require it for potential employment purposes.
An obvious place to look, should all else fail, is Google. If your relative or friend has done something noteworthy, written an article, been quoted in a professional capacity etc, Googling them should bring this up. Remember to set your Google page to the country in which you are searching, however, as most names will attract thousands of records, most of which will not be relevant to you.
So, if you are searching for a long-lost relative or friend, do not despair! Hope is at hand in the form of endless search tools and sites which will do just this for you! And be grateful that you don’t live 100 years ago, where your search would be based on the phone or on foot!