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Large E-Mail Directories
The Virtual Chase: Finding E-Mail Addresses
Public Services Librarian
Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Here is a checklist for backgrounding, using the Internet. It’s from the Palm Beach Post.
There are sites for Personal Background, Civil/Criminal Courts, Elected/Public Officials and Business Background.
Right off the bat, I found something useful in the Personal Background section. It is possible to determine what state an individual was born in if you have the first 3 digits of the Social Security Number.
There are clip sites for stories that are free. Some of the info is specific to Florida, but the checklist also gives advice for how to look for data outside of Florida.
While this doesn’t replace Lexis/Nexis which is an invaluable search tool, some papers these days are having to drop that service, so the open web can be very helpful.
I haven’t been very faithful lately, but I’ve been thinking of you!
Here are a few sources to consider:
Getting only faces on Google image search. This is cool. Do a search in Google Images. Then add &imgtype=face to the resulting url. The example given was searching in Images for Lightening. You’ll get a huge result. Add &imgtype=face to the result url, and it narrows the search results to faces within the lightening search. You’ll get animal faces, human faces, Ben Franklin, music groups … you name it, but faces.
Omgili…What People are Saying. This is a new, effective search engine of online discussions on over 100,000 message boards and forums. To get an idea of what subjects are popular, click on the Buzzz link at the top of the search page, which takes you to another page that lists popular topics, updated once an hour.
The Pennsylvania Manual on-line. One of our reporters says that this downloads quickly. You’ll need an Adobe reader for it, but they kindly make a download of that available on the site. This is still the 2005 version, Volume 117, but that’s the latest edition that’s been published. Pennsylvania is very slow in updating this valuable guide.
Omnibiography is a directory of biographies which links to biographies from other sites. This comes from the Depth Reporting blog.
He writes “They claim to be the most complete such directory on the Internet, with information on more than 100,000 people. I didn’t find anything that indicates they vet biographies they link to for accuracy or completeness, so as always, be cautious with what you find. “
Finding people is a frequent and often frustrating task, if you’re using Google. Pipl says the reason for that is that Google’s spiders don’t crawl the Invisible web (special databases) where much of the people information lives.
What makes Pipl unique? Here’s what the site has to say about itself.
“Pipl’s query-engine helps you find deep web pages that cannot be found on regular search engines.Unlike a typical search-engine, Pipl is designed to retrieve information in real-time from the deep web, our robots are set to interact with searchable databases and extract facts, contact details and other relevant information from personal profiles, member directories, scientific publications, court records and numerous other deep-web sources.Pipl is not just about finding more results; we are using advanced language-analysis and ranking algorithms to bring you the most relevant bits of information about a person in a single, easy-to-read results page.”
Mark Schaver in his Depth Reporting blog wrote about this on May 22. Mark is the computer-assisted director at The Courier-Journal. Go here to read his entire post. (Scroll down to the May 22 entry.) It’s a worthwhile read.
He writes about the immense variety of social network sites. They aren’t just for teenagers. He says that you can find sites devoted to music fans, physicians or people who bake.
He links to some stories that resulted from journalists mining social network sites. And he gives us some direction on how to go about it.
Finally, he highlights some sites specifically dedicated to finding people. Here are the sites and what Mark writes about them:
This is a blog entry from Mary Ellen Bates, librarian and consultant. It’s somewhat of an eye opener, and I thought it might help us to understand the teen culture, especially the online teen culture and particularly MySpace.
Read it here.